PureScreen #9: PureScreen DVD *01 – Launch Party & Screening

18 March 2005 / 19:00

Venue: The King’s Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford. M3 6AN Admission: Free. No Need to book. Limited capacity. A programme of recent artist film and video curated by Castlefield Gallery, Manchester. Supported by Arts Council England. PureScreen is Castlefield Gallery’s regular screening event for artist’s film and video. The programme provides a platform for outstanding recent work and aims to support new and emerging practitioners and curators. The films compiled on PureScreen DVD *01 were selected from the entire back catalogue of screened programmes, since PureScreen’s original launch in March 2003. The films were not chosen with a specific curatorial remit in mind, other than to highlight some of the best examples of contemporary artist’s film and video in the UK today. Consequently, many of the films also represent issues that have appeared prevalent within the medium of film and video in terms of artistic, cultural, social or political interests from recent years. The PureScreen DVD *01 programme brings together recent work, from the UK and features artists: Steven Ball, Beagles & Ramsay, Charlotte Bernstein, Sarah Carne, The Cartwright Brothers, Lee Cavaliere, Gillian Dyson, Stephen Gray, Dave Griffiths & Nick Jordan, Riccardo Iacono, Karin Kihlberg, Oliver Lamb, Elizabeth McAlpine, Pil & Galia Kollectiv, Paul Rooney, Erica Scourti, Graeme Stonehouse, Naoko Takahashi and Patricia Walsh. Programme Notes: 1. Steven Ball – The Defenestrascope 2003 5’46” The Defenestrascope throws the view through windows from monumental towers, in contemporary and medieval European city and town. This eccentric exploration of urbanised space revolves around a sample ensemble setting of the traditional 16th century Norfolk song Go from the Window, framed by a fragmented clapping rhyme. A neo-rococo vaudevillian romp dedicated to Alan Lomax and Gus Elen. 2. Beagles & Ramsay – Dead Of Night 2003 5’26” Dead of Night was shot in two Victorian Glasgow Theatres – The Kings and the sadly dilapidated Britannia Panopticon Music Hall, the oldest surviving music hall in the UK. A pair of ventriloquist’s dummy, self-portraits were made over a period of six months and star in the video. The title is taken from the 1945 Michael Redgrave supernatural chiller in which a ventriloquist is driven insane by his crazed dummy alter ego. 3. Charlotte Bernstein – Untitled 2003 1’ Untitled was produced during a LabCulture residency, hosted at the Eden Project, Cornwall, in 2003. Bernstein lived on the Eden site for a week and was motivated by the surroundings, the situation and the desire to create a temporary public artwork. Untitled explores ideas of rogue bodies, a controlled space, repetition, perception and the (subverted) power struggles that may occur within this type of environment. 4. Sarah Carne – You In Love? You Gonna Be 2002 2’ “Sarah Carne has in recent years been working with film to create works that infuse everyday routine with playful humour. Set in slow motion and to Nina Simone’s rendition of The Look of Love, her work You In Love? You Gonna Be captures commuters on a street as they break out into smiles at an unseen encounter with the artist. Ranging from the flirtatious to the timid, they present intimate encounters that remain unexplained, a series of engaging portraits of strangers that break down the anonymity of city life.” – Nav Haq, East End Academy Catalogue, 2004 5. The Cartwright Brothers – The Heap 2003 3’ A digital fantasy: pixel creatures wander the forest and gravitate inexorably towards the rhythmic splendour that is the heap of primal matter. The creatures are drawn to and transfixed by this elemental fountain. The pixel bestiary commences an instinctive dance to the throb and pulse of the quivering heap as a state of wild transfiguration is achieved. A wonder of fecundity, a myth: the spitting geyser taps deep into its mucilaginous reservoir. Its ceaseless convulsions describe a natural cycle of life, death and compostation. 6. Lee Cavaliere Poet Sightings 2003 2’50” The Poet, a shy, semi-feral creature, is sighted getting back to nature in the Lake District. 7. Gillian Dyson – After Pain and Panic 2002 3’ After Pain and Panic extends real time to follow the washing of trot horses after the race. The paced intimacy of the animal and human interaction is a private activity, contrasting with public and highly charged instance of the race. The resulting footage reveals the poetic performance of the everyday. The film was shot in Kellerberin WA Australia, whilst Dyson was artist in residence with IASKA. 8. Stephen Gray – Space Soldiers Conquer The Universe 2003 5’15” Space Soldiers Conquer The Universe contrasts fantasy with the real in a cross fertilisation of artificial and authentic. A sense of place is presented as a theatrical model; a model with visible parts, an illustrative model, rather than a functional one. The mechanics of the spectacle are revealed. A presumption of the sublime is dissected in an attempt to reveal a romantic but always absent truth. As a descendent of Pop the work seduces, but as Arte Povera it then abandons the viewer. This is all we have. The slight of hand is revealed; there never was any magic. At least, not out there. 