Dancing to the End of Poverty

MUSIC VIDEO, 6 min, 2008. The Tomboyfriend song End of Povery, written by Ryan Kamstra, was edited with YouTube clips of teenagers from all over the world, dancing in their basements. 

"Finally, a generation using YouTube the way God intended." - Madrid's  Playground Magazine (Spain)
"It made me profoundly happy... I knew the year was going to be full of moments of happy absurdity." - Heather O'Neill for The New York Times magazine
"What's really neat about Dancing to the End of Poverty is the fact that it illustrates the beauty of true collaboration. Though the Tomboyfriend tune was written and recorded long before Williamson made her montage, the combination of the two is brilliant." - Sarah Liss for the CBC
When I first started making paintings, it seemed confusing that the high quality paints, the paints that are considered most “real” were made from pigments in the ground. It was a level of reality that seemed unnecessarily limiting, especially if you don’t have very much money and don’t like to mix colours. I thought a little bit about the colours we couldn’t see, and also wasn’t entirely convinced that the primary colours were actually primary. Now, though, I like so much that the colours in my paintings come from the ground. It seems of course a more tangible sort of reality than even the realism of representational paintings. I see it less like a limited palette and more like the only palette I could know, living on this earth, and the palette that I could get the most honest answers from.

I remember first going to Youtube when it had just started. The first thing I looked up was “whales”. I really had a craving to look at some whales. And like everyone else, I went on from there. It all looked so much to me like a palette, just like the “real” high quality palette of pigments you get from the ground that I was at first so suspicious of. After years, as a painter, of thinking about small human gestures, I was able to see a bigger portion of that rainbow, completely undirected by me, and completely of our world.

My friend Ryan Kamstra read a book by Jeffrey Sachs called the End of Poverty. Then he wrote a song called end of poverty. One of the lines starts, You struggled so hard for a petty theft of affection / only to find / you’re totally ordinary. That line, and everything else about the song, prompted me to try out this new palette of ordinary human gestures. I focussed on basement hues and teenagers.
— Margaux Williamson