Saturday, November 13, 2010 - 6:00 PM
Selected from across the UK, ACTION CONSTELLATION presents a selection of queer artist film and video made being made now. Whilst there is a wealth of shorts, documentaries and feature length films made in the DIY queer community this is a selection of those films made to be shown in art spaces, galleries, squats or bedroom screenings - films that approach structure, appropriation, historicity, gender and sexuality, performance and community from a point of experimentation and autonomy. They posit a queer horizon, a futurity that could enact a queer that has yet to happen, or a queer that is a place of could-be: the narratives are fractured, at times unperceivable and the particulars of queerness go beyond simple boy-on-boy or girl-on-girl, to a queer constellation of subject matters. Performance and performativity emerge in each film, though these tropes do little to elaborate upon or reveal the bodies of the artists or subjects of the videos; rather they knot notions of identity, dense or antagonistic gestures that negotiate their context’s structures. This programme does not attempt to contextualise these films or their modes of production, nor does it move towards any pretence of a ‘scene’ or movement: instead it focuses on a current but loose set of provocations that vibrate tensely in proximity to one another and begin to reveal threads that run through contemporary, critical queer video art now.
Patrick Staff, guest curator. TRT: 62 min.
Unpublished Poems from the 1980s 1-7
2010, UK, 16mm to video, color, sound, 3 min. World Premiere
Nina Wakeford is an artist and reader in Sociology. Her previous research projects include studies of internet cafes, women’s discussions lists and the use of ethnography by new technology designers. Amongst her publications are papers on virtual methodologies, queer identities, digital communities and public internet access provision, whilst her video, performance and installation works have explored queer identities, collaboration and production, frequently working with unique 16mm film-to-digital production and editing methods. Unpublished Poems for the 1980s
is a series of stop-start shorts that
appear here before each film in the program, speaking a politics of their time.
Stephen Robinson & Patrick Staff
2010, UK, video, color, sound, 9 min. World Premiere
Made collaboratively by Staff and Robinson with a group of performers, Peckham Paramo
is an unfinished, unravelling set piece formed around appropriation of magic realist texts, death, performance and queer culture. Drawing from Juan Rulfo’s Pedro Paramo
, Peckham Paramo
is an ode to its namesake, a gaudy look at queer surrealism, poetry and roaming performance.
2010, UK, video, color, Sound, 7 min. World Premiere
Nia Hughes is a Welsh artist currently living and working in London whose photography and video works explore hidden histories, localized narratives and performative explorations of the relationships between history, identity and place. Untitled
documents Hughes’ exploration of a former town in her native North Wales that was evacuated and used as a reservoir and the lost voice of a female preacher, breaking into and swimming out to the centre of the lake the film is a documentation of a fractured relationship with a submerged past.
Mr. Mexico Beauty Contest
2009, UK, video, color, sound, 5 min. US Premiere
Rhiannon Chaloner is a cross- disciplinary artist and musician with a background in collaborative performance and socially engaged practice. Her work focuses on artifice, second skins, re-appropriation, repetition and ritual, labour intensive love-actions, living as the artist-aficionado, residual body memory, as well as exploring the notion of ‘tactile’ viewing. Her video piece—shot at a Mexican Men’s Beauty pageant—idles across the legs and crotches, trophies and almost out-of-sight audiences, while an unintelligible voice over announces its winners. It explores the positioning of the filmmaker lingering upon homoerotic desire, masculine performativity and foreign culture.
Washing Hands 1973
2009, UK, video, color, sound, 6 min. US Premiere
Kindersley’s multifaceted work is situated in the cultural interface between viewer and film moment. Drawing on camp, nostalgia and the extremities of exploitation movies of the 60s and 70s, his starting references explore the exaggerated filmic concepts and emotions of tragedy, eroticism, melodrama, violence and the tacky. Washing Hands 1973
shows three hands each struggling to scrub and wash the other. At once familiar, the piece is referential but disembodied from both its source and the bodies of the hands that abjectly stroke and finger one another beneath running water.
Elephant and Castle, Anarchist Assembly
2010, UK, video, color, sound, 8 min. World Premiere
Patrick Staff is a London based artist whose work approaches Bermudic triangles, performativity, sound, obscuring structures and appropriated, broken narrative. Filmed in circumferences walked by the artist, Elephant and Castle, Anarchist Assembly
circles the exterior of a crumbling inner London shopping centre, an inner circle navigating hallways and elevators and a smaller circle at the centre of the building. Whilst tracing these routes—texts alluding to communal action, anarchist theatre and performance—a ruin of capitalism becomes a stagnant set piece for a ghost of theatricality.
Scarcity, from Vertical to Horizontal and Back Again
Sofía Hernández, Chong Cuy Documents a Performance by Emma Hedditch
2008, UK/France, video, color, sound, 9 min.
Emma Hedditch makes work based on the ethos of knowledge-sharing, participation and the ‘can do’ at- titude of DIY culture. Predominantly using video, conversation and live events as her practice, the final product secondary to the experience and action of building something together Hedditch examines existing communities and works on projects that facilitate further collaboration. Scarcity
is a video of a performance – the artist, hidden behind a hanging sheet, questions the audience’s needs, necessities, visibility and methods of communication.
Jack Takes a Trip
Richard John Jones
2010, UK, video, color, sound, 15 min.US Premiere
A bacchic carnival plotting a transverse line through the psycho and sexual politics of the 60s, Jack Takes a Trip
is Jones’ homage’s to the historical moment surrounding Holtzman’s ‘Ink blot Perceptibility’ book.
On a personal journey of enlightenment, the films protagonist Jack queers the world around him, reframing his body and consciousness with free love, LSD and KARAOKE.