9. Dave Griffiths & Nick Jordan – Roused By My Epilepsy 2003 4’ “Dave Griffiths and Nick Jordan’s music video Roused By My Epilepsy, captures the kaleidoscopic rock ramblings of Manchester’s masked musical usurper Lord Mongo. Lord Mongo prowls mad angry in a quarry, adopting various guises and railing his gob against a gyrating void. His universe is as thin as the newspaper from which his masks are constructed; a world that owes as much to the cardboard and sticky tape mise en scene of Doctor Who as it does to William Blake’s interpretation of the parable of the conceited Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II. Griffiths and Jordan ape the overlay techniques, gaudy colours and choreography found in early 80s New Wave videos by Kate Bush, Talking Heads and Devo. Directed by the acts themselves, such ticky-tacky videos harboured an intense energy, the result of exploiting the flaws and limitations of what was then new technology. The mega-budget videos shot by directors such as Hype Williams pale in comparison. Griffiths and Jordan’s lo-fi work reinvigorates video’s dirtiness, its lost sense of adventure.” – Neil Mulholland, from exhibition essay: “We Go Round & Round In The Night Consumed By Fire”, Liverpool Biennial Independents 04 10. Riccardo Iacono – Fuzzy Lover 2003 2’10” Riccardo Iacono’s black and white, silent film is composed of sampled and recycled sequences of digital and chemically manipulated live video and abstract animation. Exploring forms that emerge through the interaction of different materials and processes, it focuses on the problems of authenticity, identity and representation associated with reproduction; the hybridisation of culture – fusion and explosion. 11. Karin Kihlberg – This Is Not About Sexuality 2003 7’48” This Is Not About Sexuality demonstrates a repetition of daily acts, performed by a female nude, stating what the artwork is not about. Using contradiction between image and interpretation, certain archetypes are put into focus and questioned. 12. Oliver Lamb The Real Charlie Cheese & His Pigeon Spectacle – 2003 6’ We live in a time when foolishness should be avoided, going to great lengths to avoid looking silly, and in a lot of cases ending up looking sillier. ‘The Real Charlie Cheese’ explores how this breakdown of integrity was once celebrated, drawing on references from both classic silent cinema and slapstick, and the popular sixteenth century Europe ‘fool societies’ whose members held important social positions. 13. Elizabeth McAlpine – The film footage missed by the viewer through blinking while watching the feature film ‘Don’t Look Now’ 2003 7’15” The entire length of the thriller Don’t Look Now has been watched and the frames where the viewer blinks are compiled together while the film footage that is seen by the viewer is removed. The entire film is portrayed in 7 minutes and 15 seconds of the unseen parts of the film. 14. Pil & Galia Kollectiv – Kustom Kar Inferno 2003 4’45” A cast of cut-out fire-breathing motor cars perform strange rituals of terror, worship and ignition. Using B-movie tropes and exploring the fetishistic world of Kustom Kars and hotrods, Kustom Kar Inferno reinvests the iconography of obsessive car culture with mechano-mythical significance. Exploiting the motorik-satanic qualities inherent to the customised egomaniacal creations of auto-erotic auto-freaks, the super-8 animation visualises the onanistic redundancy built unto the history of the automobile, a history of roads and needs emanating from the closed circuit of consumer logic. 15. Paul Rooney – I Am Not Going To America. An Audio Guide For Any Chair Lift 2002 7’ The single voice monologue, read by the fanzine writer Alain Chamois, is structured around the motif of circularity, and around three cultural moments: a Herzog film, a Joy Division record and a fictional performance by the artist’s own band, Rooney. The film takes the viewer on a single-seater chair lift ride to the top of a snowy mountain. The narrative touches on singers, a Northern comedian, record run off grooves, a frozen chicken, and suicide. Dermot Bucknall, a fictional character recurring in many of my works, has a pivotal role in the piece. His crazed performance at the final ever Rooney gig connects many aspects of the narrative in a moment of comedy and of desperation. Our need to structure and link disparate experiences and cultural moments, often through coincidences, in order to produce a sense of meaningfulness, and the exemplary myth like narratives and imaginative worlds that emerge from popular music and entertainment, are also important aspects of this piece. 16. Erica Scourti – Trailer Truths I 2004 1’55” Trailer Truths I is the first instalment of a trilogy of short films made up of text taken from movie trailers. Words and phrases are collaged together to create a darkly humorous text about war, evil and propaganda. The work playfully addresses the representation of power and language in the media, and the role of belief in the popular consciousness. 17. Graeme Stonehouse – The Nelson Riddle 2002 10’ Filmed during Mike Nelson’s exhibition at the ICA, Nothing Is True, Everything Is Permitted, Stonehouse investigates the mysterious appearance and subsequent disappearance of the ‘Nelson’s Ices’ ice-cream van parked nearby. 18. Naoko Takahashi – Combing 2004 40” Combing explores the idea of video as painting and investigates the relationship between the word and the action. 19. Patricia Walsh – Pearls 2003 6’56” “My mother once owned a string of pearls, a double-string, with a fancy clasp. Glenn Miller gave some to his wife in the Hollywood film of his life. He wrote a score named after them. Mrs de Winter had secretly wished that when she was 36 years old she would wear a string of them herself.”