Artist: Neil Henderson
A polaroid of a candle is observed developing from the moment of capture to its final state. The film presents this event in reverse. As the image “un-develops” it dissolves/fades into a frame of white light, illuminating the space and audience in the process. The photographic process takes exactly as long as one 100ft roll of 16mm, creating an equivalence between a still and a moving medium. At 18fps the projector animates the candle’s flame into a flicker.
Neil Henderson (Worcester, UK 1973). Studies at Kent Institute of Art and Design and Slade School of Fine Art. Screenings at Whitechapel Gallery and Tate Britain (London), Microscope Galley (New York), Kettle’s Yard (Cambridge). Editor of RGB Publishing with Simon Payne. Shortlisted for the Jerwood Drawing Prize (2009). Third appearance at Media City. Lives in Kent, England.
Portrait of Ga
Artist: Margaret Tait
Duration: 4.5 min
My mother seemed a good subject for a portrait, and I thought it offered a chance to do a sort of “abstract film,” in the sense that it didn’t have what you might call “the grammar of film.” It’s mostly discontinuous shots linked just by subject, in one case by colour, only rarely by movement.
Flame / Is a thing I / Always wonder about. / It seems to be made of colour only. / I don’t know what else it’s made of.
Margaret Tait (Kirkwall, Scotland 1918 – Orkney Islands, Scotland 1999). Studies medicine at the University of Edinburgh, and film at Centro Sperimentale di Photographia. 30+ films since 1952; screenings at National Film Theatre (London), Centre for Contemporary Art (Warsaw), EXPRMNTL (Knokke le Zoute), etc. Established Ancona Films (1956), and published three books of poetry:origins and elements, The Hen and the Bees, and Subjects and Sequences. Tait was accorded a retrospective at the 1970 Edinburgh Film Festival.
Artist: Luke Fowler
Format: 16mm > 35mm
Duration: 10 min
“Kunst ist Magie, befreit von der Lüge, Wahrheit zu sein.” – Adorno
Luke Fowler (Glasgow, Scotland 1978). Studies at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. 20+ films since 2001; exhibitions and screenings at White Chapel Gallery, ICA, Tate Modern (London), White Columns and MoMA (New York), Muzeum Sztuki (Łódź), Witte de With (Rotterdam), Courtisane Festival (Ghent), Austrian Film Museum (Vienna), etc. Derek Jarman award winner (2008), shortlisted for the Turner Prize (2012). Second appearance at Media City. Lives in Glasgow, Scotland.
Artist: Malena Szlam
Country: Chile / Canada
Format: 16mm > 35mm
Duration: 15.5 min
Filmed in the Andean Mountains, in the traditional lands of the Atacameño, Aymara, and Calchaquí-Diaguita in Northern Chile and Northwest Argentina, ALTIPLANO takes place within a geological universe of ancestral salt flats, volcanic deserts, and coloured lakes. Fusing earth with sky, day with night, heartbeat with mountain, and mineral with iridescent cloud, ALTIPLANO reveals a vibrating Ektachrome landscape in which a bright blue sun threatens to eclipse a blood-red moon.
Malena Szlam (Santiago, Chile 1979). Studies at Universidad de Artes y Ciencias Sociales and Concordia University. 20+ films and media installations since 2000; screenings at IFF Rotterdam, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, [S8] Mostra de Cinema Pereférico (A Coruña), Viennale, TIFF, etc. Member of Double Negative Collective (Montréal). Underground Mines and Mobile Frames Residency artists (2015). Second appearance at Media City. Lives in Montréal, Québec.
Voiliers et Coquelicots
Artist: Rose Lowder
Duration: 2.5 min
In my films, you’re not exactly sure where anything is. The film escapes simplistic definition, which is part of the project. It is also a part of my philosophy. My films don’t progress along a track and arrive somewhere, because I don’t think life works like that.
Little is necessary for everything to appear differently. The date, the hour, the weather, the space’s layout, one’s glance or presence of mind can make everything change. The boats sail out of the Vieux Port in Marseille to be amongst the poppy fields.
Rose Lowder (Lima, Peru 1941). Studies at Lima School of Fine Arts and Chelsea School of Art. 50+ films since 1978; solo screenings at Tate Modern (London), REDCAT (Los Angeles), Cinema Project (Portland), etc. Co-founder of the Archives du film expérimental d’Avignon (1981). Worked with Groucho Marx in London, England. Seventh appearance at Media City. Lives in Avignon, France.
