BEEF at Film Material

IMG_4881

Featuring:  Matt Davies (Expo Leeds/ Kitev Oberhausen / Spike Island / Schmalfilmtage Dresden), Laura Phillips (Cortoformo / Annexinema / Spike Island / KARST, Vicky Smith (Alchemy FF / London SFF / Arnolfini / Tate Britain / London Film Makers Co-Op), Alexander Stevenson (KARST / Bristol Biennial / GoMA / Grand Union). This event is part of Rogue21 series in 2016 – celebrating 21 years of Rogue Studios in Manchester.

Review by Mary Stark: Following a week long residency in September 2015, with Manchester’s Film Material visiting BEEF in Bristol, this year three artists from Bristol Experimental and Expanded Film (BEEF) took part in a micro-residency in Manchester from 11 -15 April.  Matt Davies, Laura Phillips and Alexander Stevenson were based in Rogue Project Space before it opened for an event on Friday 15 April with film installation, performance and screenings from Matt, Laura and Alex, as well as Vicky Smith and Film Material’s Mary Stark.

IMG_4865

Matt Davies showed a three projector 16mm film performance using film loops and sounds created from recording the transformers inside film projectors. Imagery included found macro footage of plants photosynthesising and at one point he burned film live in the projector.

IMG_4928

Alexander Stevenson showed a 16mm film interpreting  The Mechanical and Chemical Processes of 16mm Film though dance. During his time in Manchester, Alex worked on a foley soundtrack to accompany the film before showing it for the first time at the event on Friday.

IMG_4896

 Laura Phillips installed a 16mm cyanotype loop made by exposing filmstrips with fabric in windows around Rogue Studios. Threading across the ceiling,  the installation held a sculptural presence in the event space.33-frames-e1428821548138BEEF screened a 16mm film by Vicky Smith made by a bike being ridden along and across a length of clear film leader.

5

Mary Stark tested out new developments of a 16mm film performance, Film as Fabric, before showing it at Sound is Sound is Sound at The Albany in Deptford the following night. She experimented with new developments involving the audience being measured with film. Thanks to John Lynch of Manifest for these excellent photos documenting the performance.

4

During the week Film Material and BEEF also held an artist show and tell evening to share their practices. It was a pleasure to host the artists from BEEF, with this exchange marking the beginning of fruitful filmic relationships between artist filmmakers from Manchester and Bristol. Look out for more information about upcoming events at BEEF and with Film Material in Manchester as the two collectives forge further communal cinematic creations!

Photo credits: Mary Stark and John Lynch

BEEF: Bristol

BEEFBristol Experimental & Expanded Film, 7-11 September
BEEFlogo3
Along with other Film Material artists I visited Bristol for a week in BEEF’s artist’s film lab and project space. The week included a reading group, show & tell about recent practice, a 16mm film workshop & a final screening & performance event. During the residency I tested a new process – using the darkroom to contact print onto 35mm archival microfilm, which I then sprocketed by hand and ran through the Micromatic projector. Many thanks to Louisa Fairclough, Kim Knowles, Vicky Smith and BEEF artists for hosting our visit.
Film Material artists Annie Carpenter, Clara Casian, Matt Denniss, Dave Griffiths & James Snazell got together with BEEF for a residency week in Bristol.  BEEF’s Kim Knowles led a reading group, looking at New Materialist texts, and in Tuesday’s show & tell Film Material presented recent work, along with talks & screenings by Vicky Smith, Alexander Stevenson and Shirley Pegna. Vicky ran a 16mm film workshop, and we attended the expanded cinema event by Rose Kallal at CUBE Microplex.

Annie Carpenter developed ideas for her October voyage on a tall ship with The Arctic Circle residency. Clara Casian experimented with 35mm found slides, whilst Matt Denniss edited new video work and James Snazell trialled 16mm film performance ideas. The week culminated in a BEEF event where the group showed results, along with multi-projector performance Oxide (ii)+(iii) by Ben Gwilliam, made using iron rusting, 16mm and Super 8 film and magnetic sound. Many thanks to Louisa Fairclough, Kim Knowles and Vicky Smith for hosting our visit.

