Past Screenings

Interviews with Feminist Porn Filmmakers

Lora Hristova

Interviews with Feminist Porn Filmmakers

2015, colour, sound, 27′

19 July – 25 July 2016

Interviews

 

Interviews with Feminist Porn Film-makers is the final film in Carroll / Fletcher Onscreen’s Young Film-makers season – Holly Antrum, Margaret Haines, Lora Hristova, Cristina Picci, Lucy Parker and Jessica Sarah Rinland.  Filmed during the 2014 Berlin Porn Film Festival, Interviews with Feminist Porn Film-makers takes an impartial look at the motivations behind the work of ten porn film-makers  – Maria Bala, Pandora Blake, Lucie Blush, Alyx Fox, Audrey Fox, Shine Louise Houston, Jiz Lee, Petra Joy, Yvette Luhrs and Ms Naughty.

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Biography

Lora Hristova (b.1987 Sliven, Bulgaria) works across mediums including video, text and collage to explore ideas around identity and human sexuality. Feminist theory and psychoanalysis inform her research into universal experiences of shame and desire. Much of her past work has appropriated from mainstream pornography and considers the cultural, psychological and social impact of the sex industry. In July 2013 she led a reading group called ‘The Price of Sex’ at Carroll/Fletcher gallery which discussed sexual politics, prostitution and human trafficking. After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2009 she has exhibited across Europe and was invited to a solo show at The Zabludowicz Collection as part of their emerging artists ‘Invites’ programme. She was also part of ‘Feminist Practices in Dialogue’ exhibition at the ICA in London in 2016. Recently she has shown her work in the context of porn film festivals, with ‘Mouth Piece’ being nominated for the Short Film Competition at PornFilmFestival Berlin 2015 and ‘Feminist Porn Filmmakers’ winning Best Documentary Short at Cinekink 2016, New York. Her work is part of The University of the Arts Collection, The Zabludowicz Collection and private collections in London including those of Les Mes and Tracey Emin.

Artist website: http://lorahristova.com

Artist’s research archive: http://lorafound.com

Artist’s cv: http://lorahristova.com/exhibitions.html

 

Credits

Produced & Directed by: Lora Hristova
Filmed by: Lora Hristova & Kit Oates
Featuring footage from: Blue Artichoke Films, Blush Media, Bright Desire, Dreams of Spanking, DUSKTV!, Foxhouse Films, Pink & White Productions, Toytool Commitee
Music: “Unconquered Lands” written and performed by Natasha Gilbert, Produced by James Routh, “Cling to You” by Bear Beats & Stray Dog
Filmed on Location at: PornFilmFestival Berlin 2014, Kino Moviemento
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Why Do Porn Films Suck?, Petra van Brabant and Jesse Prinz

“When an item created using a traditional art medium incites strong emotions in us, that indicates, all else equal, that it is an artwork, and, indeed a good one. The capacity to arouse strong feelings is generally regarded as a mark of artistic achievement. Pornography is arguable more effective in inducting strong feelings than almost anything lining the walls of a typical museum. Pornography might even be said to elicit wonder, fear, and exhilaration. Its raw carnality takes us out of our comfort zones. It thrills, excites, and surprises. If these emotions are a strong indicator of the artistic, we should be disposed as well to see pornography as art. In fact, we should regard porn as good art, since it is extremely evocative.” (p.165)
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“The offensiveness of porn stems from the fact that most of it is still produced for male consumption, and, in a male dominant society, that often involves depicting women in demeaning and objectifying ways. In addition, the production of typical porn often involves the subjugation of women, and consumption of it may cause societal harm by promoting harassment, domination, and violence.” (p.176)
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“We have suggested that there is a double dissociation: an absence of artistic pretention in porn films, but also a neglect of pornography in art films. This is perhaps regrettable. The exploration of the artistic or aesthetic dimensions of a screening of sexual experiences can enrich or make our sexual gratification more complex. The result could be more layered sexual gratification.” (p.184)
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“Standard pornography is excruciatingly formulaic. It has no more invention than the scratching gesture we use to remedy a passing itch. A good porn director, like a good lover, breaks from routine sexuality… adding emotional complexity, imposing a distinctive style, and violating genre conventions.” (p.184)
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“Artistic porn is less morally problematic that conventional porn. First of all, it gives voice to sexualities that have been deemed deviant and silenced. Second, it would be less objectifying for performers… those involved can see themselves as part of the creative process rather than as a mere means to gratification. Third, to the extent that viewing conventional pornography promotes mistreatment of women, viewing art porn might help promote more progressive attitudes, by, for example, reversing traditional gender roles or otherwise complicated gender dichotomies that fuel patriarchy.” (p.188)
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“We think the intersection of art film and pornography is underexplored, and that art and porn could be mutually reinforcing. The creativity associated with art could make sexual content more exciting and affecting, and the transgressive carnality of pornography could amplify artistic intensity and impact.” (p.189)
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Carroll / Fletcher @ Close-Up Cinema – Sex: Work & Play

Screen Shot 2016-06-28 at 11.54.55 1 (1)

Image courtesy of Melanie Bonajo and AKINCI Amsterdam

Interviews with Feminist Porn Filmmakers was screened as part of Sex: Work & Play at Close-UP Cinema on 12 July.

