The fourth curated programme in the 2006/07 season of PureScreen artists’ film and video events is PureScreen #17: The Sun Always Shines on the Righteous.
PureScreen#17 draws together a selection of new international work, from the open submission call, to examine the various ways that artists engage with ideas and techniques of documentary, alongside the relationships between sound and image, fact and fiction. This curated programme highlights the use of documentary film-making styles as a form of social commentary, and as a way to explore aspects of the ‘everyday’ and use of narrative.
Invented at the end of the nineteenth century, cinema was inevitably shaped by industrial modernity’s epistemological demand for empiricism and rational, scientific evidence. Cinema has continued to be regarded in various ways as a powerful visual technology for documenting the world, for capturing the “real.” This programme investigates complexities of the documentary idea across contemporary artists’ experimental film and video practice.
Aspects of popular culture and politics are explored in this programme, with subject matter including; a demolition derby, a made-to-measure clothing business, taxi drivers, Jeffrey Dahmer, a failed pop career and plastic surgery; whilst locations range from Barrow-in-Furness to Bosnia to China, Iceland, Sweden and the USA.
A linear narrative is fundamental to most mainstream filmmaking, whether fiction or documentary. As witnessed here, artists are inclined to break this rule, frustrating expectations and denying resolution.
1. The Sun Always Shines on the Righteous Jordan Baseman / 2004 / 16’ / London, UK
(Produced with the support of Grizedale Arts)
The Sun Always Shines on the Righteous takes place during a demolition derby held in Barrow-in-Furness. The work features ‘Grandad’: a 41 year old grandfather, demolition derby driver and philosopher, and Adam: a six foot tall, 30 stone drag entertainer, whose stage name is ‘The Fat Tart’.
2. Eye-May-Mah Stuart Gurden / 2003, re-edited 2005 / 9’ 15” / Glasgow, UK
Partly based on an encounter with a Japanese tourist, Eye-May-Mah combines an apocryphal narrative involving a visit to Iceland by Brian Wilson of the ‘Beach Boys’, with footage of a journey to an extinct volcano reputed to contain evidence of Wilson’s visit. The footage and audio quietly exaggerate and parody the uncanny, otherworldly nature of the subject and setting: the work suggesting the ironies of Iceland’s position as an inverted ‘exotic’ to the European imagination.
3. Untitled Alexander Heim / 2006 / 4’ 15” / London, UK
Shot in the suburbs of China’s rapidly growing capital, Beijing; a stray street dog wanders around a busy road and for a moment makes it his place to rest, strangely disorientated and unaware of the threat by the cars. His inability to differentiate between manmade and natural environment makes him vulnerable, yet keeps him in charge of the situation in an almost glorious way.
4. Lenox Esther Johnson / 2006 / 10’ 15” / Hull, UK
Lenox is a look at the past and present of one of Buffalo’s oldest hotels and the many stories contained within its weathered walls. A journey through a hotel’s faded 1920s Art Deco interior, versus shabby retro Americana.
5. Radionica / Workshop (Comprised of 2 Films; Coffee & Desa) Margareta Kern / 2005 / 10’ / London, UK
Radonica reflects a life inside a flat in Bosnia, where a made-to-measure business is run by the artist’s mother. It reflects on the intimate nature of conversations between women while getting their clothes made, and on the slippage between the private space of home and the public space of work. Here, both those spaces converge to create a curious theatre of fashion, gossip, glamour, friendship, politics and coffee.
7. Team Taxi t c McCormack / 2005 / 5’ 58” / London, UK
Team Taxi features five taxi drivers from Umea in Sweden; between them they work for three different taxi firms in the city. Their names are Henrik, Bosse, Anders, Ulf and Johan. The film explores the moment when the taxi drivers took a tour of their city on bicycles.
8. Derf Jeremy Newman / 2004 / 3’ 58” / Ohio, USA
Derf is a documentary video short about an alternative cartoonist from Cleveland, Ohio. From his teenage years with Jeffrey Dahmer, to garbage truck epiphany, it traces his path to underground celebrity. The story is told through his drawings and commentary.
9. Luv is Gonna Get You Someday
Jordan Baseman / 2003 / 30’ / London, UK
What happens when the music career you always dreamed of never really materialises? What happens when you smoke so much dope that you can’t remember much of the past few decades? What happens when the plastic surgery operation you have on your face goes wrong? Meet Dave Wilder.
Total Running Time 89’ 41”
Ground Floor, Islington Mill, James Street, Salford. M3 5HW. Bus stop on nearby Chapel Street. Buses from Piccadilly: X34, 36, 37, 12, 26.
PureScreen is Castlefield Gallery’s screening event for artist’s film and video. Curated from open submissions, the programme provides a platform for outstanding recent work and aims to support new and emerging practitioners.
For further info or to join the mailing list please contact: Sophia Crilly, e: firstname.lastname@example.org
, for programme details and to download PureScreen: Film & Video Artists Information Pack.
PureScreen is supported by Arts Council England.