Film Material Soup, Rogue Studios, 19 November 2014, 5-9pm
Another seasonal show-and-tell, of international photographic adventures by Jo Byrne, Chris Paul Daniels and Dave Griffiths.
Ahead of his CFCCA show, Chris Paul Daniels test-screened his latest twin-screen video, A Tiger’s Skin. Shot during his journey with Transnational Dialogues Chinese Caravan 2014, to Hong Kong and five Chinese cities, Chris’ film is a contemporary echo of Chung Kuo, Cina. Revisiting similar locations to Antonioni’s 1972 feature, and reframing aspects of China’s economic, cultural and recreational daily life, Chris’s work highlights how documentary assumes authenticity, and the how the filmmaker struggles to speak about otherness. It’s also a subtle study of the photographic as a regime possibly more powerful than nation-states and broader geopolitical structures.
In another Asian project, Dave Griffiths reported on his and Joe Duffy’s field trip to Ordos-Kangbashi ghost city in 2013, and his recently completed commission for Full Circle Arts. The plain our bed the stars our blanket is a Google API hack, hosting Dave’s dense, navigable photo-collages of various locations in a depopulated mining mega-city of Inner Mongolia. Featuring pit heads, power stations, migrant workers, leisure zones and failing real-estate projects, his microfiche and online work documents a brief extinction event, the GDP-driven life and death of Xanadu.
Jo Byrne presented her poetic, acutely observed stills photographed during a visit to the redundant Coney Island resort of lower Brooklyn. In her depictions of the uncanny, of broken freakshow attractions and seaside surrealism, we were again reminded of photography’s potential for weird anthropology within the fractured remains.