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Thursday Scratch Nights

The Artists Cinema 2016

The Coat (film still)

The Coat (film still)

The Coat (film still)

The Artists Cinema 2016

Thursday 28 July / 7pm / Free


Book tickets


The Artists Cinema 2016 is a unique project which brings leading visual artists' work into cinemas in a subversive and playful way, to screen before a diverse and large-scale audience.


The five commissioned films for The Artists Cinema 2016 are: Gabriel Abrantes (A Brief History of Princess X), Dora Garcia (El helicóptero), Naeem Mohaiemen (Abu Ammar is Coming), Margaret Salmon (Bird) and Corin Sworn with Tony Romano (The Coat).



The Coat

Dir: Corin Sworn with Tony Romano / 2016 / 6 mins


In The Coat two travelling actors stop on a country road to clarify an old trunk gag but are interrupted by the discovery of two stowaways. All roles seem to suddenly reverse and it is the interlopers that emerge in theatrical dress, perform and disappear into the night.


If these figures refer to the history of cinema, they're also a nod to the remnants of vaudeville performance that preceded it. In that sense, Sworn's short film harks back to a subhistory of theatrical moments within movie-theatres, and invokes forgotten performative and social aspects of cinema-going.


Employing a rich mise-en-scène and strong gestures against stark narrative eclipses and a striking absence of subtitling, the film explores how we interpret incongruity.



A Brief History of Princess X

Dir: Gabriel Abrantes with Francisco Cipriano / 2016 / 7 mins / 15


From Gabriel Abrantes comes a supercharged history of sculptor Constantin Brancusi’s infamous Princess X, a futuristic bronze phallus that is actually a bust portrait of Napoleon’s equally infamous great grand niece, Marie Bonaparte.




Dir: Margaret Salmon / 2016 / 4 mins / U


A visual and aural riff on the pioneering films of the Children’s Film Fund producer / director Mary Field and her early work for the Secrets of Nature series, Bird is aimed at general audiences with a particular focus on children.


With a score by the influential electronic music composer Matthew Herbert, Bird is as much about observation and environment as education and spectatorship, inviting audiences to consider the ways in which cinematic tools - camera, lens, colour, movement, voice, sound - heighten and humanise our interpretation of the natural world.


Filmed on 35mm transferred to HD video.



El helicóptero

Dir: Dora García / 2016 / 6 mins / U


In 1966 Argentinian author, critic and psychoanalyst Oscar Masotta organised three happenings (or anti-happenings). These happenings still surprise us today because of their handling of audience, events, signs, narratives and haunting.


El helicóptero is the film footage of the re-enactment of Masotta's The Helicopter happening and, the first chapter of a longer film by Garcia titled Segunda Vez, which will dwell on the idea of "happening again", not only with respect to re-enactment, but even more so in the context of fantastic literature, visionary fiction and alternative history.



Abu Ammar is Coming

Dir: Naeem Mohaiemen / 2016 / 6 mins / PG


A photograph circulates, showing five men staring out of a window. Actually, only four look out; the last man breaks protocol and looks at the camera. The light has a soft glow. The stage is a bombed building. All five men wear military fatigues; the color must have been olive green.


Snapped by a Magnum photographer in 1982, the image is a teasing enigma. Arabic newspapers claim it as evidence of Bangladeshi fighters in the PLO (Fatah faction). Go a little deeper into the memory hole and sediments will darken the third world international.


Still, the light was beautiful.


Abu Ammar is Coming continues The Young Man Was (2006-now) project's exploration of the 1970s revolutionary left as a form of tragic utopia. Previous chapters have shown at the 2015 Venice Biennale, the Museum of Modern Art (New York), and the 2011 Sharjah Biennial.


[Abu Ammar was the nom de guerre of Yasser Arafat. His Fatah faction of PLO fascinated Bangladesh JSD (National Socialist Party) leader Major Jalil, despite the sharper Marxist tendencies of the George Habash faction.]

July 2016


What are Scratch Nights?

Happening every Thursday evening at the Gallery, Scratch Nights are a series of events by emerging local and national practitioners working in music/sound, film, expanded cinema, performance and spoken word.


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