Artist: Rose Lowder
Duration: 10.5 min
World Premiere of Rose Lowder’s latest instalment of the Bouquet Series, filmed summer 2018 in the south of France.
“Colours, objects and their treatments go beyond the discourse of scientific research that the filmmaker usually tends to maintain. We cannot ignore the high sensuality of the scenes and their choices. Rose Lowder favours scenes of nature, even though some of the sites filmed are located in the city. Through their filmic transformation, they no longer appear to be urban manifestations but natural landscapes. In this way, Rose Lowder continues an impressionist tradition: working in nature rather than in the studio; like Cézanne, working on site is the sine qua non condition in order to reveal the ‘little sensation’ and represent it.” – Yann Beauvais
Rose Lowder (Lima, Peru 1941). Studies at Lima School of Fine Arts and Chelsea School of Art. 50+ films since 1978; solo screenings at Tate Modern (London), REDCAT (Los Angeles), Cinema Project (Portland), etc. Co-founder of the Archives du film expérimental d’Avignon (1981). Seventh appearance at Media City. Lives in Avignon, France.
Landscape (for Manon)
Artist: Peter Hutton
Duration: 12 min
“Hutton’s black-and-white haikus are an exquisite distillation of the cinematic eye. The limitations imposed – no colour, no sound, no movement (except from a vehicle not directly propelled by the filmmaker), no direct cuts since the images are born and die in black – ironically entail an ultimate freedom of the imagination … If pleasure can disturb, Hutton’s ploys emerge in full focus.” – Warren Sonbert
Peter Hutton (Detroit MI, 1944 – Hudson NY, 2016). Studies at San Francisco Art Institute. 20+ films since 1970; screenings at all major venues for artist’s film worldwide, including full retrospective at MoMA and four editions of Whitney Biennial (New York). Guggenheim Fellow (1989). Fifth appearance at Media City, including retrospective and Grand Prize for World Premiere of At Sea (2006). Greatly missed.
Trees Down Here
Artist: Ben Rivers
Format: 16mm > 35mm
Duration: 10 min
“These are amazing: each / Joining a neighbor, as though speech / Were a still performance. / Arranging by chance / To meet as far this morning / From the world as agreeing / With it, you and I / Are suddenly what the trees try / To tell us we are: / That their merely being there / Means something; that soon / We may touch, love, explain. / And glad not to have invented / Such comeliness, we are surrounded: / A silence already filled with noises, / A canvas on which emerges / A chorus of smiles, a winter morning. / Placed in a puzzling light, and moving, / Our days put on such reticence / These accents seem their own defense.” – John Ashbery
Ben Rivers (Somerset, England 1972). Studies at Falmouth School of Art. 30+ films since 2003; screenings and exhibitions at IFF Rotterdam, Renaissance Society (Chicago), Courtisane (Ghent), Image Forum (Tokyo), etc. 68th Venice Film Festival FIPRESCI Prize (2011), Robert Gardner Film Award (2012), IFFR Tiger Award for Short Film (2011 & 2014), EYE Art Film Prize (2016). Seventh appearance at Media City. Lives in London, England.
37/78 Tree Again
Artist: Kurt Kren
Duration: 3 min
“Film and video can be seen as part of an evolutionary/manufacturing process, whereby plant-based cellulose is transformed into the celluloid filmstrip; sedimented organisms (oil) are turned into plastics; aluminum is used in camera bodies; silica in lenses; silicon in microchips; and likewise the use of light-emitting diodes (OLED) in videographic technologies…Natural resources are divided into discrete parts, as is the ‘idea’ of nature, reanimated into a new conglomerate. Tree Again explores this as figure and ground, engaging the technology, and the question of compatibility and difference between the two-dimensional semblance of reality on screen and its referent. In Tree Again the image often nearly bursts into abstraction; the flurries of colour and flitters of light present a landscape always on the brink of vanishing.” – Gareth Polmeer
Kurt Kren (Vienna, Austria 1929 – 1998). Co-founder of Vienna Institute of Direct Art and Austrian Filmmakers Cooperative. Works at National Bank of Austria from 1947; dismissed following “Kunst und Revolution” action of 1968. 56+ films since 1956; screenings and exhibitions at Cannes, Museum of Modern Art (New York), Documenta 6 (Kassel), National Film Theatre (London), etc. Fourth presentation at Media City, including retrospective (2006).