07 May 2007

Arclite 3: Goodnight Arclite

London The Exhibit
Monday 7 May 2005, from 4pm

As artist filmmakers we enjoy exploring shot and found footage, montage, collage, radical documentaries, quite political observations, literary cinema, speculative cinema, personal visions, cine-poetry, surrealism, structuralism, lyricism, in short, all moving images born of the eye behind the lens. However, for this screening all films are momentarily liberated from genres, schools or any categorisation.

GOODNIGHT ARCLITE marks the end of our residency in this space – The Exhibit – but more importantly this set of screenings is a gesture of support to our friends in Paris, the collective, film distribution group Light Cone, who are in their 25th year of existence, but now under serious threat of closure. It seemed appropriate to formulate a programme of films looking at quotidian imagery from past to present, collectivism and the re-configuration of cultural space. And so, today we shall run to the barricades with the militant newsreel group Cinegiornale as they dodge the fascist coshes of 60s Italy and then, to Paris to meditate on the politicised poetry of Cinetracts.

When the dust has settled we’ll explore the detailed and random ways of observing everyday life, with the cause and effect of its situations never far from our minds. We shall sit, watch and drift, just as anyone might on a warm sunny day in a square, park or city, any city. These rhythmic, day in the life films visualise the particular things that interest or affect the filmmakers own life, they ask us to join them in taking a steady look at, the surface of things and at the world. Transported to Italy we will watch Catholic rituals juxtaposed with the rudiments of peasant cookery and learn to make cheese and gut rabbits in preparation for a celebratory stew. Meanwhile, the concrete snake will emerge as the metaphor for the motorway and the encroachment of town and country planers practicing fragmentation on rural communities. No Chtcheglovian unitary urbanism here!

Traffic wardens direct the traffic through the labyrinthine streets of social engineering; sanitation workers invisible and omnipresent sweep the pavements and piazzas of Rome, the eternal city. While back in North England people are celebrating the arrival of new hopes and the departure of old ones in a topography where families build houses to meet their own requirements in defiance of the estate agent. We’ll go to a place where the bondage of domestic appliances is destroyed, and female empowerment will be an avid refutation of mercantilism. Then, off to Cumbria where the poetic landscape of William Wordsworth plays host to a nuclear processing plant and carnivals of protestation. In a Lincoln housing estate kids wait by ice-cream vans practicing their ‘man with a gun’ choreography inspired by the spectacular cathode, blockbusters and x-box. All over the nation Bank Holiday commuters leave train stations, arriving for a day by the seaside, mothers play with their children on sandy beeches as paddle steamers float by, young men prepare for war, the old timer wanders off to seek an ale and in a fit of memory a conversation will begin about the collectivism practiced by an Irish ace over the skies of Ypres in the 1914-18 war.

Through the time machine of appropriation we shall visit the 1900s and then later board a steam locomotive to the sound of ‘Great Mysteries’ broadcast on the radio frequencies of the 1940s. A Cartesian poet will resolve his contradictions and dichotomous soul while therapeutically venting righteous indignation at the materialist absurdity and double standards of Pan-global politicians. In New York an optimistic octogenarian will declare that cinema has just been born and do a jig, just to prove it! Cultural space’s have been demolished and lost, but hope will prevail. Collective spaces passed and present, from New York, Paris and London are now in our thoughts, we shall visit Phantom cinemas in Glasgow and in Paris.

There will be much merriment as we resign our residency at the Exhibit, departing from the premises towards a Moroccan Restaurant, singing Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite, for all struggling collectives. For today through the medium of cinema, time has been suspended and the tied up is open ended. We are awake and critical, improvising cinematically with the utmost clarity.


Monday 7 May 2007, from 4pm

The following works will be shown in a series of programmes in two different rooms.

Philippe Garrel, France, 1968, 62 min (on video)
Le Revelateur follows on the heels of the newsreels that Garrel shot on the barricades, and brings us to the close of May 68. “When we filmed Le Revelateur in Germany, every time we tried to set up a shot, the police came along: that in its self didn’t bother me much. I had come to Germany in part for that: to shoot near military camps, to create this feeling of being oppressed.”

Various, Italy, 1968, 180 min (screened in segments throughout the event)
These films, like the American newsreels, have been made by young politically militant filmmakers as an auxiliary of the revolutionary movement in Italy. They take a documentary point of view; they cover all the activities of the Italian student movement throughout the country and present the tactical and political positions adopted by the movement in a way which normal news coverage would not permit.

Anonymous, France, 1968, 20 min
Made by politically committed filmmakers to serve as agit-prop for the events of May 1968, these films rely exclusively on stills rather than documentary footage, yet the sense of contrast and movement is very strong and the films very effectively make their point; they attempt to catch the spirit, rather than the fact, of the May revolution.

William Pearson, UK, 1987-2003, 20 min
A social issue film that combines elements of Mass Observation and landscape filming to investigate the psychological and environmental effects on inhabitants, living and working in the proximity of a nuclear processing plant.

ET LE COCHON FUT NE (And The Pig Was Born)
Julius Ziz, USA, 2000, 25 min (on video)
This work uses found footage in a more surrealist approach evoking a psychological mood, less satirical or within the realms of an Agit-prop strategy. However, Ziz does indicate that even the dream like interiority and neurosis of this surrealist cine-poem still comes from a problematic, external world.

Jonas Mekas, USA, 1990, 3 min
When east met west not in space, but on the ground through a six-foot thick concrete wall, at the beginning of the great thaw.

Unknown, UK, 1977, 2 min (on video)
Again through the time machine of appropriation, this time, Its 1977, Goals provided by Gordon McQueen and Kenny Dalglish, the post match entertainment was provided by the Scottish support as they traversed the ‘sacred’ ground in ecstatic celebration, the unexpected defeat of football’s stalwart imperialists?