 

Deep Field [Looking Squarely Ahead]

35mm B&W microfilm collage, microfiche reader, 350 x 400 x 350mm

 “Looking squarely ahead, brave and joyous, at the world. The squads march to work. All that matters to us now is Treblinka. It is our destiny.” Song by Kurt Franz, Treblinka commandant, August-November 1943

Viewers browse through a layered, compressed representation of trench TREB04, excavated in 2013 on the site of the gas chamber at Treblinka, Poland. Magnified microfilm fragments depict archaeological trench finds that locate place and corroborate Holocaust eyewitness testimony. Viewers perform the evidence, as durational observers who optically uncompress the material over time. They navigate the brief time and space of the camp’s mechanised, chaotic extermination and demolition, enacting gestures inherent to decoding the indexical illusions of both photography and forensis. Data and images from the excavation combine with microfilm’s archival potential as carrier of textual evidence for future translation.

Produced for the touring exhibition Finding Treblinka: Artists Respond, commissioned by Centre for Archaeology, Staffordshire University, and funded by Rothschild Foundation.  Data courtesy of forensic archaeologist Caroline Sturdy-Colls.

Finding Treblinka: Poland

Museum of Struggle and Martyrdom in Treblinka, 2 August – September 2015

Curated by Caroline Sturdy-Colls & Michael Branthwaite: “Finding Treblinka includes new physical evidence uncovered at the sites of the former Nazi extermination and labour camps during a seven-year research investigation undertaken by staff from Centre of Archaeology at Staffordshire University, which have shed new light on the nature of the Nazis’ crimes. A temporary exhibition Finding Treblinka: Artists Respond accompanies the permanent installation, representing an innovative collaboration in which artists have responded to archaeological findings from both the extermination and labour camps. The opening of the exhibitions will feature a commemoration ceremony, and takes place on the 72nd anniversary of the Treblinka revolt.

The artists responses have been driven by their individual practice and concerns over how specialist scientific information can be communicated to a wider audience. The show focuses on how artists can create new discourses and dialogues that create change in the way we think about history and its relationship with the present. It explores how we process and build histories around objects, and how science and art can come together to enhance public knowledge about sensitive and traumatic events.

The artworks range from text-based wall works to free standing sculpture. Re-appropriated objects also feature, such as a re-upholstered chair exhibiting motifs from the objects found during the excavations at Treblinka. Since the objects found during these excavations will remain at the site, the artworks will eventually provide a travelling surrogate, offering viewers a conversational experience that will also hopefully encourage people to visit Treblinka”.

Archaeological research by Caroline-Sturdy Colls, with artists Michael Branthwaite, Janine Goldsworthy, Dave Griffiths, Hilary Jack and Jenny Steele.

New Forms for a Philosophy of Film: Manchester

19-20 July 2015, HOME & Manchester School of Art

An interdisciplinary seminar presenting research theories and practices that address film in relation to Derrida, postmodernism, and political and cosmological form.

Chaired by Felicity Colman (Manchester School of Art): “This seminar seeks to discuss research theories and practices that address the following questions: What is the form of philosophy that might be adequate to address the material complexity of a filmic or screen-based image? In what ways have filmic or screen-based images altered the discipline of philosophy? What are the “new” forms of film philosophy being practiced today?”

Papers: Joanna Hodge, Jason Wood, Dave Griffiths, Gopalan Mullik, Christine Reeh, Elspeth Mitchell, Anna Bergqvist, Maximilian de Gaynesford, Sheryl Tuttle Ross, Keith Crome, Maren Thom and Helen List.

Also including a screening of Love in the Post (2014), a filmic essay on Derrida directed & produced by Joanna Callaghan; plus Extinction Event [GRB130313A], an installation by Dave Griffiths.

Supported by HOME, Manchester School of Art, and MeCCSA Practice Network