“Experimental Motion: the art of film innovation” – a new group exhibition opens on 22 Oct at Brighton Museum.

A new display at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery will tell the story of experimental film-making in Brighton & Hove, from 1896 to the present day.

Experimental Motion: the art of film innovation

Unknown to many, both Brighton and Hove have played a rich and important part in international film history.  Early film-making pioneers including George Albert Smith and James Williamson, who became known as the Brighton School and worked here at the turn of the 20th century, while Modern and contemporary filmmakers and moving image artists – like Jeff Keen, Ben Wheatley and Ben Rivers – have cemented the city’s status as a hotbed of experimental film.

Experimental Motion: the art of film innovation will explore Brighton & Hove’s success as a place for experimental film-making, and its significance nationally and internationally.

Artists’ Film Club: Frieze Video and LUX present “Soft Floor, Hard Film: Celebrating 50 Years of the London Film-Makers’ Co-op” at ICA, London

Frieze Video and LUX present Soft Floor, Hard Film: 50 Years of the London Film-Makers’ Co-op.

Formed on October 13th 1966, the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative (LFMC) grew out of a series of screenings in the basement of counter-culture book store, Better Books, on Charing Cross road to become a pioneering organisation incorporating a film workshop, cinema space and distribution office. Radical in its early ideals, the Co-op played a crucial role in establishing moving image as an art form in the UK and internationally.

To celebrate the LFMC’s 50th anniversary, Frieze Video presents Soft Floor, Hard Film, a new short film about the organisation written and directed by artist and writer Matthew Noel-Tod.

The screening will be followed by a discussion between Noel-Tod, former LFMC members Malcolm Le Grice and Lis Rhodes, and film curator Mark Weber, and a screening of Light Music (1975), Rhodes’s iconic – and rarely seen – expanded cinema work.

The event also marks the launch of a new book, published by LUX and edited by Mark Webber. Shoot Shoot Shoot: The First Decade of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative 1966–76 brings together texts, interviews images and archival documents, and includes newly commissioned essays by Mark Webber, Kathryn Siegel & Federico Windhausen.

Very sad news

 

My amazing mum Jackie died this Saturday 27 Feb 2016 from pneumonia. Can’t say much more than this at the moment as am in shock and sorrow.

She was a rare talent and a true star. Her wild rebel spirit flies free with my dad’s now.

The staff at Royal Sussex County Hospital were just wonderful and did all they could for her. I’m supremely grateful for their kindness and care both to her and me.

Viva Catwoman!

Double Whammy in January 2016! 2 simultaneous London exhibitions

Preview: 15 January 2016, 6-8:30 pm

 

Hales Gallery is delighted to announce  Rayday Film, a solo exhibition celebrating the Jeff Keen’s iconic film in the important context of his multidisciplinary practice. The exhibition runs in conjunction with Jeff Keen, The Cartoon Theatre of Dr Gaz, to be on view at Kate MacGarry, London. Both exhibitions will preview on 15 January 2016.

 

Jeff Keen was a poet, artist and pioneering experimental film-maker, working across and combining media and genres to forge his singular, subversive and highly influential perspective. He was an important contributor to the countercultural scene in Britain, participating in literary happenings and other events at the renowned ‘Better Books’ on Charing Cross Road, as well as co-founding the London Film-makers Co-op (now merged with London Video Arts to form LUX). However, his resolutely individual take on the medium’s cross-generic possibilities always remained on the fringes of the purely formalist avant-garde canon of experimental film. In Keen’s films, innovative techniques of film construction and transmission (including collage, animation, found footage, superimposed and hand-altered film stock, and multiple screen projections) are explored within the context of a diverse array of influences. These range from archetypal mythologies and the art historical movements of surrealism and romanticism to popular contemporary culture, particularly comic books and Hollywood B-movies, resulting in works which powerfully describe the frenetic, global world of post-war Western society. Defying the boundaries of genre and category, Keen’s art bears testament to the presence of an extraordinary creative universe and of a highly perceptive, radical voice contributing to the narratives of film and twentieth century art history.

 

Keen’s seminal work Rayday Film (1968-70, 1976) was originally presented at the 1970 ‘First International Underground Film Festival’ with multi-screen projections and live-action performance before being condensed into a 16mm film in 1976. It takes its title from the magazine, Amazing Rayday, created by the artist in 1962 to explore the fringe world of comic book art which he found so compelling for its evocation of a graphical universe outside the world of bourgeois ‘high’ art. Indeed, the aesthetic and vernacular of the comic-book universe is central to Rayday Film, evoked in the film’s graphic style and frenetic action as well as a cast of superhero and villain-style characters, illustrations and onomatopoeic language in classic cartoon typography.

 

An assault on the senses, visual and auditory, Rayday Film immerses the viewer in its manic world of creation and violent destruction. Film becomes the site of an expansive and disorderly collage chaotically uniting the varied elements of Keen’s creative universe. In Rayday Film, the viewer is presented with a barrage of comics, drawings, poetry and text, photography, plastic toys (often burning), graffiti, animation, costumed live-action performance and sound, cut together at rapid speed. A proliferation of images, characters and action do nothing to contribute to a sense of coherent cinematic narrative, instead fulfilling Keen’s desire to expand cinema, pushing the medium beyond its conventional framing limits. The exhibition at Hales Gallery places the work in an immersive environment, displaying it alongside paintings and sculptural objects as well as never-before-seen archival documentation photographic artworks created by Keen during the film-making process, presenting Keen’s film within the context of his vision of an expanded multimedia cinema.

 

Jeff Keen, Rayday Film, Hales Gallery, Tea Building, 7 Bethnal Green Road, E1 6LA

Jeff Keen,The Cartoon Theatre of Dr Gaz, Kate MacGarry, 27 Old Nichol Street, E2 7HR (2 minute walk)

 

 


 

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Jeff Keen (1923-2012) was born in Trowbridge, Wiltshire. After studying for a short time on a Commercial Art course at Chelsea, he was drafted into National Service during WWII, after which he moved to Brighton where he lived and worked until his death. Keen’s work has recently been the subject of two retrospectives: Shoot the Wrx, Artist and Filmmaker Jeff Keen at Brighton Museum and Art Gallery (UK) and Gazwrx: The Films of Jeff Keen at the BFI, Southbank, London (UK). A major installation, Gazapocalypse – Return to the Golden Age, took place in the Tanks at Tate Modern in September 2012. Selected exhibitions, screenings and performances include those at the Trondheim Kunstmuseum (Norway), Tate Britain (UK), Fabrica (UK), Better Books (UK), the Serpentine Gallery (UK), Viper Festival for International Film and Video (Switzerland) and London Film Festival (UK).

 

 


 

 

Image: Miss Rayday Film (detail) photo: Jeff Keen

 

 

New Proposed exhibitions

New proposals are going forward to create touring versions of the hugely successful “Shoot the Wrx” retrospective exhibition from Brighton and Hove Museum and Gallery:
http://www.brighton-hove-rpml.org.uk/WhatsOn/RP%20%20Museums%20Whats%20On%20archive/BMAGShoottheWrxjeffkeen27octto24feb13.aspx
+ the fantastic 360 degree multi screen installation from Tate Tanks – see:
http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern-tanks/exhibition/jeff-keen

Also a new solo show is planned next year in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire of previously unseen works on paper from the 1970s.

And Jeff’s work (alongside his daughter Stella’s) will feature in a group exhibition (TBC) of Surrealist inspired artists affiliated with Patricide Magazine. This is a joint collaboration with Stella Keen and Neil Coombs – see: http://neilcoombsart.wordpress.com/

 

 

 

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