Night Soil: Economy of Love, Melanie Bonajo, 2015, 33′

The second film in Boanjo’s Night Soil trilogy, Night Soil: Economy of Love portrays a Brooklyn-based movement of female sex workers who regard their work as a way for women to reclaim power in a male-dominated pleasure zone, their mission being to rearrange sexual conventions and ideas about intimacy itself. In the Night Soil trilogy, Bonajo documents phenomena that exist outside of, and act against global capitalism, and that suggest alternative, currently illegal, ethical models. The first film in the series, Night Soil: Fake Paradise, explores the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic plant ayahuasca. The third film, currently in production, Night Soil: Nocturnal Gardening questions the role of radical agriculture in a world of dwindling natural resources.

Horny Lil Feminist, Ann Hirsch, 2015, 10′

A series of five short films, “[to the Star Trek theme tune] Art, the final frontier, these are the voyages of the horny lil feminist, my continuing mission to explore internet feminisms, to break down existing stereotypes by suggesting new modes of representation, to boldly go where no horny little feminist has gone before…” Ann Hirsch.

Interviews with Feminist Porn Film-makers, Lore Hristova, 2015, 27′

Filmed during the 2014 Berlin Porn Film Festival, Interviews with Feminist Porn Film-makers takes an impartial look at the motivations behind the work of five porn film-makers  – Pandora Blake, Lucie Blush, Audrey Fox, Jiz Lee and Ms Naughty.

Followed by a discussion between:

– Lora Hristova (artist);

– Petra van Brabandt (philosopher);

– Stacey Clare (the Ethical Stripper)

Melanie Bonajo

http://www.melaniebonajo.com

“Melanie Bonajo is an artist working with performance, installations, music and photography. Her works address themes of eroding intimacy and isolation in an increasingly sterile, technological world. Her experimental documentaries often explore communities living or working on the margins of society, either through illegal means or cultural exclusion. Her work has been exhibited and screened internationally, from De Appel Arts Centre and Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam to the Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, the Moscow Biennial, the Berlinale, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and Treefort Film Festival.” Courtesy Wikipedia.

http://night-soil.tumblr.com

http://www.zazazozo.com

Ann Hirsch

http://therealannhirsch.com

“Ann Hirsch is a video and performance artist, who examines the influence of technology on popular culture and gender. Her immersive research has included becoming a YouTube camwhore with over two million video views and an appearance as a contestant on Frank the Entertainer…In a Basement Affair on Vh1. She was awarded a Rhizome commission for her two-person play Playground, which debuted in the US at New Museum and in the UK at South London Gallery. Recent solo shows include MIT List Visual Arts Center and the New Museum’s online project space First Look.” From http://therealannhirsch.com.

Stacey Clare

http://ethicalstripper.com/site/the-collective/stacey-clare

“Stacey has been stripping for almost a decade, and has mastered the art of pole dancing. Before stripping, Stacey was a political rebel fighting for social justice and experiencing every protest/direct action as a performance. Her anarchist roots have led her to apply her political views to her choice of work. She believes that stripping is legitimate work and deserves to be regulated and protected as such. She is tirelessly campaigning with the ELSC to challenge stigma and stereotypes about strippers, and to start empowering dancers by bringing them together to self-organise and create their own working conditions.” From http://ethicalstripper.com/site/the-collective/stacey-clare

TED Talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZQkIw1MH3E

Petra van Brabandt

Petra Van Brabandt currently teaches care ethics at Ghent University and semiotics, art theory and cultural criticism at St Lucas School of Art and Design, Antwerp. Her research interests are in social and moral philosophy, David Hume, feminist philosophy, art and society, and art and pornography. She writes on David Hume’s ‘A Dialogue’, care ethics, pornographic art, narrativity in art and female artists. Van Brabandt co-wrote with Jesse Prinz Why do porn films suck? in Art and Pornography, OUP, 2012.

 

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme

The Incidental Insurgents, Part 1: The Part About the Bandits, Chapter 2

2012, 6′, HDV, single channel video and two channel sound plus sub-woofer

13 June – 20 June 2016

 

This week, Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme premiere at Art Basel (Hall 2.1, Booth N2) the first works in a new body of research entitled And Yet My Mask is Powerful – a multi-media project that engages with the idea of ‘returns’ to sites of wreckage.  For a young generation of Palestinians, these are the very sites from which to conjure a yet-to-be realised chapter in history.  A fuller version of And Yet My Mask is Powerful will be presented in the artists’ first major solo show at Carroll / Fletcher in September 2016.  The film programme at Art Basel includes The Incidental Insurgents, Part 2: Unforgiving Years.  The Incidental Insurgents is made up of three parts: Part 1, The Part About Bandits (2012), Part 2, Unforgiving Years (2014) and Part 3, When the fall of the dictionary leaves all words lying in the street (2015).

The Incidental Insurgents

We are believing and dis-believing
We are in the midst of the not yet material
or perhaps the already determined
inhabiting a time of radical potentiality and its collapse
In search of a new language
in need of this
always on the verge
always becoming and yet…

The Incidental Insurgents is mapped out as a three part multi-layered narrative, with chapters completing and complicating each other, and unfolding the ‘story’ of a contemporary search for a new ‘political’ language and imaginary. Multiple texts and fragments, largely the writings of Victor Serge and Roberto Bolano, alongside manifestos, memoirs, testimonies, and text written by the artists, are sampled and re-pieced together to form an altogether new script. As the project unfolds and the search continues, new threads emerge that take us into expected and unexpected places, deadly serious and deadly playful all at once. Contributing to a growing density of material, where the figure of the incidental insurgent, part bandit, rebel, part vagabond, artist, returns and resurges in many forms and characters. Recast into a convoluted script of sampled text, images, objects and sounds.

