For Adventures in the Other Screen Trade at the Sluice Art Fair, Outcasting has been looking for artists whose work inhabits a different yet parallel world to the one described by William Goldman in his book ‘Adventures in the Screen Trade’. These artists manipulate the production values, techniques, content, sounds, cast-offs and memories of the film and television canon to make films that are rooted in the accepted language of mainstream film-making but are anything but mainstream.
Bobby Abate (USA) makes films and videos that fuse nostalgia, psychodrama, and spectacle with a distinctly modern resonance. His recent work, the occult themed Love Rose (2010) and Gossip (2011) premiered at the New York Film Festival and his 1960’s era supernatural drama The Evil Eyes (2011) won \aut\FILM Award for Best LGBT Film at the 50th Ann Arbor Film Festival. Other exhibitions and screenings include the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Moscow International Film Festival, Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, San Francisco Cinematheque, and the ICA in London and Palm Beach. Critics celebrated his underground feature Certain Women co-directed with Peggy Ahwesh; and MOMA called the film “as sustained and as successful as Todd Haynes’ acclaimed Far From Heaven” with an “almost opposite approach.” Film Comment Magazine named Bobby one of the top 25 emerging Filmmakers for the 21st Century. Among other accolades, he is also the recipient of the Princess Grace Award. He is currently working on his first mainstream feature Dressed in Black with Damsels in Distress co-producer Charlie Dibe.
The Evil Eyes (2011) An homage to the death of the soap opera.Set in the 1960’s, The Evil Eyes is the story of a grandmother faced with her mortality, a mother in mid-life crisis, and a son realizing his sexuality – a dysfunctional family whose unspoken angst manifests in the latest episode of their beloved supernatural soap opera, Before Dawn. Tina Sloan, veteran of Guiding Light, stars as Before Dawn’s the death-cursed matriarch whose daughter slowly vanishes into thin air as her grandson channels the family’s fate in his crystal ball.Inspired by the original Dark Shadows, cinematographer Bradford Young evokes a dreamlike atmosphere using monochromatic studio cameras of the era. Filming took place at St. Cecilia’s Convent in Brooklyn, New York. In contrast, the colourful 1960’s living room was shot separately in high definition on location in suburban New Jersey. The Evil Eyes premiered as part of the 49th annual New York Film Festival in 2011. Written and Directed by Bobby Abate / Produced by Bobby Abate and Ben Howe / Distributed by the Video Data Bank
Darren Banks (UK) incorporates found and made film footage into sculpture and installation to explore ideas about domesticity, defunct technologies, cinema and the unknown. The work questions the perception of sculpture in relation to objects, film and memory.Banks is interested in the possibility of film as sculpture. Within his practice sculpture is not just confined to three dimensions, but can exist on and within different platforms and plateaus. As a horror film fanatic he is intrigued by the aesthetic and structural devices used within the genre. Banks’ reworks the formal vocabularies of horror by isolating its tropes, use of montage and architecture.Banks’ uses film by embedding it into sculptural assemblages. He believes in the neutrality between different objects, media and materials. For example, he uses film/video/internet in the same way as a piece of string or an ironing board. Accepting that film/video exists on the same plane as direct experience gives it equal footing in the world. Being open to this neutrality between objects, materials and media enables the work to escape the confines of the physical; creating new spaces within the work, where gravity is optional and objects and characters can take on new meaning through the processes of deconstruction and reconfiguring.
Removable Media (2012) “Windows are a way of working on a computer that makes it possible for the machine to place you in several contexts at the same time. As a user, you are attentive to only one of the windows on the screen at any given moment, but in a certain sense, you are a presence in all of them at all times.” See the video here. Sherry Turkle – Multiple subjectivity and virtual community at the end of the Freudian Century, 1997
Tessa Garland (UK) “I originally trained as a sculptor but for many years my work has been preoccupied with the moving image. Cinematic language allows me to explore and create places by piecing and layering together footage of journeys through spaces. I tend of focus on a place, landmark or idea and work with it over a long period of time, allowing it to grow in significance. I often build scale models to help me to understand and focus on my subjects, this preparatory work is filmed and reworked digitally to create short inserts that are collaged and layered together. Sound is vital to the work and once meshed with the imagery form atmospheric, often dreamlike work that is reminiscent of a memory or a premonition.Science Fiction influences my practice, particularly films from the 1950’s and 60’s where the construction of the film making process is evident. I enjoy adapting low budget techniques drawn from this genre and use such devices in an exaggerated way to evoke a heightened sense of unease or suspense. My work has been shown in events, screenings and exhibitions at the ICA, London, UK and the Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK, Queens Museum of Art, New York, USA, the MACVAL Contemporary Art Museum, Paris, France and the Australian Center for Moving Image, Melbourne Australia. I am the co-curator and organiser for the international moving image event ‘Visions in the Nunnery’, The Nunnery Gallery, London and have been in receipt of numerous arts grants and awards both to develop my own practice and to curate and organise exhibitions and events across the UK. As a freelance artist I work as a specialist arts/media educator and trainer and have worked for The British Museum, The TATE Gallery, The Wellcome Trust, The BBC and The Bow Arts Trust.”
Not Far From Here (2013), combines live action and animation. The work is staged around a suburban house and a domestic shed set within a wooded area. The video is a non-linear work that evades narrative and works more as a montage with the central character appearing and disappearing through its various locations. During the sequence, the banality of the suburban setting is interrupted by a parallel world suggesting an alternative reality and one which is charged with psychic activity. Not Far From Here is an atmospheric piece that embraces techniques found in both filmmaking and theatre. The layered passage of imagery uses strong lighting, constructed sets, special effects and sound to build a dreamlike world that blurs the boundaries of fiction and reality.
