This exhibition brings together six artists who through film, video, installation, collage, painting and drawing question the viewer’s receptivity to another reading of the everyday. Departing from the mundane to drift into more intimate thoughts and poetical mises-en-scènes, they create a proper language made of images. Often using the found image, objects or sound they associate them to their own footage, photographs, drawings or texts. Familiar to us, these images refer to personal life, to the imaginary or to the overwhelming of the mass-media culture. Despite many differences between them, the works also bare some similitudes. They escape formal narratives and install a specific relation between image and language. Flirting between the absurd and a certain humour, the works in the exhibition are nevertheless tainted with socio-political concerns and generate a reflection about ‘the politics of the image’. The artists, who for most of them are British or based in Great-Britain, play on a balanced construction-deconstruction of the image that lay on the tradition of experimental film-making and more particularly on structural film. To a certain extend, some of the works also echo the films and collages of the artist and film-maker Jeff Keen or the post-punk art of Linder Sterling. Consciously or not, and with more or less intensity, they offer a reflection on certain aspects of British culture and identity.
Laure Prouvost makes direct performances for the camera and films that are sometimes inserted within large scale installations. Burrow Me, 2009 is the first video evoking ‘the tunnel’, a recurrent element in her work that reveals a constant play between fictive narration and the spectator’s implication in her work.
Tai Shani’s performances and installations revolve around experimental narrative texts. Taking their inspiration from fairy tales or mythology, they alternate between familiar styles and structures that research construction of subjectivity, the excesses of the epic and feminine realism. The audio installation The Seven Darknesses, 2014 is a reinterpretation of the story of ‘Bluebeard’.
In her collages, Clunie Reid works with visually strong images cut out from magazines or taken from the Internet that she rephotographs. She associates them with sentences written in black pen that have a direct impact on the spectator. Cos the Body Goes in and Out, 2011, explores the themes of sexuality and identity.
Through his video installations, James Richards reveals a certain poetical sensibility. He often uses his own footage mixed with existing images taken from feature films, historical artists’ films or the Internet to create a work that has its own history. In some sequences of The Misty Suite, 2009, the fragility of internet images is exposed, multiplied and leads to abstraction.
John Smith is a prominent figure of experimental film. His films and videos install a play on language while rendering a personal and intimate interpretation of the everyday, often tainted with humour. For Lost Sound, 1998-2001, he collaborated with sound artist Graeme Miller.
Stephen Sutcliffe works with film and video that take their inspiration directly from the technique of collage. He uses scenes taken from TV series, radio programmes or archival films to explore certain aspects of media culture. By including drawings in his videos, like in New Numbers, 2012, he emphasizes the conceptual relation between image and object. His drawings are inspired by illustrations taken from books, newspapers or magazines.
In the exhibition space, monitors and projections are presented alongside drawings, collages, paintings and installations and invite the spectator to create his own trajectory and to explore the possibilities of the image.