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents (2012- ongoing), Chapter 2, Video Still 9

The Part about The Bandits, begins with four seemingly disparate coordinates, the early anarchist life of Victor Serge and his contemporary anarchist-bandits in 1910’s Paris; Abu Jildeh and Arameet and their bandit gang involved in a rebellion against the British in 1930’s Palestine, the artist as the quintessential bandit in Roberto Bolaño’s novel The Savage Detectives set in 70’s Mexico, and the artists themselves in present day Palestine. Weaving the first part of the story by looking at the resonance between the inspiring, bizarre and sometimes tragic stories of these diverse bandits, the outsider rebel par excellence, often rewritten as mere criminals (or naively romanticised as wayward figures) and excluded from the narrative of revolutionary struggle. Ironically these figures most clearly articulate the incompleteness and inadequacies in existing oppositional movements political language and imaginary. Often desperately searching for a language able to give form to their impulse for more radical forms of action.

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents (2012- ongoing), Chapter 2, Video Still 6

Unforgiving Years, the second part of the story, traces the metamorphosis of these incidental figures (Serge, Bolaño, the artist themselves) or the resonance of their final gestures years after they have been killed (Bonnot Gang, Abu Jilda), following the figures or their echo to strange places and obscure positions. Arriving at a vanguard political publishing house in 1970’s Jerusalem. Perhaps it is here that the trace of Abu Jildeh, dead then for 40 years, returns.

Where the first part of the story expresses the impulse for more radical forms of action, the characters urgent need to overcome their unbearable living conditions, the second part partially looks at what happens when these gestures are unfulfilled, for those who are not killed, somehow left behind. At the same time, it unfolds a recurrent impulse to refuse the seeming ‘permanence’ of a capitalist-colonial present, that though defeated at multiple moments continues to resurge and return. Unforgiving Years is about things lost and others glimpsed in the wreckage, about what can be conjured into being from the ashes.   A victory in defeat. A provocation to rethink the seemingly un-imaginable.

“Then they would reshuffle the pieces of this story and talk to me about those shadowy figures, those occasional brothers and sisters -in-arms, the ghosts populating their vast freedom, their vast desolation”.

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents (2012- ongoing), Chapter 2, Video Still 3

In the last part of the search When the fall of the dictionary leaves all words lying in the street (2015), obsession gives way to hallucination. Times, places and characters recede leaving only the impulse towards that unfulfilled desire for a radically different way of being.   We are somehow in the folds and density of moments, recaptured, retrieved and made anew, embodying all the characters and situations we have lived vicariously. That is to say embodying all times.

“This was a daydream, Vaneigem cheerfully admitted – but “daydreaming subverts the world”. When this free field was finally opened by the noise of the exploding syntax, when the fall of the dictionary left all words lying in the streets, when men and women rushed to pick them up and make pictures out of them, such day dreams would find themselves empowered turning into catalysts for new passions, new acts, new events: situations, made to be lived by their creators a whole new way of being in the world”

A multi-channel sound piece is the main pulse of the final chapter, with 4 screens playing intermittently and creating a choreography of movement and pauses, synchronisation and disjuncture. Elusive traces, objects and material from this hallucinatory search appear in the space between the screen, as though they are another code we are meant to decipher, a broken syntax to be reassembled, an unfinished map. The beginning of a daydream, one that could subvert the world as the Situationist would have said.

The Incidental Insurgents is meant as an investigation into the possibilities for the future rather then the past, where a convoluted story situated in multiple times starts to emerge. Initiating an obsessive search to figure out how we, like the incidental figures before us, find ourselves inhabiting a moment full of radical potential and disillusionment. Searching for what we cannot yet see but feel is possible.

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents (2012- ongoing), Chapter 2, Video Still 5

Part 1: The Part About the Bandits, Chapter 1

Chapter 1 Installation: documents, images, personal items, desks, chairs, table, stools, office cabinet, storage boxes, speakers, two record players, vinyls, sound of vinyl crackle, desktop computer with 35’51” video on loop.

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents, The Part About the Bandits, Istanbul, Installation View 1

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents, The Part About the Bandits, Istanbul, Installation View 3

Basel Abbas and Ruanne Abou-Rahme, The Incidental Insurgents, The Part About the Bandits, Istanbul, Installation View 4

Biography

Basel Abbas (b. 1983, Nicosia, Cyprus) and Ruanne Abou-Rahme (b. 1983, Boston, US) live and work between New York and Ramallah. They are the 2016 recipients of the Abraaj Art Prize. Solo exhibitions include ICA, Philadelphia, USA (2015); OCA, Oslo, Norway (2015); AKW, Cologne, Germany (2014); and New Art Exchange, Nottingham, UK (2011). Selected group exhibitions include the 12th Sharjah Biennial, Sharjah, UAE (Recipients of the Sharjah Biennial Prize, 2015); 10th Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, Korea (2014) and 31st Sao Paulo Biennial, Sao Paulo, Brazil (2014).

Their work has been collected by some of the world’s leading institutions and foundations including the Koç Foundation, the Sharjah Art Foundation and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary.

