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Symbiopsychotaxiplasm, Dir. William Greaves, 1968 presented by Cally Spooner
Summer School Public Programme Week Two

7pm, Wednesday 2nd July, Donations on door
Third floor, 316-318 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 0AG
no.w.here Summer School: The Right to Play Oneself
Public Programme Week Two
No bookings - first come first served.
Doors open 6.45pm.


Download a pdf for the public programme events series

A screening and discussion of William Greaves’ experiment in expanded Cinema Verite, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm (1968). In this film-within-a-film director William Greaves dared to challenge and draw attention to the accepted rules of cinema. The director pursues his own agenda and draws out the growing conflict and chaos accompanied by moments of humour that happen off camera. Using multiple cameras, he mixes cinema verite and conventional shooting styles and experiments with a variety of other cinematic techniques including the use of simultaneous split-screen images. The result is a film with multiple levels of reality that reveals, and comments upon, the creative process.

Blending narrative, experimental and documentary filmmaking, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm was shot on-location in Central Park during the turbulent summer of 1968. Its "film-outside-of-a-film" format recounts the uprising of a crew against its tyrannical director (Greaves playing himself) as captured by an accompanying documentary crew. This genre hybrid constructs several levels of cinematic reality, making for a fascinating discourse on reflexivity and prompting the question "How much is real?". The 60s feel of the film, which incorporates split-screen imaging and a Miles Davis score, also contains discourses on such timely sociopolitical issues as abortion, gay sexuality, and pop psychology.

For this screening event, we have invited the artist Cally Spooner to lead a discussion or shared experience and reflection on the film and its various propositions.

Cally Spooner lives and works in London. Using theory, philosophers, current affairs and pop cultural figures as alibis to help her write, and casts of arguing characters to help her perform, Spooner produces plotless novellas, disjunctive theatre plays, looping monologues and musical arrangements to stage the movement and behaviour of speech. Recent work has explored how high performance economies have affected speaking as a live, undetermined event. Her work includes writing, film, live performance, and broadcasting. Spooner’s productions have been presented at Performa 13, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; Kunsthal Charlottenburg, Copenhagen; KW Institute, Berlin; Wysing Art Centre,UK; Jeu De Paume, Paris; Serpentine Gallery, London. Cally Spooner is a recipient of the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Awards for Artists 2013.


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