Archive for ‘Multimedia’

December 1, 2013

Iowa Blizzard | Elaine Summers

One of the most interesting works from the Intermedia Program at University of Iowa, on display at the Anti-Academy exhibition at John Hansard Gallery, was Iowa Blizzard by Elaine Summers.

Elaine Summers, a pioneer of intermedia art who merged film and dance during her association with the Judson Dance Theatre in the 1960s.  Summers first worked with Intermedia students in 1973, developing site-specific dance pieces in various locations within the city.

The Intermedia Programme at the University of Iowa was established by the German artist Hans Breder. At Intermedia, students experienced workshops by various visiting artists with an emphasis on exploring ‘the boundaries between media, between artistic and scholarly practices, between genres, between social and political universes, between viewer and artist’.  The Iowa programme was characterised by an innovative use of media and technology. Key to its early years was the involvement of visiting artists who developed work with student participation, including creations by Robert Wilson and Allan Kaprow amongst others. There was an emphasis on development of a collaborative relationship with the local community and the utilisation of the local landscape as site for the making of student work. Anti-Academy includes works made with students (notably with the year group of students that included Ana Mendieta and Charles Ray) by Elaine Summers, Mary Beth Edelson and Vito Acconci, alongside a broader review of the archive.

November 30, 2013

Anti-Academy | John Hansard Gallery

ImageAbove: Students in the class of Nakanishi Natsuyuki, Bigakkō, Tokyo, 1970, photograph Morinaga Jun.

Well worth a visit to John Hansard Gallery in Southampton to see this incredible exhibition.  You can read further info about Anti-Academy here.

Anti-Academy examines the ideas, processes, workshops and legacies of three radical educational models in 1960s Japan, the USA and Denmark. Comprised of three installations, each relating to one of these school’s programmes, Anti-Academy explores life at Bigakkō, Tokyo (installation by Yoshiko Shimada), the Intermedia Program, School of Art and Art History, at the University of Iowa (installation by Cornelia Schmidt-Bleek), and Ex-School, Copenhagen (film by Alice Maude-Roxby and Tom Chick)…….

Anti-Academy is an interpretation of how these three academies situated themselves on the peripheries of the art world, existing in opposition to the mainstream, and responding to the political and social climate, location and cultural context of the day.

Below are images from the Bigakkō installation by Yoshiko Shimada.

Bigakko can be seen to draw most directly from its current political context. Founded in 1969 by the publishing house Gendaishicho-sha, infamous in their commitment to publishing an eclectic selection of controversial contemporary Japanese writing, alongside French philosophy and political theories including the first Japanese publication of Marquis de Sade’s ‘Juliette’, Bigakko also exercised an extraordinary high-disciplined learning environment to accompany their progressive literature, including one teaching year where students were made to attend all classes. The school employed the most radical artists of the day and the teaching programme involved diverse approaches, ranging from vociferous political conferences to quiet meditation. For Gendaishicho-sha, Bigakko operated in response to the social backdrop of student revolt in the post-war climate, acting as a rejection of western modernism and a questioning of Japanese cultural and political history.

ImageAbove: Zero Yen Bill | Akasegawa Genpei
ImageAbove: Multi-positional work benches, designed by Nakamura Hiroshi and Nakanishi Natsuyuki in 1969 for Bigakkō, were intended to offer students various modes of working from kneeling on the floor to using the boxes as seats and desks.Image

Above: Chronology Wall | Installation of artefacts relating to Bigakkō history from the archives of Imaizumi Yoshihiko and Yoshiko Shimada.

A new publication accompanies the exhibition, comprehensively illustrated and with a range of essays exploring the themes and contexts of the show.

July 29, 2012

INSPIRATION | Liz Rhodes: Light Music

Images: Light Music | Liz Rhodes @ The Tanks, Tate Modern 2012.

Light Music is an innovative work presented originally as a performance that experiments with celluloid and sound to push the formal, spatial and performative boundaries of cinema. An iconic work of expanded cinema, it creates a more central and participatory role for the viewer within a dynamic, immersive environment.

Formed from two projections facing one another on opposite screens, Light Music is Rhodes’s response to what she perceived as the lack of attention paid to women composers in European music. She composed a ‘score’ comprised of drawings that form abstract patterns of black and white lines onscreen. The drawings are printed onto the optical edge of the filmstrip. As the bands of light and dark pass through the projector they are ‘read’ as audio, creating an intense soundtrack, forming a direct, indexical relationship between the sonic and the visual. What one hears is the aural equivalent to the flickering patterns on the screens.

Light Music is projected into a hazy room – the beams that traverse one another in the space between the two projections become ethereal sculptural forms comprised of light, shadow and theatrical smoke. This format is designed to encourage viewers to move between the screens, directly engaging with the projection beams, forming a set of social relations in which cinema is transformed into a collective event without a single point of focus. Light Music occupies an important threshold in film history, drawing on early experiments in ‘visual music’ from the 1920s by pioneers including Oskar Fischinger, Hans Richter and Walther Ruttmann, and subsequently opening cinematic practice up to a host of concerns from gender politics to phenomenological experience.