Extracts from A Working Glossary

Mythology (Counter)

We are, I am, you are

by cowardice or courage

the ones who find our way

back to this scene

carrying a knife, a camera

a book of myths

in which

our names do not appear.

– Adrienne Rich, Diving Into the Wreck

If we are always named by others, then the name signifies a certain dispossession from the start.  If we seek to name ourselves, it is still within a language we never made.  And if we ask to be called by another name, we are in some ways dependent on thos we petition to agree to our demand.  There seems to be an overdetermination of the social at the site of the name, so however particularistic we want the name to be, it exceeds us and confounds us.  Naming is not only a site of trauma, but also potentially a strategy of subversive mimesis.  At the site of the name, tragedy cannot be willed away, but it can certainly be embodied differently.

– Judith Butler and Athena Athanasiou, Dispossession: The Performative in the Political

Futurity

For months there was nothing to see but dried-up desert; who could guess that beneath the calcined ground, millions of invincible seeds were concealed, ready to germinate.

– Victor Serge, Unforgiving Years

This was a daydream, Vaneigem cheerfully admitted – but ‘daydreaming subverts the world’.  When this free field was finally opened by the noise of exploding syntax, when the fall of the dictionary left all words lying in the streets, when men and women rushed to pick them up and make pictures out of them, such day dreams would find themselves empowered turning into catalysts for new passions, new acts, new events: situations made to be lived by their creators a whole new way of being in the world.  And this would be a history not of great men or of the monuments they has left behind but a history of moments, the sort of moments everyone once passed through without consciousness and that, now, everyone would consciously create.

  • Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century 

From Oh Shining Star Testify, Basel Abbas & Ruanne Abou-Rahme, 2016 (the publication that accompanied The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2016).

A Few Notes

Intifada is usually translated as ‘uprising’; perhaps, more literally ‘shaking off’.

“Victor Lvovich Khibalchich (better known as Victor Serge) was born in Brussels, the son of Russian Narodnik exiles. Originally an anarchist, he joined the Russian Communist Party on arriving in Petrograd in February 1919 and worked for the newly founded Communist International as a journalist, editor and translator. As a Comintern representative in Germany he helped prepare the aborted insurrection in the autumn of 1923. In 1923 he also joined the Left Opposition. He was expelled from the party in 1928 and briefly imprisoned. At this time he turned to writing fiction, which was published mainly in France. In 1933 he was arrested and exiled. After an international campaign he was eventually deported from Russia in April 1936 on the eve of the Moscow Show Trials. Upon arrival in the West he renewed contact with Trotsky but political differences developed and a bitter controversy developed between the two remaining veterans of the pre-Stalinist Russian Communist Party. Escaping from Paris in 1940 just ahead of the invading Nazi troops he found refuge in Mexico. During his last years Serge lived in isolation and died penniless shortly after the 30th anniversary of the Bolshevik revolution in November 1947.” Source: Marxists’ Internet Archive.

Between 1912 and 1917, Serge was incarcerated in French penitentiaries:  “Everything in this book is fictional and everything is true. I have attempted, through literary creation, to bring out the general meaning and human content of a personal experience.” Victor Serge in the epigraph to Men in Prison.

photo(1)

From The Coming Insurrection, The Invisible Committee (a text included in Incidental Insurgents, Pt. 2: Unforgiving Years, Chapter 4).

 

 

Lucy Parker

Lucy Parker

Writers’ Group

2013, 31′ 32″, HD

1 June – 12 June

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 16.24.53

 

The Writers’ Group Credits

Gabi Norland

Chin Okoronkwo

Anton Kats

Joseph Browder

Vivianne Brown

Billy Clarke

Brian Ferguson

Luke Garbutt

Grethe Mangala Jensen

Dympna Messenger

Roland Watson

Newham Writers

Peter Bedford Housing Association

Richard Hall

 

Night and Day – The Arena Time Machine

Saturday 28 May, 12pm – Sunday 29 May, 12pm

 

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the BBC’s arts documentary strand Arena, the programme’s Series Editor Anthony Wall and Film Editor Emma Matthews have created Night and Day – The Arena Time Machine, a 24-hour audio-visual experience evoking a day in the life of the planet in early summer. Drawn exclusively from Arena’s archive of over 600 films, Night and Day is edited to link the time in the film to the time in the location of the screening – if it’s dawn on the screen, it’s dawn outside the gallery.

“To begin at the beginning…” recites Dylan Thomas, as the darkest hour gives way to dawn over Laugharne, the Welsh fishing village of Under Milk Wood. The sun rises on Mandela’s Robben Island, Van Morrison’s Ulster, Eric Sykes’s London, Sonny Rollins’s New York, Bluefields Nicaragua, the Mali desert and the Iron Curtain; scenes all drawn from Arena films.

The day progresses through work and school, to Lady Naipaul preparing lunch, in parallel with the Rasta community of Bull Bay, Jamaica; and Anita Ekberg who muses over the most beautiful women in cinema, as she seasons the chicken. In Mexico City, Buñuel gives his recipe for the perfect dry Martini; in Montserrat, George Martin gives his. Burroughs and Warhol enjoy Lapin au Moutarde in the Chelsea Hotel; Galton and Simpson take us to their favourite restaurant in Twickenham; Elvis’s relatives catch squirrels in Mississippi; and rock star Cui Jian, whose songs were the anthems of the students in Tiananmen Square, sits at the table with his family in Beijing.

