Two events that I attended in July 2018 have provided fruitful in terms of providing inspiration for film making.
Tacita Dean, Woman with a red hat, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (6thJuly 2018)
The first event was a kind of artists talk and Q&A between The Fruitmarket’s director Fiona Bradley and Tacita Dean. I was impressed by Tacita’s technical knowledge and ability to explain the differences between analogue and digital in a simple way. My notes that I wrote:
- In this new film she works with performance and some of the themes are actor, object and narrative or how to disrupt narrative.
- Notion of using actor as a medium
- She didn’t know so much about theatre and looked at how important the text was to an actor
- The artist is in control of the text
- The work is about enchantment and disenchantment and the film lasts for 50 mins
- There is an emotional trajectory to the piece
- The work doesn’t seek to disrupt the magic of theatre, but at the same time it is pulling the rug out from it
- When are you not self-conscious? When is an actor not self-conscious (when they are in stage)?
- Talked about an aperture gate marking system (film frame), reprinting aperture hole with 3d technology
- Talked about filming Humming birds – Film is the alchemy of the moment and can give something other mediums can’t
- It is an investment in the moment (film vs digital)
- Talked a bit about blackboard drawings
- Gathered that she uses a film crew
- There is a work in the show about the Foley artist (which is the reproduction of everyday sounds). How we would perceive these sounds differently if don’t have a film
- She realised that sound could be edited as brutally as editing a picture
- Talked about work in the show ‘The Russian Ending’ and how early cinema made two separate endings (a happy ending and a sombre sad ending)
- Talked about the mono prints of postcard collections
To come so far and die in somebody else’s war, presented as part of Anahita Razmi’s LUX residency, Goethe Institute Glasgow (19thJuly 2018)
As mentioned in this journal, I had attended a film screening of ‘DDR/DDR’ at the Goethe institute and enjoyed it greatly. So I was pleased when I learned of this event. Anahita Razmi is a Berlin based artist who works in film and her current project THE FUTURE STATE, is an ongoing series of speculations around the future state of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
She selected films from the LUX archive and presented these with a selection of her own works. The films were:
- Naeem Mohaiemen, Abu Ammar is Coming, 2016. HD video, 6 min.
- Miranda Pennell, You Made Me Love You, 2005. SD video, 4 min.
- Anahita Razmi, How your Veil can help you in the Case of an Earthquake (Lesson 1-8), 2004. Video, 4 min 55 sec.
- Uriel Orlow, Remnants of the Future, 2010-2012. HD video, 18 min 15 sec.
- Ben Rivers, The Coming Race, 2007. 16mm transferred to HD. 5 min.
- Anahita Razmi, White Wall Tehran, 2007. Video, 45 sec.
- Anahita Razmi, PARTIES, 2018. Video, 2 min 50 sec.
- Hildegarde Duane, Meltdown, 1982. HD Video, 1 min 15 sec.
All of the films were interesting and my particular favourite was Uriel Orlow’s ‘Remnants of the Future’. The film connected with me because it featured a deserted communist era housing blocks that was being taken apart for salvage. Researching the film revealed that it was in the north of Armenia, near the town of Gyumri. In 2013 I did a short residency in Armenia and while travelling around the country I did see buildings such as this. It is these particular types of Utopian constructions that I am interested in exploring during the residency in Latvia 2018.
The screening was then followed by a conversation between the artist and Dr Azadeh Emadi, Lecturer in Screen Production (Theatre, Film and Television Studies) at The University of Glasgow.