Katie Goodwin (UK) ‘I have been described as a cinematic magpie. Most of my source material is gleaned from the cutting room floor of the film production process. I seek to reveal the stuff that the audience never sees, reprocessing and exposing moments that would otherwise be lost forever. Recycling waste and celebrating hidden labour are persistent intentions in my practice. Rescuing a moment or object and reanimating it is a form of bringing it alive – a kind of memento vivere. As my practice develops the found footage is more widely sourced from the scientist’s laboratory or amateur filmmaker’s attic or a chance junk market find from the anonymous auteur, but continues to explore the fetishisation and tangibility of a rare and unseen object. For example, in A Space Odyssey Omit (1968/2011). a single celluloid frame that did not make the final cut from Stanley Kubrick’s 1968 film 2001: A Space Odyssey is reanimated into an almost animated painting. The frame morphs into a silent bodily landscape, undulating slowly and seamlessly in a large, looped video projection. In Film Fan (1963-1983/2012), a collaboration with Alex March, we sourced Super 8 footage from markets and junk shops and made a film showing a microcosm of 1960s to 1980s British family life. As celluloid succumbs to the pixel, the endless bombardment of images upon the viewer seems ever more intense. Each blockbuster movie boasts to be bigger, faster and more explosive than the last. I attempt to use the tools and language of 21st century cinema to expose that which has not been seen before and try to seduce the viewer with an alternate view. Slowness and dust and marks are persistent motifs in my work. As the digital and dematerialised world progresses, I search through the analogue graveyard and collect snippets left behind worthy of a second look. Current projects include Small Wonders a film made from recordings in conversation with a microbiologist and his image archive including a 16mm film of a cutting edge experiment shot through a microscope in 1972. This project will be projected in stereo 3D and use surround sound. My work maybe moving away from its cinematic sources but I continue to use cinematic language to explore lost memories; ownership; the anonymous auteur; the creative drive; speed or lack of it; death and what we leave behind.”
Dawn of the Rainbow (1939 / 2011) This 3.5 minute animation is the culmination of a residency at the Tyneside Cinema in Newcastle Upon Tyne. It is made from the film leader from the 1939 film “The Wizard of Oz” (one of the first technicolour films). The film starts with the drab real world in black and white and suddenly converts to colour as Dorothy finds herself in the land of Oz. This film is an attempt to celebrate and look back at that moment in cinematic history. It is also apt today at another juncture in cinematic technology as celluloid becomes obsolete to the pixel. It is animated to a rejected movie soundtrack by Wayne Urquhart, one of the first I have worked on with sound. It was first screened at Tyneside Cinema in December 2011 and is now showing in international film festivals.
Kika Nicolela (Zurich / São Paulo) is a Brazilian artist, filmmaker and independent curator. Her works include single-channel videos, installations, performances, experimental documentaries and photography. Graduated in Film and Video by the University of Sao Paulo, Kika Nicolela also completed film courses at UCLA University and is currently doing a Master of Fine Arts at the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHDK). She has participated of over 100 solo and group exhibitions in Argentina, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, UK and US.
Actus (2009), proposes a reflection on representation and narrative. It presents a continuous shot that shows a couple trapped on its bizarre routine. Once the scene ends, the actors start repeating the same dialogues and action, while the camera – without cutting – shoots the scene from other angles, changing the audience perception. The scene happens 3 times in row, and in the third time the camera pans to reveal the crew and the filmmaking apparatus – shattering the illusion of representation. The video was the recipient of the Best Video Award at FIVA International Festival of Videoart (Argentina)and of the Piracicaba Art Salon Acquisition Award (Brazil). See the video here.
John Rowley (Wales) has worked as an artist and an actor for the past 20 years. He makes work across a wide range of media including theatre, performance, film, sculpture and illustration. Reared in Essex, he has now been resident in Wales since 1990, initially working for the renowned site-specific theatre company, BRITH GOF. In addition to his solo practice he also makes art and performance works with colleague, Richard Huw Morgan as part of good cop bad cop and is an associate performer with the Sheffield-based experimental performance group, Forced Entertainment. In the summer of 2012 he was cast in a National Theatre of Wales’ production of Coriolanus and is about to develop his second children’s book for a well known publisher.
The Dark Sounds For A City(2004) series of films form part of a larger body of live performance and lens-based works, inspired by 1970’s and 80‘s BBC Sound Effects LPs (on vinyl and in mono, for amateurs). Commissioned by BBC Wales as part of Mad, Bad & Dangerous, its ‘artists-make-films-for-tv-transmission’ scheme, the intention was to create a number of micro-length narrative ‘dramas’ to be screened in the gaps between the channel’s scheduled programming. The results appear as incidents that could be seen to have been lifted from part of a larger project, at a point immediately ‘post-impact’, where we can only guess at what has been and what will potentially follow. These films were some of the earliest shot on HD by BBC Wales (although never screened in HD) by Bafta Award Winning cinematographer, Rob Hardy.
Ruaidhri Ryan (London)is currently studying a postgraduate degree at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, he has exhibited nationally and internationally in film festivals, television and galleries. Predominantly working with film & video, but occasionally designing clothes and furniture, Ruaidhri observes ‘perpetual longing and disappointment’ through a deconstruction of cinema and images, of people and place.
Outcasting is a network of support for moving image artists. Online gallery / residencies / commissions / exhibitions / screenings. It is also a partner organisation for the Outcasting: Fourth Wall Film Festival a biennial which commissions new work and screenings throughout Wales.
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