And so the day goes on through the afternoon, to the strange and beautiful hour of the gloaming; to dinner and the attractions of the night through the dreams of George Wendt’s latter day Oblomov, Edna Everage, Ionesco, Roy Plomley, Jean Genet and David Bowie; before returning to the darkest hour just before dawn and Dylan Thomas. The film will be available to stream on laptops, mobiles and tablets via Carroll / Fletcher Onscreen. It will also be simultaneously screened at Carroll / Fletcher’s Eastcastle Street gallery, where visitors are welcome to stay for the whole duration, to drop in, or to keep popping back at different times of the day or night.

 

24 hour Grid

 

 

Arena

Since it was first broadcast in October 1975, BBC TV’s Arena has produced over 600 films, won 9 BAFTA Awards and 25 BAFTA nominations, 6 Royal Television Society Awards, 6 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, the Prix Italia, a Grammy, Primetime and International Emmys, a Peabody Award and the special medallion at Telluride in 2000. Arena is the world’s longest-running arts documentary strand. The programme is distinguished by an unbroken editorial and aesthetic sensibility, from Leslie Megahey (1977- 79) to Alan Yentob (1979-1985), Nigel Finch and Anthony Wall (1985 until Finch’s death in 1995) and Wall’s sole editorship to the present day. From the first edition in 1975, which featured Laurence Olivier discussing the remarkable life of Lilian Baylis (the founder of the National Theatre) and David Hockney painting sets for the Stravinsky opera The Rake’s Progress at Glyndebourne, Arena has never failed to attract the great names of art, cinema, music, literature and academia. Versions of Night and Day – The Arena Time Machine have been screened at: Telluride Film Festival, USA, 2015; Cambridge Film Festival, UK, 2015; Cambridge Festival of Ideas, UK, 2015; Brighton Film Festival, UK, 2015; Dingle Film Festival, Ireland, 2016; New York University, USA, 2016.

 

Film Credits: Directors ANTHONY WALL, EMMA MATTHEWS; Film Editor EMMA MATTHEWS; Production Manager CAROLINE SUTTON; Online Producer ALEX JONES; Technical Consultant ANDY ARMSTRONG; Research and Additional Editing ISOBEL GOODRICH; Archive Producer ANDREW WRIGHT; Screening coordinator ROSY RICKETT; Arena Series Editor ANTHONY WALL

 

 

let this be us


Richard T Walker

let this be us

2012, 7’44”, single channel video installation

3 May –  11 May 2016

Richard T. Walker, let this be us, 2012, 13. guitar valley valley

“During the making of let this be us I was thinking a lot about the Kelsey essay Landscape as Not Belonging in the book Landscape Theory [ed. Rachel DeLue and James Elkins, 2007]. Kelsey proposes the idea that over time we have fantasised ourselves into a situation whereby we feel alien to the landscape so that we can then desire to ‘belong’ to the landscape. Of course, we are nature, we are not separate from it; we have just conditioned ourselves to think and act this way. I like thinking about a situation where someone, somewhere, against all odds actually becomes ‘one’ with nature. However, because this would mean breaking down so many of the perceptual boundaries that we have culturally constructed, their existence and sense of self becomes very different.”  Richard T. Walker.

Shot in the Anza Borrego desert in Southern California, let this be us is an elegantly composed narrative in which the artist is seen traversing the desert while carrying what appears to be a photograph of the same landscape mounted on a poster board. After apparently aimless wandering, the board is erected on its camera tripod legs and the scene in the poster board photograph and the actual landscape fall into line. Then Walker begins a wordless song that, as the video progresses, gains layers of instruments and voices, both generated within the work and as an added sound track.

The final scene begins with the artist partially obscured behind the poster board sign so that just legs and the back of the head are visible. As the music draws to a close, he walks away towards the horizon, swiftly vanishing entirely behind the sign and into the work/world.

7

Biography

Walker’s films show the artist alone, his back to the viewer, in the centre of a dramatic landscape contemplating the infinite, awe-inspiring mysteries of an impersonal natural world- a position reminiscent of a classic romantic figure. As the film’s narrative unfolds, accompanied by Walker’s musical compositions, viewers find themselves becoming beguiled by the gentle wit and drawn into the artist’s intimate relationships, as he apparently picks over the intricacies of his personal life in the face of an emotionally detached nature.

Describing his work, Walker states, “I think, or I hope, that the viewer becomes simultaneously pushed away and pulled towards the landscape. There is a sort of redemption in the music – the idea of the Sublime is re-appropriated, re-positioned and I think the initial relationship to the Sublime becomes questioned.”

“Although Walker’s work obviously participates in the tradition of ‘land art’, he has staked out a position very much his own. It goes without saying that his practice is at odds with the monumental inscriptive gestures of the first generation of earthmoving American land artists, and even those approaches with which he has common ground – the ambulatory poetics of Hamish Fulton or Richard Long, for instance – still have at their core a subtle yet unmistakeable impulse towards colonisation, even if only linguistic, and a kind of self-seriousness that is in Walker’s work always tempered by a tacit acknowledgement of the absurd mismatch between the individual and the world that is the flip side of any attempt, however serious or lyrical, to draft nature into an artistic programme. Indeed, this disparity lies at the heart of the gently humorous caricature Walker enacts… [more here]” Jeffery Kastner, 2013.

