Since the 1970s, Lis Rhodes has been making radical and experimental films that challenge the viewer to reconsider film as a medium of communication and the presentation of image, language and sound. This exhibition looks at the relationship of Rhodes’ work to performance, photography, composition, writing and political commentary.
Rhodes has exhibited widely at film festivals over the last three decades but rarely within a gallery setting. A notable exception was in 2009, when she exhibited Light Music (1975) in the oil tanks at Tate Modern. Light Music is considered to be one of the seminal works of Expanded Cinema, of which Rhodes is a pioneering practitioner. This often over-looked film genre refers to work that challenges the traditional one-way relationship between audiences and screen, and provides an intense site-specific physical experience.
At the ICA, Rhodes’ films will be presented as large-scale installations within the upper galleries. Films from throughout Rhodes’ career are included from Dresden Dynamo (1972) to her most recent works, In the Kettle (2010) and Whitehall (2011).
The title of the exhibition, Dissonance and Disturbance, is taken from an essay by Rhodes and describes how some of the work is experienced. Both the fragmented imagery on screen and the discordant sounds can be described as cacophonous while any expectations of narrative and other film conventions are distorted.