The last CAST Film Club in the current series brings together a programme of eight short films. This wide-ranging programme exemplifies just some of the inventive ways in which contemporary artists are currently making moving image work – from documentary to animation and from historical reconstruction to science fiction.
CAST Café will serve food from 6.30pm, something hot and something sweet for £6.
Grid and Spike, 2013, 3 mins,
London-based artist Steven Claydon works across multiple media including sculpture, printmaking and video, often investigating fictional histories and methods of museological display.
Drum Circles, 2009, 3 mins
Appropriated archive footage of a solo drum performance by Sam Woodyard, a member of the Duke Ellington Orchestra who was known for his flamboyant, theatrical drum solos, has been formatted into a series of circles, each featuring a segment of Woodyard’s performance.
Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, Mingus, 2008, 3 mins
Named after the LP of the same name, this short video uses footage of jazz composer and musician Charles Mingus playing a bass solo. Dolphin uses digital technology to repeat the footage in a diagonal shape that cuts across the usual rectangular screen format.
Forever Always Somewhere, 2012, 6 mins
Digitally animated bones can be seen in a Suffolk sky. Within the film’s frame the bones of a single body move as if within zero gravity and infinite perspective. When they hit the screen’s edges they are bounced back into its space.
William E Jones
Killed, 2009, 3 mins
During the Great Depression, the Historical Section of the Farm Security Administration documented American society in photographs. The director of this program, Roy Emerson Stryker, edited rolls of photographs taken in the field after they were sent to Washington, DC for processing. Not a photographer himself, but a social scientist and educator, Stryker had the ultimate say over which of the negatives exposed by FSA photographers were worthy of printing and publication. Thousands of the pictures made under the program’s auspices from 1935 to 1943 were rejected, or in Stryker’s term, killed. Roy Stryker and his assistants routinely killed 35mm negatives by punching holes in them, thereby rendering them unusable for publication. Photographers working under Stryker strenuously objected to an editorial practice that they regarded as dictatorial and capricious, and Stryker finally stopped destroying his subordinates’ work in the spring of 1939. All killed negatives were preserved and filed away, but they remained unprinted and, until recently, unseen. When the Library of Congress began making high resolution digital scans of FSA negatives available on its website, it included many rejected images, among them, a small number of killed negatives mutilated by a hole punch. In Killed these suppressed images downloaded from the Library of Congress website have been reframed with the holes as the central feature, and edited in a quick montage showing glimpses of an unofficial view of Depression-era America.
Shoot don’t Shoot, 2012, 5 mins
William E Jones adapts a law enforcement instructional film that trains officers to decide whether or not to fire their guns. The suspect in the sequence fits the following description: “a black man wearing a pinkish shirt and yellow pants.” In the original film, this is the one sequence that is repeated with the same actor. The first time he appears, he is not armed; he has a gun the second time. Significantly, in neither case is it appropriate for the officer to fire his gun at the suspect. The voice-over, taken unaltered from the original, addresses the spectator directly and places him/her in the position of an armed police officer. The source film, also called Shoot Don’t Shoot, was made for police use and was not intended to be seen by the general public.
1800, 2006, 8 mins
Dalwood imagines recreating Jacques-Louis David’s painting ‘Napoleon crossing the Alps’, 1800, as a scene in a film – the landscape, lighting, weather, sound, actors, crew that would be assembled to create the image.
Manon de Boer
Dissonant, 2010, 11 mins
Manon de Boer films dancer Cynthia Loemij while she dances to Sonata 3 from Eugène Ysaÿe’s Six Sonatas for Solo Violin, a piece that holds vivid memories for her. The camera follows her every movement. The 3-minute duration of one 16-mm film roll interrupts the camera’s continued movement. While the dance continues, and the sound of it is audible, the screen is black during the one minute that is needed to change the film roll.
This film was made to be presented as an installation, shown on a loop, and has been shown internationally in this format. We are very grateful for permission to screen it in the context of the CAST Film Club programme.
Larissa Sansour (and Søren Lind co-director and writer)
In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain, 2015, 28 mins
Artist Larissa Sansour was born in Jerusalem and her practice is underscored by the urgency of Palestine’s political problems. She typically deploys dry wit and pop culture references in her work as a means of cutting through cultural divides and connecting the international community with the universal relevance of this situation. Allusions to comic strips, sit coms and Hollywood films feature heavily throughout Sansour’s previous works.
Sansour’s newest work in film addresses the politics of archaeology. This piece depicts a resistance group on the brink of the apocalypse, burying elaborate porcelain. Their aim is to influence history and support future claims to their vanishing lands. Once unearthed, this tableware will prove the existence of this entirely fictional civilisation.
In the Future They Ate From the Finest Porcelain was co-commissioned by FLAMIN Productions through Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network with funding from Arts Council England; New Art Exchange, Nottingham; Bluecoat, Liverpool; Wolverhampton Art Gallery, Wolverhampton; and The Mosaic Rooms, A.M.Qattan Foundation, London; with support from Doha Film Institute; The Danish Arts Council, Arts Council England, Iambic Film, Knud Højgaards Fond and Contemporary Art Platform – Kuwait. Produced by Spike Film and Video.
CAST’s public programme for 2015/16 is supported by Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts, using funds from the National Lottery.
CAST Film Club programme is curated by Kelly Taylor.