Recent solo shows, group exhibitions and performances include everything failing to become something, Carroll / Fletcher, London; In accordance with things, àngels, Barcelona; the fallibility of intent, Di Rosa, Napa, USA (all 2015); the predicament of always (as it is), The Contemporary Austin, Austin, USA (2014); the predicament of always (as we are), ASU Art Museum, Tempe, USA (2014); the security of impossibility, The Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, USA (performance) (2013); in defiance of being here, Carroll / Fletcher, London, UK (2013); let this be us, Des Moines Art Center, Iowa, USA (2013); and Stage Presence, SFMOMA, San Francisco, USA (performance).

www.richardtwalker.net

Richard Walker at Carroll/Fletcher here.

Filmography

an is that isn’t always, 2015
.
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2011, 9′ 58″, three channel video installation

“… embracing each thing with the type of meaning only words can provide; beautiful and concise, they hide their limitations with perfection. It all begins to seem very predictable as everything manifests all too comfortably inside the guise of recognition. You think how there was no hesitance and how the speed an eagerness of meaning appeared almost desperate. As you try to assemble what is now before you, you mourn a little for what you have lost, for you could never again acquire the not knowing that so beautifully placed you in the centre of it all.” From the speed and eagerness of meaning.

5

“He can’t describe anything he sees because nothing fits into words anymore. He occasionally experiences feelings that are associative to the things in front of him but they exist between and beyond emotions, so translation is impossible. He wants to see things as they were. With the ability to ascribe meaning and names to objects again, finding purpose and justification even if it isn’t true. He wants everything to be just what it was.” From the speed and eagerness of meaning.

 

outside of all things 

2013, 7′ 51″, two channel video installation

double

In contrast to the configuration of the screens in the speed and eagerness of meaning, in outside of all things the two screens are installed on opposite walls. Although outside of all things and let this be us are stand-alone works that can be exhibited separately, the two works are conceived as companion pieces – the soundtracks of the two works have been designed such that when the works are installed in adjacent rooms the sound bleed between the two rooms harmonises to create a single soundtrack, and the conceptual content and emotional register of the works resonate to create an immersive ambulatory experience in which the audience moves between the two rooms.

 

proximity of longing, 2013

27 archival pigment prints, 30.7 x 46cm
RTW proximity of longing 3, 2012-md

I have become far too familiar with these places

I have forgotten the beauty of a vista or what is actually meant by a view.

Distance is now just a matter of fact.

A selection of small shapes extracted from a greater series of shapes;

Artefacts that interrupt an otherwise perfect line of sight.

Being here feels like an assertion of every moment.

And I have wanted nothing more than for these few moments to become less and less identifiable;

Acknowledgements of existence that I can project onto, but nothing else.

We have to create a new situation.

One where we can once again convince ourselves that I am alien to all of this.

We need to return to the understanding that I am a completely separate entity.

Then we can long for a time when we can be together again.

For it is within the proximity of longing that I remember the experience of our unity being the most palpable.

We must establish this as a space that exists outside of all the things within it.

Including, most importantly

myself.                       yourself.                      ourself.

Richard T. Walker, proximity of longing,2013, 9

CATALOGUE

Holly Antrum

CATALOGUE

2013, 19’17”

26 April – 2 May 2016

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Synopsis (courtesy the artist)

Catalogue is made with Jennifer Pike, artist, collaborator and 93 year-old wife of the late Bob Cobbing. The film offers observance to chance and language in the exchange between artist subject and artist filmmaker. Through the prism of simple gestures of experimentation in the everyday life of a now elderly artist the film engages with existing ideas of creative interruption and distraction around Pike and Cobbing’s work. Focusing on Pike as a catalyst of language and memory in the present, her history is touched upon by situating her within the material of the 16mm to digital film and her computer drawings Computer Dances (1995) as much as her material environment, papers and objects. Pike reveals her performance presence and interplay with the camera as she gives a reading of Cobbing’s ABC in Sound (1965) in a gallery space filled with her paintings, arranged for the film away from the setting of the home and studio. Filmed in Canonbury, North London and Camden Arts Centre, London.

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Outside Noise

“To begin with I thought it may as well consist of a turning shot panning the room, with just Jennifer’s shoulder escaping the edge as she tried to come around the back of the camera. She was always active in the small space we had, and liked to look over my shoulder as much as perform. Perhaps I should sit in front and oblige…

“The opportunity to film and make Catalogue was appropriate to my life at the time, but it required me to become quite lost in it all, unable to see the bottom. I was looking for a recording that has a natural gesture, in the way that the more times you do something the more it becomes your own.Recording sound with and without the camera also adds to this.

“Just having the equipment there is a different sort of engagement. I was building a routine with Jennifer that was about maintaining an ease that allowed her space to reveal her ongoing creativity at 93, whether that was to do with recurring thoughts about existing work which I would try to catch within long sound recordings of the room, or through watching threads of her gaze and subsequent comments: observations connecting everyday things around her with passing ideas. Over time I was in place to interpret the degree and sense in which her practice was still active. How it could be revealed had to except elderliness and poor memory but allow for ephemera and voices, curiousity and repetition. Through being with Jennifer’s observations and habits I felt a readiness for the camera to run, which in turn enabled the film to engage with one another’s presence, and thus the presence of both the equipment embedded into that relationship as much as the visibility of her history around us.

