Sheffield Fringe

Maybe Darkness

Friday 6 June 2014, 6:00pm

Bloc Projects
71 Eyre Lane
Sheffield S1 4RB

Maybe Darkness
Juliette Joffé, Peut-être le noir (Maybe Darkness) (Belgium/France 2013), video still


The weight of individual and family history is consistently tempered by a playful self-awareness throughout these films; domestic and cultural touchstones are vividly examined. In Peut-être le noir (Maybe Darkness), Juliette Joffé observes a close-knit family on holiday in an apartment left unchanged for 150 years. Tension between the contemporary holidaymakers and their desire to protect the family history embodied by the unchanging décor creates an alternately mischievous and melancholy atmosphere. Angus Braithwaite retells a close encounter with an Acer Pseudoplatanus with deadpan restraint; Rose Butler’s The Fair witnesses the collective desire to temporarily relinquish control. In Avec, Akio Yuguchi inextricably links his own ambitions to the guiding memories of a childhood shared with his sister, unwaveringly mapping the impact her fatal accident has had upon his life. In a video monologue to a friend, Alison J. Carr’s A Response to Katherine Angel’s Book ‘Unmastered’ meditates on the permission to speak. Adrienne Leverette and Rob Tyler’s Nemo employs analogue techniques, archive footage and literary references, visually reflecting improvisational dancer Fred Nemo’s enigmatic persona and countercultural philosophy. Finally, in Biter, David Blandy sits in Freud’s London study, surrounded by psychoanalytical history and an impassive sculptural audience. Awkwardly recalling lyrics to the hip-hop tracks of his youth, he attempts to gauge how much of his self might actually be hip-hop. – Esther Harris

Selected by Esther Harris, artist and time-based media conservator based in London.


Peut-être le noir (Maybe Darkness)

Peut-être le noir (Maybe Darkness) | Juliette Joffé | Belgium/France 2013 | HD | 25 min 52s

“An old family flat left at a standstill for 150 years as if stuck in time. Years pass by as generations come back to it every summer for holidays. A contemplative exploration of one’s relationship to familial past and cherished places.
Peut-être le noir is a personal essay documentary dealing with themes of family, memory and space. It was very important for me that the film would be playful in form and go beyond a realistic approach of documentary filmmaking. More than documenting the flat and its history I wanted to evoke the encounter of different timescapes and the many layers contained in the space.” – JJ

Acer Pseudoplatanus

Acer Pseudoplatanus | Angus Braithwaite | UK 2013 | HD | 5 min 19s

Refining the absurd, Angus H Braithwaite’s practice often transforms the performing body into ludicrous actor. His new work, Acerpseudoplatanus – set in the patch of woodland at the bottom of his garden – is a film that romanticises a childhood event, one which pinpoints the moment of conception for the artist through interaction with a non-native tree. A series of reconstructed vignettes outline factual occurrences. Offset with a prose-like narrative, steeped in black humour, the piece seeks to preserve the memorial remnants of such a rebirth.

The Fair

The Fair | Rose Butler | UK 2013 | HD | 2 min 47s

Filmed from the quiet edges of a city centre car park in Sheffield. The Fair documents the rotating arm of a fairground ride appearing and then disappearing behind old industrial buildings and the John Lewis department store. As the arm rotates we hear the people on the ride screaming.


Avec | Akio Yuguchi | Estonia/Japan 2014 | HD | 18 min 08s

“After my sister’s fatal accident, our family grew apart, each facing their loss alone. I managed to overcome the tragedy by living my life as honestly as possible. Living for her and myself became my purpose in life. Avec is a record of my sister and my confession of guiltiness.” – AY

A Response to Katherine Angel's Book 'Unmastered'

A Response to Katherine Angel's Book 'Unmastered' | Alison J. Carr | UK 2012 | Video | 6 min 16s

“The video is a short experimentation in which I think aloud my thoughts on a book I read. Using a handheld camera the imagery is of my feet in a stream and my voice and other ambient noises form the sound for this work.
A type of critical reflexive review: an experiment to find my voice, to speak. I give a meditation on a book I have read and the video is a letter to the book’s author. I wonder how we can find the permission to speak, while I kick water and trace patterns with my foot.” – AC


Nemo | Adrienne Leverette & Rob Tyler | USA 2013 | Super 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm to HD | 14 min

A dreamy and though-provoking portrait of counterculture philosopher and performance artist Fred Nemo, legendary for being “The Dancer” for the band Hazel. Process-intensive analog techniques, literary references and provocative performances conspire to shine a flickering light on this enigmatic character.


Biter | David Blandy | UK 2013 | HD | 9 min 24s

Biter examines how much hip-hop has entered the artist’s unconscious mind, how stories from the streets of New York have become a part of a Londoner’s consciousness. Shot in Freud’s final consulting room, Blandy awkwardly attempts to summon rap lyrics in a space loaded with the history of psychoanalysis. Biter is an Artsadmin Jerwood Commission with the generous assistance of The Freud Museum.