Divorce Index

FACT New Observatory 060 sm.jpg

We are familiar with idyllic images of the seaside equating everlasting bliss. The data tells a different story. Natasha Caruana used open data to identify coastline towns as the British settings with the highest divorce rates. She pursued further social datasets to try to identify why. ‘Divorce Index’ is a filmic response to her findings. It presents a couple in disheveled wedding clothes performing a curious dance at Hastings’ double deck promenade, Bottle Alley. Each movement is a choreographed gesture interpreting pressures which may affect a marriage, including unemployment, healthcare, libraries, access to higher education and gambling.

The Curtain of Broken Dreams is constructed of long interlinked chains of pawned, discarded wedding rings create a physical representation of 1% of divorces in the UK over a typical 12-month period. As we become physically enmeshed in the evidence of the breakdown of 111,169 relationships, we may ask ourselves if seeking the right conditions as well as the right person is essential to everlasting love, and if we would consider relocating if the data told us there was no hope here.

Words by Hannah Redler, exhibition catalogue, New Observatory, FACT, UK, 2017

FACT New Observatory Installations 026 sm.jpg

Full Credits: Divorce Index, 2017 

Performers                         Natasha Caruana & Simon Sweetman

Original Score                   Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch

Director                              Natasha Caruana

Producer                            Simon Aeppli

Associate Producer          Sarah Howe 

Editor                                  Simon Aeppli 

Choreographer                 Annie Lok

Camera                               Kate Priestman 

Foley & Sound Mix            Phil Stander

Additional Sound              Claire McDougall 

Colourist                             Phillip Edwin Osborne

Hair & Make up                 Dixie Fitter 

Researchers                         Kate Davies & Phoebe McElhatton 

Trainer                                  Jason Sloane

Jewellers                               Katso Otukile, Dan Russell, Suzanne Seed & Sam Still 

With special thanks to       Debra Allman & Grant McCaig 

Commissioned by the Data as Culture programme at the Open Data Institute (ODI) with the support of Arts Council England and additional funds from the University for the Creative Arts