Artists present recent and newly commissioned moving image works, reinhabiting Berwick’s town walls, animating historic buildings and rewilding its town centre.
In Beyond the Field artist Matt Stokes uses folk instruments to create the sounds produced by fauna present in the landscape of Berwick-upon-Tweed in the mid 1700s. This was during the Agricultural Revolution when the flower-rich meadowlands described by writers surveying the Tweed Valley were being drained and replaced with crops. The shift in farming practices altered local biodiversity, effecting the plants, insects, birds and mammals present in the area.
Commissioned and presented by Museums Northumberland at Berwick Museum & Art Gallery
Bugs and Beasts Before the Law explores the history and legacy of the “animal trials” that took place in medieval Europe, in which animals—and other non-humans, such as insects and inanimate objects—were put on trial for various crimes and offenses, ranging from trespassing and thievery, to assault and murder. This history of colonial law-making forged political and sometimes profane relationships between humans and animals. Bambitchell’s essayistic film reimagines common perceptions of legal history and, in doing so, produces a world where past and present, fiction and non-fiction, human and animal fuse. —Bambitchell
Cinématon is a major film work composed by Gérard Courant since 1978. The film consists of silent, three-and-a-half minute portraits of artistic and cultural personalities, numbering over 3,000 to date. The person being filmed can do whatever she/he wants. Taken together, they constitute an archive of international art, film, theatre and entertainment scenes of the past four decades. Jean-Luc Godard, Julie Delpy, Terry Gilliam, Babette Mangolte and Sergei Parajanov star alongside a cast of thousands.
Supported by Northumberland Cultural Fund and ‘Welcome Visitor’ Project
Tim Alsiofi’s unflinching document of people sheltering in a city under siege reaffirms the importance of transparency and immediacy in documenting crucially important scenes of unfolding history through moving images.
Ben Rivers’ magnificent film of a sloth doesn’t encourage lazy viewing. Rather, it’s an active, engaging and engrossing experience. Time becomes suspended as each breath, every movement becomes a theatrical drama unfolding before our eyes. Perhaps implicitly poking fun at the term ‘slow cinema’, Rivers instead gives us an exquisite example of ‘sloth cinema’.
O’ Pierrot treads the stock, pantomime narra- tive of Pierrot the Clown, told this time from a lesbian, mixed-race, British perspective. The quest for British identity, so often played out in too-real grey-scale is here translated in glowing colour via 8mm stock.
Commissioned by The New Flesh as part of the 2019 residency programme, using public funding from Arts Council England
Aura Satz’s Preemptive Listening project focuses on sonic obedience and disobedience through the trope of the siren. The Fork in the Road comprises trumpet improvisor Mazen Kerbaj’s composition of a new siren sound using circular breathing, and actor/activist Khalid Abdalla speaking on the siren as the emblematic sound of resistance, oppression and lost futures during the Arab Spring. Shot on 16mm, the film is literally driven by its soundtrack, as the voice becomes a beacon, activating emergency rotating lights.