Sunday 23 June 2013, 6:00pm
The Lab Film Festival
The timbre of an anonymous narrator’s voice can trigger more reminiscences than the words they utter. A visual narrative relies on sound – or the decisive absence thereof – to complete it. The resolution of an image does not confer the intensity of the memory it provokes. The works presented here each invert and extrude notions of home and self in relation to time, place and technology. – Esther Harris
With films by Alicja Rogalska, David Jacques, Alia Pathan, Luke Moody, Helen Benigson, Katy Woods, Emily Wilczek, Josh Weissbach, Alison Ballard, Jani Ruscica.
Remixed by Esther Harris for The Lab Film Festival from works screened across several programmes in the 2013 Sheffield Fringe edition at Bloc Projects. Esther Harris is a time-based media conservator based in London.
Untitled (Broniów Song) is a contemporary folk song written by Alicja Rogalska together with folk singing group Broniowianki (from the Polish village of Broniów). Largely based on conversations with local people the lyrics reflect the socio-economic situation of the area – unemployment, exploitation, emigration. As much as the song is immersed in the locality it also comments on wider issues affecting many communities around the world.
(Commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw)
The Irlam House Bequest emerged from a series of drawings that analysed, mimicked and subverted the Victorian era British Labour Movement iconography favoured by an aspiring Trade Union aristocracy for their ceremonial banners. These drawings are attributed to a fictitious collective, an anonymous politico-cultural entity reflective of Hakim Bey’s T.A.Z. They assume a form that suggests a metaphorical reference to ‘shape-shifting’ myths, in their attempts to deny or pass through recuperation whilst in pursuit of a continual, affective engagement with the radical imagination.
In ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement) a blind woman sitting in a cinema describes the making of a film. Attention is drawn to the means of producing audio-described films for the partially sighted and ambiguity lingers over the authority of the participants: artist, cast and audio descriptor.
“I Felt Myself Going is primarily a work oral history. It isn’t a significant history – just the kind you overhear in a charity shop or on the bus. The strength is in the storytelling and not the event. I’m interested in what happens to this form of skilled banter when it is given a false set of characters – a sequence of unrelated images that can give this small story a cinematic space, a more memorable level of ‘listening in’. There’s a definite element of humour that emerges from the simple ‘sandwich’ editing technique.” – Luke Moody
The Future Queen of the Screen is set in the Dead Sea, Peckham and a cyber desert. The story centres on 2 hip-hop girl dancers who engage in real and online dance battles. The girls both ‘practice’ for the dance competition but also perform live, within the narrative of the video. Notions of performance become visually divided into super-slick HD moving image and bad-quality phone video footage, referencing body language and every-day performances and gestures. In a parallel territory, a girl has cheated on her boyfriend and is floating in the Dead Sea.
Anthony is part of Woods’ ongoing series of films that focus on young people with a talent or innate natural ability that is recognised and grown into a professional career. The film looks at the experiences of a successful Astrophysicist, a gifted but unusual child who had a difficult adolescence.
The film documents four people on a walk in the French countryside, shot on out-of-date black and white filmstock with the audio captured separately. Control of the camera is shared between the walkers. The sound and image are edited in sync, with periods of black when the camera isn’t running. Depending on the proximity of the camera operator to “the filmmaker” the mechanised whirr of the camera may be audible.
106 River Road connects the recorded document to the generated artefact, which move together upon a two-way timeline between the literal and the abstract.
On Christmas Eve in 1974, Cyclone Tracy hit the Australian city of Darwin leaving more than 41,000 of its 47,000 inhabitants homeless. Throughout the night they sought refuge any way they could as they listened to their world around them being physically torn apart. No-one saw the cyclon – but they all heard it.
A poetic depiction of Sicilian folklore traditions, Swan Song is a farewell to a time that no longer exists. Rinaldo, a traditional Sicilian marionette plays out his epic duel against fall into oblivion. A folk song, performed by old Sicilians, serves as the backbone of the piece. The song arouses memories and creates a sense of community.