Sophia Al-Maria and Sin Wai Kin Astral Bodies Electric, Make Up! (2019), 16’
Discover the incredible diversity within the world of artists’ filmmaking in the UK, with a presentation of the work of the shortlist of this year’s Film London Jarman Award, which comes with a £10,000 prize. From the individual and autobiographical to the global and political, these films draw us into their narratives through poetry, experimental sound, surreal computer graphics, performance, dance and choreography.
The artists shortlisted this year are: Larry Achiampong, Sophia Al-Maria, Jasmina Cibic, Adham Faramawy, Guy Oliver and Georgina Starr. The programme will also feature a Q and A with one of the shortlisted artists Adham Faramawy.
Inspired by visionary British filmmaker Derek Jarman, the Award recognises and supports artists working with the moving image. The shortlisted artists illustrate the spirit of inventiveness within moving image, highlighting the breadth of creativity and craftsmanship the medium has to offer, as well as its powerful ability to engage and provoke audiences. The Award comes with a £10,000 prize.
Touring Programme 2021 includes:
Larry Achiampong Beyond the Substrata (2020), 19’
Sophia Al-Maria and Sin Wai Kin Astral Bodies Electric Make Up! (2019), 16’
Jasmina Cibic The Gift (2021), 25’
Adham Faramawy the air is subtle, various and sweet (2021), 35’
Guy Oliver You know Nothing of my Work (2020), 33 mins’
Georgina Starr Quarantaine (2020), 43’
The winner of the Film London Jarman Award will be announced on the 23 November. The award is presented in partnership with the Whitechapel Gallery.
The tour runs from 16 October to 26 November and will exist in partnerships with seven arts venues across the UK, and a special online version of the Award ceremony.
Larry Achiampong Beyond the Substrata (2020)Throughout 2019 artist Larry Achiampong developed new work in response to his residency with Waltham Forest Council. Working within an abandoned supermarket in Leyton, the artist configured a work using the building as a means to explore the social and political issues affecting the wider area in east London including race, class, gender and gentrification. Through referencing the black body within a space that victimises it, in this case, the Western Supermarket, Achiampong uses the Western Supermarket as a double entendre.
Whilst the system of the supermarket is generally assumed to offer consumers a vast array of choice in purchasing goods and services, the choices are rarely substantial and often sourced from a handful of many-faced corporations across clinical environments. An artistic act of counter-surveillance that plays on the all-seeing eyes and repressive structures that have become the norm in consumer culture and retail environments. The politicisation of and violence meted upon the black body is explored in Beyond the Substrata through choreographed movements performed by dancer Kanika Skye-Carr.
Beyond The Substrata is an artwork made possible with funding from Waltham Forest Council, WFCulture2019.
Sophia Al-Maria and Sin Wai Kin Astral Bodies Electric, Make Up! (2019)Emerging out of the hinterland of science fiction, Astral Bodies Electric, Make Up!, 2019, is the culmination of Sophia Al-Maria and Sin Wai Kin’s shared interest in Alice Coltrane, Sailor Moon and the possibilities of poetry.
The first encounter locates us in the body - a repetitive insistence on breathing. The rhythmic cadence of the inhale and exhale is made manifest in Al-Maria’s language and Sin’s soft speech and breathy gasps. We return to the body to find presence, and then transcendence. Encased in entropic systems of the flesh, the artists reference our corporeality and conjure tactility through the recollection of heat, touch and transference. We become, come apart and move through.
In the second encounter Sin, in Sailor Moon inspired latex, guides us up through the energetic centres of the body - the chakras - in order to find the place beyond the self. We ground, meet creation, find the ego, seek compassion, find a voice, feel into our intuition and then move beyond - into a place of interconnected energetics. Here we see the world - and the realms beyond - for what they are as we slide beneath the surface of the perception, where intersectional and interdependent realities are revealed.
Courtesy of the artists and Project Native Informant, London. Words by Amelia Abraham for Transformer: A Rebirth of Wonder, 2019
Jasmina Cibic The Gift (2021)Cibic's latest research and film project investigates how the gift economy is embedded within Europe’s identity formation, exploring particular examples of political gifts of architecture, art, music and dance to national and ideological structures through the use of allegory and narrative.
