Peggy and Fred in Kansas, 1988

Beta SP, PAL, son, couleur

Peggy and Fred in Hell is the generic title of a group of works, produced over eight years. It stages the adventures of two teenagers, Peggy and Fred, in the devastated and post-apocalyptic landscape of the trash of American culture from the end of the twentieth century. In each episode, Peggy and Fred are submerged in a new domestic abyss. Having to fend for themselves, they have to resolve their problems of survival, which they do with a particular flair. They live in an arbitrary number of houses, and travel constantly by mounts and valleys. They go on the moon. They pretend to be Jack Nicholson, Amelia Earheart, Thomas Edison… and they watch TV. TV is their only connection with a network of artificial intelligence. The AI constantly turns the TV on, so Peggy and Fred do the same. And since the only people they see are on TV, they think that that's where people are, and so they themselves must be part of a show. In their world of the collapse of technological wonders, their idea of the social is shaped by television. They play for an audience in a landscape that can be read like the Sears catalogue illustrated by Scientific American: from the end to the beginning and upside down. Peggy and Fred in Hell resolves to video and to film, the episodes moving from one medium to the next with no constraints. The two same children, Donald and Janis Reading, worked on this project with the director during their childhood. Now teenagers, they actively collaborate with the filmmaker on the elaboration of their media-nightmare.


Translated by Mia Stern, 2021