Lis Rhodes (born 1942, London) is a major figure in the history of artists’ filmmaking in Britain and was a leading member of the influential London Filmmakers’ Co-op.

May 19, 2012

Eric Baudelaire | The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images

Images: The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images, 2011 © Eric Baudelaire.

This exhibition and related events are well worth checking out at Gasworks, London.

The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi and 27 Years Without Images is the first UK solo exhibition by French artist Eric Baudelaire.

Baudelaire’s most recent work looks at the complexities of recounting the history of the Japanese Red Army (JRA) – a radical group that emerged from the 1968 Tokyo student movement, settled in Beirut in the early 1970s, and engaged in sophisticated terrorist activities in solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

The exhibition consists of an installation encompassing his 2011 experimental documentary film of the same name, which centres upon the oral testimonies of two JRA protagonists: May Shigenobu, the daughter of JRA founder and leader Fusako Shigenobu, and Masao Adachi, a legendary underground film director, JRA member and theoretician. This is shown alongside documents, photographs, prison drawings and works on paper that further contextualise the JRA’s radical journey, focusing on issues of representation associated with documentary, testimony and the production or absence of images. The Anabasis… engages with questions concerning the relationship between politics and film, and militant filmmaking versus activism without cinema – a distinction that Masao Adachi refuses, but that Baudelaire’s exhibition interrogates anew.

Baudelaire frames the story of the JRA in a literary tradition going back to Xenophon’s Anabasis: a journey of soldiers lost in foreign lands, wandering into the unknown on a circuitous journey home. In recounting their own journeys, May Shigenobu and Masao Adachi weave together intimate stories, political history, revolutionary propaganda and film theory. They each describe clandestine and imageless experiences in which images are nonetheless constantly at stake. May Shigenobu, for instance, spent much of her early life in hiding, often living under pseudonyms. When family snapshots were occasionally taken they were always then hastily destroyed. As she grew older, returned to Japan and started working as a television journalist, images began to provide her with a new means of self-invention.

As a filmmaker, Adachi devoted his life to images. During his years in Lebanon, he sought to advance his radical film practice by trading the camera for the rifle. Yet all the while he remained a filmmaker at heart, even conceiving of JRA aeroplane highjackings as screenplays. The scenarios were his own, the actors were JRA fighters, but the cinematography was left to the news cameras.

May Shigenobu’s and Masao Adachi’s stories unfold over new ‘fûkeiron’ Super 8 images filmed by Baudelaire in Tokyo and Beirut. Fûkeiron is a ‘theory of landscape’ developed by Adachi for his 1969 film AKA Serial Killer, an excerpt of which is also included in the exhibition. Through filming landscapes, he sought to reveal the structures of oppression that underpin the political system and cause alienation. The Anabasis… puts this theory to work and also turns it back towards its author, exploring the problematic overlaps between images of reality and those of fiction, and between a radical political engagement and an unsettling fascination with violence.

May 14, 2012

Irreversible Materiality | Rethink

Pure Extraction is an experimental multimedia piece from my Rethink project.  You can read about the projects gestation on the project blog.

You can also view reference images here.

January 26, 2012

Drop it like it’s GC!

This work forms the beginnings of a documentary project exploring the potential impact of dance among people in their Third Age. Breaking away from traditional dance projects with the elderly; challenging stereotypes of older peoples capabilities and creating a more optimistic view of ageing in our society.

HIP HOP PERFORMANCE BY SENIOR DANCERS (60+) @ GREEN CANDLE DANCE COMPANY
www.greencandledance.com

October 23, 2011

A different kind of performance: Tacita Dean

This is a quick test, messing around trying to get to grips with iMovie……still a lot to learn!


FILM is an 11-minute silent 35mm film by Tacita Dean, projected onto a gigantic white monolith standing 13 metres tall at the end of a darkened Turbine Hall. It is the first work in The Unilever Series devoted to the moving image, and celebrates the masterful techniques of analogue film-making as opposed to digital. The work evokes the monumental mysterious black monolith from the classic science fiction film 2001: A Space Odyssey. The film feels like a surreal visual poem, including images from the natural world among others, with the epic wall of the Turbine Hall showing through, in a montage of black and white, colour, and hand-tinted film.

Tacita Dean is a British artist now based in Berlin, best known for her use of film. Dean’s films act as portraits or depictions rather than conventional cinematic storytelling, capturing fleeting natural light or subtle shifts in movement. Her static camera positions and long takes allow events to unfold unhurriedly. Other works have attempted to reconstruct events from memory, such as an infamous thwarted attempt to circumnavigate the world.

Many of Dean’s works show the ways in which architecture can be transformed by the camera’s lens. Craneway Event 2009 follows the choreographer Merce Cunningham (1919–2009) and his dance company rehearsing in a former Ford assembly plant, built of glass and steel and overlooking the San Francisco Bay. Dean’s film allows the ever-changing light of this environment to fall in rhythm with the dancers’ movements.

Read more here.