For the second installment of Freeze-Frames, Tai Shani’s programme explores film time as crystallisation, hypnosis, time-lapse and the disordering of linear time. It includes works by Clu Gulager, Pia Borg, Jeff Keen and Megan Fraser.
Clu Gulager // A Day with the Boys
1969, 18 min
This avant-garde short film was written, directed, and produced by character actor Clu Gulager in 1969, and follows a group of boys as they just sort of do the things that a pack of boys might do. In the second part, the dark side of this pack is revealed, with the boys burying the “businessman”/adult character alive, and the camera panning to reveal that they have killed others. It is beautifully shot by legendary cinematographer László Kovács, and without dialogue it stands as a poignant meditation on childhood and the wildness and potential savagery that exists within us all.
Takeshi Murata // Pink Dot
2007, 5 min
In Untitled (Pink Dot), Murata transforms footage from the 1982 Sylvester Stallone film Rambo: First Blood into a morass of seething electronic abstraction. Subjected to Murata’s meticulous digital reprocessing, the action scenes decompose and are subsumed into an almost palpable, cascading digital sludge, presided over by a hypnotically pulsating pink dot.
Pia Borg // Crystal World
2013, 11 min
Pia Borg uses stop-motion film and live-action choreography to evoke modern and historical visions of the future. A viral crystal transforms trees, animals and humans into jewels, suspended forever in the present. The crystallisation is visualised by mirrors, prisms, models and time-lapse photography.
Jeff Keen // White Lite
1968, 2.30 min
White Lite is a surreal and metaphysical journey that uses scratches, negative film stock and images of his muse and wife, Jackie, plus footage of stuffed bats from a local Brighton museum.
Megan Fraser // Arkhé
2008, 12 mins
Arkhé, a study of the last days of the Medical Museum at the Royal London Hospital uses the process of filming as an intervention into the visual order of the institution.
Tai Shani is a London based artist and writer whose performances, films and installations revolve around experimental narrative texts which alternate between familiar styles and structures and theoretical prose that researches construction of subjectivity, the excesses of the epic and feminine realism. Shani has presented her work extensively in the UK and abroad.
Film Exercise: Freeze-Frames
Film Exercise relaunches with a new research framework. During 2014 we will spend a year exploring film time: Freeze Frames, Burn-Holes, Breaches. Each series of threeFilm Exercise events will comprise a screening of a long-form film, a screening of artists’ film and video and a round-table discussion event. Film Exercise is curated by Bridget Crone and Al Cameron.