A selection of film, video and performance works that investigate, critique, and play with ways to make and present the moving image, confounding our perceptions and conceptions, through direct physical action, filming and editing processes, or manipulation of the technology.
Works presented: Karel Doing uses ingredients from nature to ‘grow’ images on film; Vicky Smith’s live manipulation of the filmstrip produces primal, abstract and noisy animation; Conor Kelly explores the relationship between sound, image and site; Deniz Johns reverses the allure of the ‘selfie’, and a Peter Gidal collaboration with William Burroughs.
Karel Doing Wilderness Series. HD Video and DCP, 13:38 minutes, colour, 2016.
By using plants, mud and salt in conjunction with alternative photochemistry, images are ‘grown’ on motion picture film. What at first glance is perceived as abstract turns out to be a concrete precipitation from phenomena that surround us in everyday life. The ‘aliveness’ of the images is underlined by Andrea Szigetvári’s evocative sound-design.
Peter Gidal Code I & Coda II. 16mm film, sound, 4 minutes, colour, 2013.
Peter Gidal’s starting point for his 16mm film is a soundtrack that consists of three lines from a 1,000 word story written by Gidal in 1971, read by William Burroughs. Gidal describes the film’s ‘so-called imagery’ as ‘a complex of barely visible cuts in space and time, the opposite of erasure, but nothing so much as visible’. Both Coda I & II films are codas for another film, not far at all (2013). Co-commissioned by Frieze London and EMPAC/Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, 2013. https://lux.org.uk/work/coda-i
Deniz Johns #youjustnow / Media Blackout III Digital video, monitor, silent, loop, colour, 2018.
Media Blackout is a series of works Deniz Johns is currently undertaking as part of her research, which revolves around models of political aesthetics and filmic constructions in experimental film and video.#youjustnow / Media Blackout III challenges the online construction of idealised self by reproducing a self-portrait over and over again through screenshots, rather than ‘improving’ the image with filters, colour corrections, soft focus and so on, this process degrades the image towards illegibility.
Conor Kelly Sands HD Video, sound, live performance, 10 minutes, 2018.
Vicky Smith Agitations 16mm film, performance, projection, 2017/18.
Vicky Smith marks directly onto film by jumping on it. Attempting to register imagery in the same place she moves in repetitive, restricted ways. The film is made in equal measure through her physical actions and the force of the ground. Projection of the film reveals delicate patterns inscribed upon the worn-out emulsion.
The evening will end with a discussion between the audience and artists.
Karel Doing is an artist and filmmaker, creating experimental films, installations and performative pieces focusing on sensorial, semiotic, post-colonial and environmental topics. Through the study of material process, the recording of oral history and the (re)use of cinematic heritage he explores alternative knowledge systems. Kareldoing.net
Peter Gidal is a renowned writer, theorist and film-maker. He studied theatre, psychology and literature at Brandeis University, Massachussets (1964-68) and the University of Munich (1966-67). He was a student of the Royal College of Art from 1968-71 and taught Advanced Film Theory there until 1984. An active member of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative since 1969, he was its cinema programmer from 1971-74. He was a co-founder of the Independent Film-Makers’ Association in 1975, and served on the British Film Institute Production Board from 1978-81.
Peter Gidal’s films have been screened widely, with retrospectives at the ICA (1983), Paris Centre George Pompidou (1996 & 2016), DocPoint Helsinki (2014), Anthology Film Archives (2016) and Cinematek Brussels (2016). He was the recipient of the Prix de la Recherche Toulon (1974), the Ljubljana International Biennial Lifetime Achievement Award (2015) and his most recent film not far at all (2013) won the 2015 L’ ge d’Or Prize at Cinematek Brussels.
His writing include books; Andy Warhol: Films and Paintings (Studio Vista, 1971), Structural Film Anthology (BFI, 1976), Understanding Beckett: Monologue and Gesture (Macmillan, 1986), Materialist Film (Routledge, 1988), Andy Warhol: Blow Job (Afterall, 2008) and Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966-2016 (The Visible Press, 2016). His writing has been published extensively in journals such as Studio International, Screen, October and Undercut, and the exhibition catalogues of Gerhard Richter, Cerith Wyn Evans and Thérèse Oulton.
Deniz Johns is a Turkish/British filmmaker and a curator of experimental film and video, who lives and works in London. Before receiving her MA from the Royal College of Art in 2012, she studied film, choreography and linguistics in Turkey, Poland, Japan and the UK. She is currently undertaking her Ph.D by practice, which revolves around modes of political aesthetics and filmic constructions in experimental film and video in Britain.
Her work is shown in national and international venues including: CineCycle, Toronto, Goethe Institute, Ankara, Whitechapel Gallery, Serpentine Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Southbank Centre, Close-up Film Centre and the Roundhouse, London. She is a founding member of collective-iz, an artist collective, based in London, working within the context of experimental film, video and performance. cargocollective.com/denizjohns
Conor Kelly’s visual work deals with and challenges traditional hierarchies and modalities of the sound-image relationship within the moving image. Added to this are elements involving space, site specificity performance and a practice exploring technologies, forms and processes. uca.ac.uk/staff-profiles/conorkelly/
Vicky Smith works with direct-on-film experimental animation to explore the vulnerable and vital body. Her work has screened in international galleries and retrospectives including during 2018, ‘Voyages Elsewhere’, Edge of Frame Animation, London; ‘Matters of Being’, Independent Film Show, Naples; ‘Holy Fluids’, Union Docs Center for Documentary Art, New York and ‘Physical Connection’ Edinburgh Film Festival. Recent publications include: Exploring the work of Sandra Lahire: Animation studies online (https://blog.animationstudies.org/?p=2174); BEEF: One Year of Material Practice at The Brunswick Club (http://www.beefbristol.org/writings/) and Experimental & Expanded Animation: Current Perspectives and Practices, co-edited with Nicky Hamlyn. She lectures at the University for the Creative Arts and at The University of the West of England.