Hinting at a legitimacy of an altered state in direct contrast to conventional reality, the works included in this artist’ film event explored a space that is entered, controlled or conjured by the conscious or unconscious mind. This place is where imagination holds power and the routes of consequence do not follow structures of normal society. All the films bear witness to, or are an incantation of, a moment where it is possible to pass over, to transcend from one realm to another.
Capturing ritual as a private or communal experience, the films presented this moment as a practiced rite or as an experimental watershed moment.
The screening was presented in a former church which provided a devotional space for the event to unfold in.
As part of the screening McCarthy’s first film, ‘To Experiment with Gap Detection Feature’, 2008, entrances the viewer with a physical rhythm and introduces some of the folkloric and figurative imagery developed on in her second animated film, ‘An Axe, A Séance & the Teenage Angst’, 2007.
Matthew Wilkins film ‘A Series of Disappearances’, 2008, questions the life of someone known only through photographs and considers what coded message was intended to be passed through to the viewer. It lets us follow the life of a female family member from a bygone age and questions the assumptions involved in our reading of photographs from different time periods.
A hypnotic pulsing light is a recurring feature within Andy Wake’s ‘Trickster Cycle’, 2007. This beacon is featured in different contexts – at one point in an interior shot where a presentation device is shown eminating the light out into a basement room. The illusive characters within this film are never fully revealed. Who’s hand’s hover above the church hall piano keyboard and who’s face is within the jester’s cloak? The soundtrack for this film is equally hypnotic with a deep drone underlying a level, dual-spoken element. The voices seem to weave familiar, seemingly benign stories together towards unsettling scenarios.
An elementally cleansing and replenishing end to the film programme was provided by Dalziel + Scullion’s film, ‘Water Falls Down’, 2001, where a community shares three individuals’ intense sea-water baptisms.
I would like to thank the artists involved in this event for their support.
THURSDAY 7TH AUGUST 2008
The Forest Hall, Bristo Place, Edinburgh, EH1 1EY, UK
Part of the Edinburgh Art Festival
Transitional State is the first of three events that I will be organising over the next year. The events will reflect my research into emergent video artists from the UK and Germany. The Scottish Arts Council, through their Creative and Professional Fund, have provided some financial support for this project. I will eventually be posting some of my research onto a wordpress page linked to http://www.transitionalstate.wordpress.com and I am keen to be made aware of any work, artists or organisations that may be of interest.
The image above is handwritten performance notes of Steven Anderson.
All images courtesy and copyright the artists.