Tag Archives: Film

Call for Papers | MIRAJ | Transnationalism and South Asian Artists’ Moving Image

Moving Image Review & Art Journal | Issue 7:2

Transnationalism and South Asian Artists’ Moving Image

Call for Papers | Deadline: 1 March 2017

This issue will be guest edited by Rashmi Sawhney and Lucia King.

The uncontestably global ecologies of contemporary moving image art have invited some deliberation on questions of regional aesthetics, identity, circulation and transnationalism. Yet such discussions have mainly taken place in the context of exhibiting ‘non-western’ art in the western world. Contradictions still persist in the project of destabilizing assumed hierarchies within the Euro-American art world (in the most recent Documenta XI and Venice Biennale, for example) whilst artists of the global South gain currency primarily by meeting the expectations of ‘western’ art markets. Furthermore, Euro-American art historical discourse remains negligent of film and video art’s legacies from the South, including experimental film and screen-based arts. As a consequence, moving image art by ‘non-western’ artists is either caged into essentialist frameworks founded on mythical notions of ‘authenticity’, or stirred into the melting pot of contemporary art without due attention to their particular cultural and aesthetic contexts. This MIRAJ issue, therefore, engages with the particularities of film and video art practices from South Asia, and leverages these in theorising the relationship between regional, global and transnational moving image cultures.

To address some of these gaps in scholarship, this special edition of MIRAJ focuses on the circuits of production, exhibition and authoring of South Asian artists moving image in order to chart key theoretical terrains of ‘regional’ practices in a global context. We solicit articles from artists, critics and curators who work within and outside South Asia, that highlight conceptual frameworks and offer insights on the multi-layered relationships between ‘home and the world’, region and identity, aesthetics and translatability, cultural specificities and contexts of classification/consumption/circulation. We invite articles that build upon foundational work in South Asian moving image art and film histories as well as transnational art practices and aesthetics.

We are particularly interested in articles that address the following:

• Theories of film and video art outside of the ‘national’ framework that are attentive to influences, collaborations and exchanges across geographic and political regions.
• Examples of significant regional exchanges and collaborations between artists and filmmakers from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
• The relationship between region, identity and moving image practice in South Asia.
• The aesthetic pre-cursors (in a pre-cinematic sense) that influence contemporary moving image art in the region, including investigations of artist(s)’ methodologies.
• Experiments in film and video art that emphasise ‘indigenous forms’.
• Transnational curatorial practices that work with and around the regional/national framework.
• Historicising South Asian moving image art in the post-medium context.
• Spectatorship and post medium/ multi-media art in/from South Asia.
• South Asian artists’ moving image engagement with science, political activism, environmentalism, urbanism etc.
• South Asian artists’ moving image hybridity with alternate media genres, such as experimental film, documentary, and digital media.
• Digital media and the exhibition and distribution of ‘regional’ moving image art.
• Digital archives and curatorial practices in/about South Asian film & video art.

We publish the following types of writing: scholarly articles (5000-7000 words); opinion pieces, feature articles and interviews (3000-5000 words); review essays of books, individual works, exhibitions and events (3000-5000 words). Scholarly articles will be blind peer-reviewed and feature articles and review essays can be peer-reviewed on request. Articles submitted to MIRAJ should be original and not under consideration by any other publication, including online publications. We do not publish articles by artists about their own work, nor reviews by curators or venues about their own exhibitions.

Please submit completed manuscripts only.
Send all contributions by e-mail in Word format to the Editorial Assistant: [email protected].

Deadline for completed articles: 1 March 2017
Image: Prisms of perception, (2010) Artist: Gigi Scaria. Medium: Video installation. (Image courtesy of the artist).

Somewhere In Macedonia

A screening of the film Somewhere In Macedonia, directed by CCW PhD student Alice Evans will take place on 17 December in the Banqueting Hall at Chelsea College of Arts from 5.30pm. During the event there will be two opportunities to view the film at both 6 and 7pm.

The narrative film is based on a series of letters sent home to Wales 100 years ago from Macedonia during the First World War. Each letter was headed ‘Somewhere In Macedonia’ to pass censor.

