NOW Cinema: Unshore: The Artists' Thames on Film
Friday, 31 October 2014 from 19:30 to 21:00 (GMT)
San Francisco, California
London, United Kingdom
31st Oct 14
A sextet of works by award-winning London-living or -lived artist film-makers navigates the river-run of the metropolis, both from the shoreline and mid-stream, tracking the city and its hidden histories as much as the architecture of the waterfront and the economic / political struggles of waterway ownership. From rumbustious good humour to the revolutionary impulse, and processed excavation to pranksterish voyaging, this programme puts the Thames front and centre in the creative currents of the Capital.
+ in-conversation with Rosalind Fowler, George Barber and William Raban, hosted by NOW Cinema Curator Gareth Evans.
125 years on, in memory of the Great London Dock Strike (1899).
Cinema opens at 7.30pm for 7.45pm start
The Boudoir awaits you.
But before we start, we must of course mark today’s nocturnal activities, with a wonderful 5 minute animation, only 85 years young; to be revealed on the evening…
Andrew Kotting: Jaunt (1995) 5 mins
A trip up the Thames from Southend-On-Sea to the Houses of Parliament provides Kotting with many fine opportunities to indulge in his own idiosyncratic brand of taradiddles and horseplay. This film is a sort of trailer for his demented feature film Gallivant, and with its vivacious Super 8 camerwork and cast of cheeky characters, it’s great fun.
Premiere: Rosalind Fowler: Tamesa (2014) 10 mins
The filmmaker searches for traces from the ancient past by processing 16mm film on the foreshore of the Thames using water collected from the river. The experiment takes place adjacent to Battersea Bridge, a site where archaeological finds suggests significant ritual activity. Images of water patterns and foreshore detritus are combined with close-up textures of pre-historic objects discovered in the area. Through developing film within the landscape, water marks and particles of the river’s silt leave traces on the resultant film’s surface in abstract formations, reflecting something of the river’s continued uncanny and enigmatic qualities today.
‘Colour on the Thames’ (1935) 8 mins
A travelogue of times past…
George Barber: River Sky (2001) 6 mins
Three people are taken for a short ride on the River Thames hanging upside down on the back of a speedboat. The journey is both a test of endurance and a simple way of forcing people to see differently. Upon reflection, the participants talk about their childhood and the places where they used to like to play and hang out. The very nature of the event leads the participants to remember and think about themselves and the way they have changed.
Anja Kirschner: Polly II: Plan for a Revolution in Docklands (2006) 30 mins
Part satirical sci-fi, part soap opera and part Brechtian ‘Lehrstueck’, Polly II portrays the lives of pirates and outcasts surviving in the flooded ruins of East London, a lawless zone set to become the latest in luxury waterside living according to government plans and venturing developers’ wet dreams. The film imagines a future insurrection coloured by the legacy of dispossessed peasants, political radicals, whores, sailors, pirates, and former slaves. Alluding to Polly (1728) – John Gay’s censored sequel to the popular Beggar’s Opera (1727), which resurrected the character of the robber Macheath in the disguise of the African pirate captain Morano (scheming to take revenge on a colony in the West Indies) – Polly II is populated by many of the characters made popular by Gay and Brecht.
William Raban: Thames Barrier (1977) Silent; 8 mins
Ships are already returning upstream. Chimneys, cranes, and gas storage tanks make a firm dark shape against the morning sky. The cranes cut space into angled planes between their girders. At midday the painted huts and rusting hulks burst into colour. They have lost the monotone flatness of silhouettes. Now the sun is stronger, colours on the north bank appear at shouting pitch. The clouds return and colour gives way to distance. At night there is a constant hum from the working barrier. The sodium lights are on, and a low pulse throbs from the cranes and jetties (WR)
When & Where
NOW Gallery, Greenwich Peninsula
NOW Gallery; a new art and platform for South East London.
The Gateway Pavilions, Peninsula Square, London SE10 0SQ