Regardless of the Questions Asked
Thursday 14 June 2012, 7:00pm
118 -120 Trafalgar Street
Sheffield S1 4JT
The films in this selection unfold with the slow drip elegance of contemporary melodrama worthy of big screen cinematic consumption. The artists here pursue intimate relationships with both their subject matter and their audience, while simultaneously following their own – at times idiosyncratic – lines of enquiry. From the dazzling abstraction that Martijn Hendriks imposes on Sydney Lumet’s 12 Angry Men to create his 12 Glowing Men, to Sarah Beddington’s steady gaze met by the unblinking eyes of mid-century architectural experimentation in Futuro 13, and Valentina Ferrandes’ examination of what it feels like to be temporarily bereft of your mother tongue in The Oyster Effect, there is throughout all the works in Regardless of the Questions Asked a sense of intense interrogation and a demand not to be viewed casually. Instead these works are either imbued with their own personality or employed to reflect the personality of the artist. Pascual Sisto takes a plastic chair and subjects it to a choreography both sadistic and anthropomorphic, whilst The House of O’Dwyer’s travelog hits an ephemeral spot – anonymous, comforting, and intuitively understood. Their authenticity goes beyond directorial authority – these works are united in the honesty of their approach, their uncompromising desire to present what they see and think regardless of questions asked. In doing so these works manage to capture, arrest and move. – Minou Norouzi and Esther Harris
Selected by Minou Norouzi, moving image artist and co-organiser of Sheffield Fringe. minounorouzi.com
A discussion with the artists will follow the screening.
12 Glowing Men takes as its starting point the idea that there is something significant in the confrontation between two completely different, conflicting visual registers. The work consists of adding an overly spectacular abstract visual effect to the movie 12 Angry Men by Sidney Lumet (1957). The abstract effect would not seem to have anything to do with the discussion of ethics and morality in the film, but an uncertain yet unmistakable relation between the two forms of visuality nevertheless establishes itself.
Designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen, the Futuro structure reflects the space-age concerns of the Cold War-era in which military technology seeped through to the domestic environment. Filmed in Berlin, Futuro 13 records a voyage made by this flying saucer house. As with all of Beddington’s work, the shots are composed in such a way as to give a strange sense of watching and being watched. The soundtrack for Futuro 13 was created by Anton Esteban, a filmmaker and editor based in New York City.
Making the bed in the morning is an easy action and a simple gesture. Some of us make it everyday, some don’t. The Story Of My Beds is the fractured narrative of a ritual, where spreading the blanket over the bed is like pulling the red curtain down onto the theatre of the night. The bed is the starting point to the path of reality of a more or less ordinary everyday life here and there.
In London’s City centre P. Sylva leads an unusual life. He is a ghost in one of the busiest cities in the world and he stands by his way of life. Factory explores the relationship between a person and the space he inhabits, through a set of predetermined movements. The film was created based on a preset audiovisual narrative and anchored in the character’s everyday life.
Set against a barren sun trapped bit of LA concrete, No Strings Attached shows a familiar plastic chair enduring transitional change, as it is looped into a constant state of suspension. Whilst the lone chair is subjected to a choreography as sadistic as it is anthropomorphic, the observation of this process and realization of the technique involved sparks humour, excitement, builds tension and finally gives relief.
Fantasy, diary, news headlines and research, create a chronicle here, a meditation, a visual essay. It is an attempt to create a trap in order to catch a narrative. A random collation of news identifies the day ‘I’ got back to London, from travelling. And it is the backbone to a number of assumptions: that people are art, and everything they do is art. That the world all around is art. Just point the camera anywhere you like. Art.
Getting smacked in the face with dirt – a literal and symbolic action – in both senses the land is blinding. This film is a montage of: family footage, political speech, travel, a scene from an old movie; a mixture of documentary, recollection and fiction, which forms a sense of what it means to belong to some place, to have a homeland.
Spontaneous to the point of insolence, the artist professes that even his upside down doodle adores him – and he does not appear to care.
About the work Lindberg says “A kiss can be a comma, a question mark or an exclamation point.” ~ Mistinguett (Jeanne Bourgeois). I wrote this note in my sketchbook about the video but I do not know if it is too explanatory. The desperation of loneliness, the bliss of solitude… or the combination of both in a relationship.
Using archive footage shot by the anthropologist De Martino, The Oyster Effect develops into a collage of historical references. The portrayal of women and hysteria is juxtaposed with built environments, architectural spaces, landscape, all with their own narration. A journey that challenges linearity and historicity attempts to bridge the specific representations of women’s subjectivity as products of their cultural environments in northern and southern Europe. This journey is persistently negated by the conflicting relationship between image and narration.