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The story introduces us to Idris, a young Welsh war poet and stretcher-bearer as he receives a letter from home. In the events that follow, we see how Idris, surviving under extreme pressure, confined to the trenches of war and repressed by the laws that forbid his sexuality, reacts to news that is to change the course of his life. Based on an archive of real letters, the film aims to show a side of history that would not have been given voice at the time.

For further details or to RSVP to attend please email: [email protected]

Director Alice Evans is pursuing a PhD, researching notions of unreliable narration alongside epistolary modes within filmmaking.

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Cast: 

  • Julian Firth – as Captain Grant
  • Iddon Jones (BAFTA Cymru) – as Idris
  • Gethin Alderman – as Bob
  • Harrison Rose – as Hywel
  • Alun Elidyr – as The Colonel

The Film:

The film was shot in the basement of a Camden housing co-op where for a week in May- the kitchen was transformed into a WWI trench. Thanks to a talented and generous team, this film could be realized on a low budget. This film is part of a larger feature project now seeking funding for development.

Screening location:

Chelsea College of Arts is a screening venue because the Royal Army Medical Corps, of which Idris would have been a member, was based at Chelsea’s Millbank site at the time when the film is set. We are using the Banqueting Hall, as this was the officer’s mess in 1916.

Some of the letters that inspired this story were sent from the RAMC at Millbank in 1916 before their author went out to Macedonia. It is appropriate then to screen the film 100 years later on this site.

Installation and the Moving Image

Film and video create an illusory world, a reality elsewhere, and a material presence that both dramatizes and demystifies the magic trick of moving pictures. Beginning in the 1960s, artists have explored filmic and televisual phenomena in the controlled environments of galleries and museums, drawing on multiple antecedents in cinema, television and the visual arts. In her new volume, Installation and the Moving Image, CCW Professor Catherine Elwes traces the lineage of moving-image installation through architecture, painting, sculpture, performance, expanded cinema, film history, and countercultural film and video from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s.

Sound is given due attention, along with the shift from analogue to digital, issues of spectatorship and the insights of cognitive science. Woven into this genealogy is a discussion of the procedural, political, theoretical and ideological positions espoused by artists from the mid-twentieth century to the present. Historical constructs such as Peter Gidal’s structural materialism, Maya Deren’s notion of vertical and horizontal time and identity politics are reconsidered in a contemporary context and intersect with more recent thinking on representation, subjectivity and installation art.

Elwes is a critic, curator and practitioner who was a pioneer of British video and feminist art politics in the late 1970s, who writes engagingly of her encounters with works by Anthony McCall, Gillian Wearing, David Hall and Janet Cardiff, and her narrative is informed by exchanges with other practitioners.

Professor Sean Cubitt of Goldsmiths, University of London wrote of the new book, ‘Critic, curator, historian of the moving image and artist, Elwes’ account of media installation is by turns authoritative, illuminating, intelligent and moving. Her eye and ear for the nuances of works and ideas, and most of all her emotional intelligence, brings her to the forefront of commentators on the most important art form of the 21st century.’

Discussing the book, Elwes said, ‘I was always fascinated by the spatial and sculptural possibilities of video, and back in the 1970s and early 80s I used monitors to create the windows of a house or the reflection in the “water” down a well. Where I enclosed and concealed the monitors in sculptural structures, other artists like David Hall and Tina Keane used the “box” itself as a building block for media installations that emphasised the specific nature of the technology. Once I started looking at other forms of media staging, works that used film, light, sound and live performance, I found that the whole history of avant-garde practices intersected in the “mongrel” discipline of installation art.

My approach to the book was that of a genealogist, tracing the various ancestors of moving image installation in sculpture, painting, architecture, performance and, of course, in the history of film and video. These come with their own cultural philosophies and social and political objectives. The question of spectatorship runs like a knotted seam through the entirety of the text, and I end with a consideration of what cognitive science can teach us about the ways in which we watch film, how artists and technologies “craft the viewing experience” (Tim Smith). My final word on the subject is a chapter in which I shift the discussion from the spectator to the producer of the work and ask, what’s in it for the artist?’

Installation and the Moving Image is published by Wallflower Press, an imprint of Columbia University Press, and is supported by CCW Graduate School. The book will launch on 15 June.