“However there’s a joke to me as analogue cameras are noisy and archaic, even eccentric, another character to mind. I’m operating the thing myself hoping you’ll excuse that I did not go to film school or invest in professionals, and I’ve skipped the nag that film is dying out in search of a workable hybrid. So the ‘performance’ of filming also gets tangled into the performance of the subject in my work. I have been using the analogue process to slow everything down at the front of the activity, to seize the gaps in coverage and feel its risks or relinquish some control. Working with Jennifer was working without a script so the narrative partly comes from the manual object standing between us and I choose a subject according to these possible crosshairs between subject and medium. Later on I worked digitally, reassessing the footage as a transmitted copy of the original, something that has almost already been ‘archived’ by being scanned, available to a new set of decisions and textures.

“Sound increasingly draws my attention and I found the opportunity to build a layered sense of space via background noise exterior and interior to the image, plentiful in a project of this length and subject matter. Such accidental punctuations – being akin to the spirit of the live performances of Bob and Jennifer – and the sense that the ‘stuff’ they were making their work from is s”till in the air or drifting over into now: perhaps they reappear tangentially like a ghost – or fade as references, to the fresh impulses of new hands… The blend of a recording based on prior observations or permeated by surprise was always to be allowed for. Then, in the captured distance re-emerging during editing, the ephemeral landscape around the human is most fascinating.”

Extract by Holly Antrum, Outside Noise, 2014

Outside Noise first published by Grand Union, Birmingham, 2014 in conjunction with ‘Holly Antrum, A Diffuse Citizen’ with writing by Holly Antrum, Jonathan P. Watts and George Vasey

Second edition printed on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Holly Antrum, Catalogue’ (2 April – 12 May 2016, Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop). Edited by Holly Antrum and Jonathan P. Watts. Published by Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop 2016. To order a copy please contact peter@edinburghsculpture.org.

Catalogue (2012-14) has been screened in the UK and internationally, including a current solo presentation at Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop. Flatness: Index, Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn, Women’s Filmmaking in Contemporary Britain, BIMI – Birkbeck, London, The London Open, The Whitechapel Gallery, London, 2015; Make Perhaps This Out Sense of Can You (Symposium, Bob Jubile), Chelsea College of Art, London, 2015 – all comprise screening appearances of the work; as well as within a larger installation for her solo exhibition, A Diffuse Citizen at Grand Union, Birmingham, in 2014. The film project won Elephant Trust funding in 2013.

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Biography

Holly Antrum has been included in group screenings and exhibitions, recently Field Work: Of film, sound and voice, ICA (2016), London curated by Lucy Reynolds, Flatness (Online flatness.eu/summer-2013), 2013, In the House of Mr and Mrs X, Temporary Gallery, Cologne, 2013; Festival Robert Walser, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 2013 and The Stone of Folly, Downstairs Gallery, Herefordshire, 2012. She was selected to exhibit in Bloomberg’s New Contemporaries in 2006 and in 2010. Holly was the first artist in residence at Grand Union (2014) and is a current recipient of the five-year artist in residence awards at the ACME Fire Station, east London (2015). She studied MA Printmaking at Royal College of Art, London (2009-2011) and BA Fine Art Painting at Wimbledon School of Art (2002-2005).

Artist’s website here.

A previous screening on Carroll / Fletcher Onscreen can be found here.

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Filmography

Common Ground 10.30, mins (2016)

Catalogue, 19 mins, (2013)

To the microphone please (with Mrs Soprano), 8.10 mins, (2013)

 The Cure of Folly, 49.15 mins (2012)

Time:Distance, 11.30 mins (2011-12)

Rappel, 4.20 mins (2012)

Asides, 6.20 mins, (2011)

Movement in a Minor Familiar (Schubert Tape 5.30 mins (2010) 

Once I knew a Room, Once I knew a Forest, 6.42 mins (2006)

COCO

Margaret Haines

COCO

2014, HD Video, 43’

22 March – 4 April 2016

 

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Film Notes – courtesy of the Artist

COCO drifts betwixt and between states of consciousness and madness – and genre, exploring Film Noir confession, sci-fi, skate video and #pale-core. Its ambivalence to definition is predicated by using the possibility of delusion and irrationality as its methodological model.

The character Coco, half deluded actress/pop star, half recovering patient, relates her life in the span of what could be one day, while her memory extends the film’s time to include childhood, fantasy, trauma and future aspirations. Coco leaves home after her mother decamps with a group of skaters at the mall. Now a runaway in a So-Cal suburb, she encounters three traumatic episodes, which she later retells in a purgatory-like high-school ‘show and tell’, where she vies for survival and absolution.

The film revolves around her mother, friends, strangers, her ghost-like classmates and her own delusions of achieving fame as a pop star.

Coco’s sincere and quasi-primordial obsession with girlhood and pop stardom reach dramatic conclusions: where embarrassment, shame and awkwardness are eventually considered as equally possible strategies for development, inquiry and eventual critique – and, as additions or counterpoints to the available models of hard insincerity, imitation, and eventual appeasement. Where, the sincerity of embarrassment is considered as closer to the truth, closer to reality. In this way, Coco is also a confused, hysterical and visionary character, because, really, what’s reality?

Played by five actresses ranging in age from 3 years old to 40 years old, youth and aging within the film is considered as a coincidence to existence and the progression of time, and in this way inconsequential and non-deterministic. The potential of this (freedom?) is underscored by the production span of the film (four years) and how the lead actresses age and de-age from one scene to the next, from 3 to 7, from 12 to 16, from 26 to 30, from 40 to 44.