Filmed on locations including Oscar Niemeyer’s French Communist Party Headquarters in Paris and Palais of the Nations in Geneva, The Gift investigates culture’s role as a political style-bearer and a Trojan horse for covert diplomacy and political interest. The Gift approaches the topic of representation of (trans)national identity in the arts at a time when the nation has at once lost its centrality as a political category and reasserted its persistence in a surge of right-wing populisms. A moment, which is echoed within the historical case-studies, this project addresses and the architectures where it is filmed.
The entirety of the scripted dialogue of the film is drawn from archival traces on discussions about soft power and cultural diplomacy that led to some of the most iconic architectural and artistic manifestations within European space.
The Gift is co-commissioned and coproduced by macLYON; FLAMIN (Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network) with the financial support of: Arts Council England and steirischer herbst ‘19; a coproduction of Waddington Studios London. With the support of Muzeum Sztuki in Łódź; Cooper Gallery DJCAD, University of Dundee; Northern Film School; UGM Maribor Art Gallery; Nations Unies, Genève; Espace Niemeyer, Paris and the Palace of Culture and Science, Warsaw.
Adham Faramawy the air is subtle, various and sweet (2021)Mixing found footage with footage of two dancers shot on the Wanstead Flats nature reserve in east London, I’ve been thinking about the relationship I, as a person of colour, have with ideas of ‘the land’, plant taxonomy (whether a body is understood as native, whether this means it’s desirable), ideas of roots/heritage, relating this exploration to the passing of my father last summer, my relationship with him, his strong affinity as an artist and musician with his falahi (rural, agricultural and working class) roots and his home town Toukh (north of Cairo in the Al Qalyubia Governorate).
Along with my own spoken word, I used some footage from an Egyptian television show he presented on Toukh as well as some of his music, and poetry, particularly a song written in response to the 1992 earthquakes in Cairo, that was repurposed and sung by protestors on Tahrir square during the January 2011 revolution.
Guy Oliver You know Nothing of my Work (2020)You Know Nothing of My Work, is a multi-chapter rumination on the cultural dilemma of the disgraced popular icon, the tension between a problematic past and a more enlightened present, and the role of the male voice in a post-Me Too era. The work develops Oliver’s practice of mixing pop culture references with self-deprecating character performances and complex social issues. The film takes the unexpected form of a musical to unpick the notion of celebrity, toxic masculinity, and moral ambiguity. Oliver adopts various male archetypes as he probes what to do with the work of cultural icons such as Michael Jackson, Woody Allen, Kevin Spacey, and Bill Cosby.
Commissioned for the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2020: Hindsight, a collaboration between Jerwood Arts and Film and Video Umbrella
Georgina Starr Quarantaine (2020)Quarantaine is inspired by my research into alternative educational systems including: the Marian doctrines within the cult of the Saints and the Virgin Mary; the psychological techniques of Wilhelm Reich; musical and physical movement methods of Zoltan Kodaly and Barbara Mettler; lessons in alchemy and metaphysics in the Rosarium Philosophorum; exercises in spiritual purity inside the ancient Daoyin Tu manuscripts and codes of transcendence and bodily metamorphosis within Quantum Healing, TTRT and sunlight therapy.
In Celtic mythology 'une quarantaine’ is a 40-day period beginning on the eve of the 1st Full Moon of Spring - a liminal and dangerous occasion when the barriers between the Earthly world and the Spirit world are temporarily dissolved. The film is set within this time frame. We follow two women through an arboreal portal. Inside they join a queue of women waiting for the alignment of predictive cards. Once selected, they are ‘delivered’; passing through a giant sacred Ear to sounds of Pauline Oliveros. Reborn, the women attend classes instructed by Pearl Mama One – a disembodied singing oracle. Under her watchful gaze they take lessons in light conduction, a new poetic language and physical geometry.
Quarantaine was co-commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella, The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, Leeds Art Gallery and Glasgow International with Art Fund support through the Moving Image Fund for Museums. This programme was made possible thanks to Thomas Dane Gallery and a group of private galleries and individuals. Supported by Arts Council England.