Measures is a new series of seminars that use screening, reading, discussion and analysis to look at critical assumptions about the image and its meaning once a week over a 10 week period. The first series ‘Politics and the Experimental Film: a sense of urgency’ will by led by AL Rees. The second series was led by curator Maxa Zoller and the third series was run by Fatos Ustek.
Politics and the Experimental Film: a sense of urgency
Led by Al Rees
Rees will examine key passages of work by (amongst others): Bunuel, Anstey, Richter, The Duvet Brothers, Vertov, Watkins, Le Grice, Gidal, Eatherly, Rhodes, Straub-Huillet, Conner, Debord, Welsby and Ivens seeking the elusive union of film and politics in the last half-century to question what a contemporary political cinema might be?
The Cinematic Body
Led by Maxa Zoller
In the last decade film and video installation art has produced a new set of critical ideas about our attraction to immersive film environments and the desire to experience the engulfing quality of virtual reality. Over 8 sessions this seminar series The Cinematic Body will scrutinise different aspects of ‘physicality’ inherent in the allegedly most ephemeral medium of all, film. The seminar will analyse the history of the film apparatus in experimental practice, be it as the ‘ghost in the machine’ in DADA performances or in the form of Marxist materialism in expanded cinema works. But we will also examine more theoretically film as an organic body moving through time. Film has always played a key role in human perception and phenomenology; Étienne-Jules Marey used film for scientific investigations of body movements and George Meliès explored the psychic potential of film conjuring up a fantastic world beyond the body. The human body, its absence and the artist’s attempt to compensate for this lack has been key to moving image art and will be one of the central issues of this seminar. Questions around medium materiality are highly timely since in the light of the digital revolution our notion of physicality is undergoing radical changes. By directly addressing the issue of the visitor’s physical experience, film and video art encourages a new form of ‘thinking through the body’. Movement, sound, scale and the technical apparatus, the flexibility of projection scale and location, and film’s historical relationship to popular entertainment like the vaudeville cinema and later home television and the internet, are the elements around which the seminar will frame a historical investigation of the cinematic body.
Led by Fatos Ustek
The series on image as object will run over 9 weeks and 8 meetings and will be led by curator & critic Fatos Ustek. The seminar series will explore the shift from art in the age of mechanical production to art in the age of digital production, thus focusing on the methodology of image making the series will investigate our relationship to the image today.
Objet Image does not refer to the objectification of the image, conversely it recalls the image’s position in contemporary society as almost like object. The knowledge that the history of photography and film provides us, constitutes the framework of what an image is; whereas today its wide-range of usage and consumption brings a diverse world of realms where its production is no longer defined, perceived, criticized, approached as it used to be. The comparison of the 21st century image production with that of the late 20th century aims to articulate the transformation that is taking place.
6 or more kinds of Theatre
Led by Ian White
Artists film and video is an unstable category. As such it contains multiple histories that shift dependent on the teller. 6 or more kinds of theatre maps some points on just one of these multiple histories. We can accept it or reject it. It is not the presentation of a thesis, but an invitation to speculate, equally questioning the implications and contexts of its material. It is informed by the still uncharted relationship between artists film and video and the live in art, a consideration of the period before cinema became an established label, artists own invocation and engagement with different models of theatre and my own interests as an artist working predominantly in performance.
Each seminar will assume an experimental form that relates to the topic being discussed, focusing on a single film or a body work and a specific model of theatre through which the work is read. The series includes work by Peter Gidal, Michael Snow, Kurt Kren, Yvonne Rainer, Sharon Lockhart, Emily Wardill, Ursula Mayer and the models of theatres proposed by Brecht, Racine, Artaud, Judson Church, Russian Constructvism and the museum-garden-theatre that Dan Graham writes about.