The cast is primarily made up of friends, street casting, one method actress and selecting existing relationships into parafictional situations. COCO is presented in conjunction with a book, Love With Stranger x Coco, with a long essay about the artist, poet and mystic Cameron, and with an accessory line, X FILLES.

http://www.thatgirlcoco.com/

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Saturn

“They say that when Saturn comes far into your sign it stays there like a large paperweight on a thin, thin, thin leaf… I was born with Saturn in my sign and know the perils so well…” Coco.   In astrology “Saturn is associated with restriction and limitation. Where Jupiter expands, Saturn constricts. Although the themes of Saturn seem depressing, Saturn brings structure and meaning to our world. Saturn knows the limits of time and matter. Saturn reminds us of our boundaries, our responsibilities, and our commitments. It brings definition to our lives. Saturn makes us aware of the need for self-control and of boundaries and our limits.” Source: CafeAstrology.com.

Bio

Margaret Haines is a Los Angeles-based film-maker, installation artist and performer. Born in Montreal, Margaret is currently in her second year of a two-year residency at the Rijksakademie in Amsterdam. She holds a BFA in Photography from Concordia University (2007) and an MFA in Photography and Media from the California Institute of the Arts (2011). Margaret has exhibited work in Los Angeles, Berlin, Tokyo, and at the McCord Museum and MOCCA in Canada.

http://www.margarethaines.com/

Filmography

2016 The Stars Down To Earth, 23 minutes

2014 COCO, 43 minutes

2010 My Friend Once Told Me The Best Way To Say Fuck You In Los Angeles Is Trust Me, 3 minutes

2008 If you cannot give me love and peace, then give me bitter fame, 45 minutes, with Rachal Bradley

Selected Recent Exhibitions, Performances and Screenings

2016   

The Stars Down To Earth, Screening, Circuits and Currents – Athens School of Fine Arts, Athens

2015   

Rijksakademie OPEN, Rijksakademie, Amsterdam

The One Minutes: Tell Me Your Dream, Make It Succinct and Make It Spectacular, Group Screening, the oneminutes.org, Oberhausen, DE

Cinemania: The Years Without Light, Screening, ICA, London

COCO, Online Presentation and Screening, Images Festival, Toronto

2014

COCO, Screening, Anthology Film Archives with Sex Magazine, New York

COCO, Pre-Screening and Conversation with Michael Ned Holte,

ltd los angeles, Los Angeles

COCO, Pre-Screening, Human Resources, Los Angeles

Spring Summer X fiLLes x COCO, solo presentation, ltd los angeles,

Los Angeles

Margaret Haines and Scott Hobbs discuss Marjorie Cameron, curated by Patrick Jackson, USC Roski School of Art, Los Angeles

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Wild Horses

“To see a horse in your dream symbolizes strength, power, endurance, virility and sexual prowess. It also represents a strong, physical energy. You need to tame the wild forces within… To see a herd of wild horses in your dream signifies a sense of freedom and lack of responsibilities and duties. Perhaps it may also indicate your uncontrolled emotions. If you are riding a wild horse, then it represents unrestrained sexual desires.” Source: DreamMoods.com.

Credits

Writer, director, editor: Margaret V. Haines

Cinematographer: Monika Lenzcewska

Sound Score: Patrick Dyer

Sound Mix: Benoit Dame

Animation: Janelle Miau

Video Effects: Rollin Hunt

Production Consultant: Yelena Zhelezov

Script Editor: Aimee Goguen

Video Effects: Rollin Hunt and Rebecca St – John

Cast: Coco – Maria Olsen, Coco Urban, Jewel Steele, Robin Newman, Cara Elizabeth; Lula – Lula Steele; Coco’s Mom – Hope Urban; Gym Teacher – Phoebe Lewin; Shannon – Mackenzie Lord; Amantha – Cole Moss; Bexxa – Yasmin Walker

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Love With Stranger x Coco

Love With Stranger x Coco explores different tropes of female identity – mixing personas, identities, some parafictional, some actual. The book presents a visual mash up of Coco’s inner compulsions and obsessions through film stills, collages of props, and photographs of the actresses who interpret on her scripts. Throughout making the film, varying degrees of closeness were held with the actresses. These relationships are presented in the book and insert the role of director as a quasi-actress, collaborator and character.

The identity of raconteur/protagonist develops further with a diary-style essay about Cameron titled “Love with Stranger.” This essay presents an alternative to the hysteric girl-culture of Coco by introducing Cameron — a figure fully cognizant and in control of her own female identity, and whose own practice explored techniques of imitation and subversion. Following a trail of archival research on the life of Cameron, the study eventually leads to a meeting with Beat poet Aya Tarlow, once Cameron’s confidante. This encounter presents the re-discovery of a text Aya gave Cameron in the 1950s, and which Cameron later read on the radio in the 1970s, in an attempt to “free women.”

Love With Stranger x Coco is a 144 page soft-cover perfect-bound book published by New Byzantium in 2012 in an edition of 500. Order a copy here.

A pdf of the text can be found here.

Babalon

Babalon (also known as the Scarlet Woman, Great Mother or Mother of Abominations) is a goddess found in the mystical system of Thelema, which was established in 1904 with English author and occultist Aleister Crowley’s writing of The Book of the Law. In her most abstract form, Babalon represents the female sexual impulse and the liberated woman.

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