Duke’s Rise is an accompanying piece to Manufactured Britishness and is a silent, atmospheric journey through a newly formed British landscape. In alliance with the most traditional values, this ideological journey begins with a freshly painted model village. Here, everything looks glorious, established and sanitized. Tightly packed rooftops and narrow streets meet in repressive uniformity, yearning for the past.
Performed across an idyllic pastoral British landscape, an overly theatrical ritual is happening. Wading through artificial fog, a priest is blessing British borders. He chants Psalm 8 “O Lord our governor, how glorious is your name in all the world!” swinging his incense back and forth over endless wheat fields. “We are a Christian society” as he reminds us all.
Duke’s Rise is an absurdist take on the debates around weakening cultural and religious heritage, so often reported as a crisis for the Great British identity, in promoting attempts to reclaim it. The project critically reflects upon rising nationalism in Britain and envisages the future in a repressive, aggressive and yet supposedly cleansed society.