Untitled (Kokkola), 2011
Untitled (Kokkola) is a brief snapshot of ice swimming, a popular tradition in northern Europe. Shot on location in Kokkola, Finland,
the film retains a certain romanticised quality of found or archive
footage. Bathers are observed climbing into a frozen pool of water,
smiling as they submerge themselves. The film cuts unexpectedly,
just as the bathers disappear beneath the surface, only to return to
the beginning as more bathers enter and disappear, framing an
endlessly repeating cycle.
Psara's Donkey, 2011
Psara's Donkey follows the existence of the last remaining donkey of Psara, a remote Greek Island in the Aegean Sea. The camera
quietly captures the tedium of this creature's daily life with long
meditative shots that seem to imbue the donkey with human feelings
and emotions. The film is intended as a tribute to the island's past,
representing near obsolete forms of existence, suggesting an
uncertain, unknown future for its inhabitants.
Downward Ascension (Ode to the Flâneur), 2010
In the desire to escape the confines of the urban and to
encounter new and unknown experiences, the artist setout on an unmapped journey. Engaging with so-called
outsider communities, Foster confronts the social isolation
of the individuals she meets, becoming integrated within
their community. Downward Ascension is a record of her
own interactions with this society, documenting the
relationships she forms and the strong bonds created.
A popular Victorian toy, the thaumatrope is an important
antecedent to the moving image. Pearl uses this simple device to
animate a picture of a plane in flight. The use of thaumatropic
animation infuses the film with a frenetic visual quality, giving the
plane the illusion of terrible speed as it firstly charges towards the
mountains, then, nose down, careers towards the ground.
||Jessica Sarah Rinland
An elderly man recounts his lifelong experiences suffering from
a disease called Nulepsy which causes him to black out and
frantically remove his clothes. The narrator recalls different
episodes in his adolescence which are in turn humorous and
moving. Nulepsy is however a fictitious disease created by the
artist as a device for experimenting with narrative deceptions
and contrasting forms of reality within the conventions of film documentary.
Antitesi Popolare, 2008
Antitesi Popolare follows the actions of a small group of people looking for contact with a flock of Cormorans. Journeying through
the Cormorans' habitat the group are spurred on, more by childlike
curiosity than the possibility of scientific discovery. The action
begins in the early morning and concludes in the afternoon without
any real contact with the birds being made.
Selected by Ben Rivers
Ben Rivers trained at Falmouth School of Art. His practice as a filmmaker treads a line
between documentary and fiction. Often following and filming people who have in some way
separated themselves from society, the raw film footage provides Rivers with a starting point
for creating oblique narratives and imagining alternative existences in marginal worlds. He
has received a number of commissions and awards including the London Artists Film and
Video Award, 2007, the Paul Hamlyn Award for Artists, 2010 and the Baloise Art Prize, 2011.
Recent solo shows include Sack Barrow, Statements, Art Basel / Hayward Gallery, London;
Slow Action, Matt's Gallery, London and Origin of the Species, Kate MacGarry, London.
The Bats, 1999
Hand-drawn animated short, The Bat's, is part nature
documentary, part moral tale. Narrated in the first person by one
of a family of bats, the voiceover offers a reflective account of
his day-to-day existence, delivered with a disarming honesty far
removed from the cutesy caricatures of conventional creature
animation. The bat's frank story emphasises aspects of animal
life such as rampant procreation and immoral behaviours that
humans tend to gloss over. However, the bats are also invested with a belief in god and an
awareness of their own mortality, allying them with humanity.
Weather Diary #3, 1988
A fascination with extreme weather conditions attracted
Kuchar to ‘Tornado Alley' in Oklahoma where, for over two
decades, he made an annual pilgrimage with his 8mm
camcorder to record the Weather Diaries. A self-
proclaimed ‘storm squatter' with little meteorological expertise,
Kuchar documents atmospheric changes largely from the
safety of his motel room. In equal parts personal diary,
travelogue, and documentary, Weather Diary #3 records
Kuchar's daily routine whilst waiting for the big storm.
Inevitably Kuchar's camera turns on himself, creating an intimate portrait, which includes
detailed accounts of his bowel movements.
Courtesy of Lux