Part screening, part talk or performance, Propositions provides a discursive setting for artists and filmmakers to expand on their work, demonstrating research, contexts and perspectives as a means to dig deeper into the questions, ideas and complications encountered through their artistic process.
Join us for the first draft of Islanders, a new collaborative work combining live performance with moving image sequences. The work builds on strategies of co-authorship and ways to work together developed over the course of the 2-year project ‘Giles Bailey & CIRCA Projects’, which previously led to the live events ‘World is Sudden: Part I’ and ‘Take the Credits’ at Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival’s 2016 and 2017 editions.
Through collaged fragments, the work explores the construction of island identity at a point when the UK’s relationship to other landmasses and the sea around it is in flux. By collectively expanding and re-staging historical diverse representations of islands that exist in the popular imagination, Islanders offers a collage of material to propose critical relationships to states of isolation, political fantasy and the promise of rescue.
Commissioned by CIRCA Projects in partnership with Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, Middlesbrough Art Weekender, Tyneside Cinema and Northern Gallery of Contemporary Art
Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England
Artist-filmmaker Jessica Sarah Rinland presents the world premiere of her film Black Pond, a film that explores the activity within a common land in the south of England. Previously occupied by the 17th century agrarian socialists The Diggers, the land is currently inhabited by a Natural History Society whose occupations include bat and moth trapping, mycology, tree measuring and botanical walks.
After two years of filming on the land, the footage was shown to the members of the Society. Their memories and responses were recorded and subsequently used as part of the film’s narration. The film does not offer a comprehensive record of the history of humans within the area. Instead, it explores more intimately, human’s relationship with and within land and nature.
Following the film, Rinland will dissect and expose materials related to the film, detailing content from a forthcoming publication related to the film. She will stage moments from the Society’s yearly town hall meetings, discuss historical maps and laws, letters of complaint and footage she shot in the same location years before her encounter with them.
Artist, writer and curator Morgan Quaintance presents his new film Another Decade, alongside a programme of material that extends and details themes within it.
Another Decade combines archive and found footage from the 1990s with recently shot 16mm film and standard definition video. Starting from testimonies and statements made by artists and art historians during the 1994 INIVA conference ‘Towards a New Internationalism’, Another Decade ranges across diverse cultural territory, and is propelled by a sense that very little socio- cultural or institutional change has taken place in the United Kingdom since that time.
The dynamic tension explored in the work is between, on the one hand, art world actors speaking a truth to institutional power and, on the other, lived realities of London’s multiracial citizenry. Those who necessarily inhabit a centre of otherness.
These are positions that are drawn out in the selection of films that make up the accompanying programme. A suite of new works made by Quaintance—including a rumination on British Empire and the English countryside set to the words of Jimmie Durham, as well as a work examining the artist’s experiences growing up in South London—will be accompanied by several clips from a video pen pal exchange project facilitated by artist Russell Newell in 1994–95. Exchanged between kids in London and Los Angeles, the videos show participants talking about their neighbourhoods, giving tours of their schools, and discussings aspects of their culture like music, fashion and gangs.
While recent attention paid to the ’90s casts a largely apolitical view over the decade, this range of films seek to exhume evidence buried in the shallow grave of cultural amnesia of another, more political, more iconoclastic and more confrontational decade.
Join artist Jessica Sarah Rinland and Kate Dixon, Berwick Parks Manager, for a river walk. Collect a free ticket from the Maltings Box Office, the starting point for an approximately 1 hour wildlife exploration along the River Tweed.
Filmmaker Sky Hopinka presents a screening of his short films in conversation with Nicole Yip, Director of LUX Scotland. Based in Milwaukee, Sky Hopinka (Ho-Chunk/Pechanga) focuses on the interconnections between his indigenous homeland, language, landscapes, and identity. Anchored by both surreal perspectives and grounded realities, Hopinka’s sublime films create maps of dreams and memories, pushing against cultural and personal boundaries, creating meaning where none had existed before.
Hopinka will read from his debut publication Around the Edge of Encircling Lake (2018) and the screening will include:
Kunįkága Remembers Red Banks, Kunįkága Remembers the Welcome Song, 2014, US, 9 mins
Jáaji Approx, 2015, US, 15 mins
I’ll Remember You as You Were, Not as What You’ll Become, 2016, US, 12 mins
Dislocation Blues, 2017, US, 17 mins
Fainting Spells, 2018, US, 12 mins
Special thanks to Ruth Hodgins, Walker Art Center