Benn Northover, UK, 2006, 8 min
The heart felt articulations of a great if somewhat paradoxical, Mystic and Cartesian Artist, movingly exemplified in a moment when suddenly, he jumps off his stream of consciousness – in a bid to be absolutely clear – he engages in a theatrical action to illustrate a thought.

Louis Benassi, UK, 1995, 33 sec
TV one of the most potent embodiments of spectacular domination domesticated. A commodity and medium in one. This short piece is dedicated to the memory of a revolutionary drunk and his rather brief passage through a moment in time.

Bruce Conner, USA, 1977, 5 min (on video)
“It contains very few images but Bruce Conner collages them in ecstatic order and they work in miraculous ways.” (Jonas Mekas)

Jane Fredericks, UK, 1979-80/2003, 9 min
After fourteen months constructing his own house, Colin Fredericks and his family invite three generations of working class relations to come together in the comfort of their new home, to celebrate the arrival of new hopes and the departure of old ones.

Bruce Conner, 1977, 5 min (on video)
Nostalgic recreation of dreamland Kansas 1947 in Toto.

Jane Fredericks, UK, 2007, 2 min
Domestic appliances, soap powder and ladies lingerie all launched into space. Pop art typography with a touch of Hannah Hoch and Jeff Keen. Magazine images from the 50s and 60s compiled into a visual stream of consciousness.

Louis Benassi, UK, 2007, 10 min
A film dedicated to Major Edward ‘Mick’ Mannock a working class fighter pilot and ‘Ace’ from the Great war whom was uncompromisingly vociferous in exposing the class divides within The Royal Flying Corps, he would become a key aerial strategist, by deploying methods of collectivism, he was able to extend the life of his young pilots who had been duped into believing shooting down the ‘Hun’ was an adventure akin to the knights of old.

Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy, 1947, 9 min
A day in the life of Rome’s sanitation workers, who sweep away as the busy city whirls around them. The film emphasis their ‘ invisible’ omnipresence. Antonioni asks us to take a slow, steady look at the world around us, to forget our ordinary preoccupations, and to contemplate that which lies slightly aside to them.

Sanna Kuittinen, Finland, 2005, 4 min
A group of Lithuanian and Russian artists have come to the modern day metropolis. Rarely apart, they live their lives moving from place to place, squatting unused buildings and office blocks.

MIA ZIA (My Aunt)
Nino Petzzella, Italy, 1989, 2 min (on video)
A Catholic procession is juxtaposed with the rudiments of peasant cookery. Rural life is forced to the edge of a motorway.

Arturas Barysas & Janis Strenge, Lithuania/Latvia, 1981,10 min (on video)
A humours and poignant take on co modified existence and the mythologies and stratagem of the “American Dream” as a semiotic and consumerist threat to the domestic front of a young couple.

Louis Benassi, UK, 2004, 5 min
Arthur Berry’s art is the vivid portrayal of people. His power of observation captures the human condition with great wit. He details not only the individuals, situations and surroundings, but embellishes it with acerbic humour and humanist compassion.

Jane Fredericks, UK, 2004, 2 min
99er is from an expanding series of works, which focus on everyday activities such as work, play and family life. The camera work is as naturalistic and unobtrusive as possible while at the same time close enough to create detailed studies of the people and situations.

Spool-pool (after Antonioni), 1969/2007, 4 min (on video)
The destruction of a million commodities.

Louis Benassi, UK, 2005, 40 min (on video)
A cyclical work made from archive footage exploring everyday life in Glasgow. Circa 1911-1930. Images of the ship and locomotive yards, workers montaged onto machinery, Sunday strolls along Great Western Road – the longest road in Glasgow – Bank Holiday commuters leaving Central Station and arriving by the seaside, children play, young men prepare for war, the old man walks to the pub.

William Pearson, UK, 2005, 40 min (on video)
This collection consists of both 16mm and 9.5 mm formats and documents 1930s Carlisle, the opening of the Nicholas Bridge, the launch of a lifeboat at Maryport and other quotidian events including the inauguration of the Mayor of Carlisle.

Spool-pool, UK, 2007

Peter McCaughey, Ireland, 2001, 20 min
The results of his “archaeological” investigations into the Classic cinema in Renfield St Glasgow. These fragments exposed to severe damage, fire, rain and corrosion were spliced together.

Anna Thew, UK, 2004, 10 min
The demolition of the London Filmmakers Coop building in Camden.

Joel Schlemowitz, USA, 2001, 14 min
Moving Images documents yet another move of premises for the New York Film Coop.

Annabel Nicolson, UK, 1975, 4 min
“Around the dairy non-stop. Single images in light just before the dairy ran out of time.”

Pip Chodorov, France, 2001, 7 min
A guided tour of the famous New York archive.

Julio Pereira, UK, 2006
David Ellis’s Crash Report is an ongoing project that has developed into a world tour of cinema canopies and marquees.

Jonas Mekas, USA-France, 6 min
Mekas wanders through the now empty corridors of the legendary cinematheque established by Henri Langlois at Palais de Chaillot.

Jonas Mekas, USA, 1996, 5 min
A joyous declaration about the eternal youth of cinema.


The Exhibit
12 Balham Station Road, Balham, London, SW12 9SG
Nearest Tube: Balham (Northern Line)
Nearest Train: Balham BR (from Victoria or Waterloo)

Tickets: £8 / £10 (includes limited edition document with essays by Albert Camus, Guy Debord, Deleuze Guattari and Spool-Pool. First come first served)
Box Office: 020 8772 6556
Email: sarah@exhibitbars.com

All proceeds to LIGHT CONE, Paris.



Post a Comment

<< Home