Archive for November, 2013

FILM|PERFORMANCE|SPACE – Collective-iz at Summerhall, 22nd November 2013

Posted in Film, Other on November 26, 2013 by lukeaspell

The FILM|PERFORMANCE|SPACE programme presented by Collective-iz at Summerhall in Edinburgh comprised three performance pieces and three films, executed and projected in two spaces.

The event began with Signals II, by Karolina Raczynski in collaboration with Deniz Johns, in which mirror signals were exchanged via Skype between Johns in Ankara and the audience in Edinburgh. During this piece, which was first performed at the Roundhouse in August, a third performance space is created virtually between the collective space of reply and the domestic space of transmission. Cutting across clock time in two cities, an appointed time of action takes place, between participants of no country. The explicit themes of this work are ‘time, location and light’; the process of their exposition is an expression of solidarity.

After a screening of Neil Henderson’s Candle (2006), a film well-known enough not to require discussion here, the audience were led to the Demonstration Room.

The second section of the programme began with Maria Anastassiou’s Deniz: bir, iki, üç, a silent record of verbal counting in which the act is visually divided and obscured by a fan in the hand of the speaker (Deniz Johns) as the camera’s shutter divides (and, imperceptibly, omits) fractions of the shooting time’s seconds. This divided time is looped, the loop projected for an unannounced duration by the filmmaker, begun on this occasion as the audience entered the space. This document, which at first resembles a simple film portrait, demonstrates the plasticity of film duration. This was the first of two films projected onto a blackboard from within the performance space (that is, the projector was positioned in front of the seated audience), and this surface paralleled the black, shallow screen space created by the descending fan.

Amy Dickson’s Light Time followed this. Behind a screen dyed with black thermochromic ink, candles are lit by the artist. As they burn, they return the area of the screen reached by their heat to its fabric’s original colour. The arrangement of the candles behind the screen, and the pace and repetition of the action, foreshadows the moment when all candles will be lit; a moment which, once reached, is not the completion of the action but its mid-point, to be followed immediately by the first candle’s quenching. Once all the candles have been lit, and as they are extinguished, the screen’s serial heat images recall, with its dimensions, a set of film negatives; a fading light if ‘read’ from left to right, and from top to bottom, the image of a pulse.

Dickson’s performance was followed by Rosemary, Again and Again (Cathy Rogers 2013), projected from the same position and on the same surface as Deniz: bir, iki, üç, and another film which uses the double time of looping projected for a defined duration, in this case permitting the viewer’s eyes to confirm the instability of all physical bearings in the rush of images, in which the film ‘intermittently’ (as it seems in projection’s simulated sequentiality) captures its own straight, sharp image among the organic shapes of the rosemary bush it was draped on.

The programme concluded with Glass by Jamie Jenkinson, in which the projection of an electronic light source, a white digital frame, is refracted by the interposition and motion of a selection of glass objects made by Shelley James into the most essential pre-cinematic forms. For this performance, the height of the space, position of the projection and reflectiveness of the walls’ surfaces permitted a sharply defined portrait rectangle of light (a graphic echo and negative image of the screen used in Light Time) into which the artist’s hand reached to place each object. Between each object’s turn in the light, there was an interval of darkness, during which the winding of the turning mechanism was heard.

In contrast to The Horse Hospital, where Collective-iz presented the related but different Now and Here programme in February, both spaces used for FILM|PERFORMANCE|SPACE were loosely theatrical; a converted lecture theatre and ‘demonstration room’, with audience seating oriented towards a central focal point. Much of the effect of the work on these spaces was to de-centre them, shifting audience attention – sometimes physically, as when Candle‘s projection followed Signals II on a screen at a diagonal angle, and in the transition from the first to the second space – and to accentuate their specific qualities, as in Glass‘s use of the Demonstration Room’s stark, untheatrical wall textures, and the film loops’ blackboard projection. The 16mm projector and the thermochromic screen of Light Time had been placed before the programme began and remained in position throughout.