Spit That Out 2023: North-West Artist Film Programme

Discover a selection of recent work from artists who are living in, working in, hailing from or have studied across the North West.  

The showcase is curated by Alice Wilde from open-call submissions to celebrate the innovative and bold moving image works being made across the region and includes the three Artist Films details below that were commissioned for PUSH 2023. 

The programme includes: 

Echo Tides by anti-cool (15 mins)
Earth, sea, air, conduits for the echoes and tides of memory. Echo Tides is an experimental investigation of the artist’s ongoing fascination with the sea and the small communities whose lives are dependent on it. The film becomes an abstraction based on the power of memories linking the artist’s home in a small Japanese fishing town with a fishing community on the south coast of Britain. The echoes of a past life are carried into a different yet similar present. 

Early Spring by Colombina Luna (3 mins 8) 
A strange creature comes to life following a girl through the streets of Manchester. While unveiling the mysteries of growing up, she struggles to navigate herself into the adult realm. From videos captured with a mobile phone camera merged with analogue processes, Early Spring takes the inner world to the surface of the cityscape, revealing a landscape as if it had always been there. 

Earth Will Not Accept Them by  Suzy Mangion andKatie Mason (10 mins)
Earth Will Not Accept Them is a film about pylons, and about pylon enthusiasts – people who have a passion for them and are inspired by them, for whatever reasons and in whatever form. Taking its name from a forgotten poem by Stanley Snaith, one of the 1930s ‘Pylon Poets’, Mangion & Mason’s film is a curious exploration of pylons, the people that admire them, and the strange ways they occupy our current landscape.
Commissioned by HOME for PUSH Festival 2023 

Hybrid Ecologies: between sky and soil by Dongni Liang and Madeline Hall (8 mins 57)
Exploring and investigating the relationship between nature, technology, and humans through 3D, film and virtual/augmented reality. Dongni Liang’s (Post.liang) work merges computer-generated content with the surrounding world, creating a dialogue between the two in a new context. Her work incorporates moving image, AR/VR and animation, and transports the viewer to an unworldly environment. 

A terrible sound  by  Steve Oliver(7 mins 13)
A terrible sound is an artist film that poses questions about our complicity in televised images of trials and the judicial process, our enjoyment of these images, what they say about our culture and the way we communicate and share stories.
Commissioned by HOME for PUSH Festival 2023 

On Reflection by  Olivia Hird(9 mins 52)
On Reflection is amassed from miscellaneous observations on the Reflection Cruise Ship and St Martin/Sint Maarten in the wake of Hurricane Irma. Shot in 2018, the film was shaped years later; salvaging the material to consider the hangover of imperialism within the context of the transient and transactional nature of luxury cruise tourism. Underpinned by an on-ship Catholic mass sermon, the film pays particular attention to the relationship between power, piety and access – physically, materially and ecologically. The gaze foregrounds the spaces and modalities that specific bodies assume and perform within the realities of wealth and climate inequality. 

Confessions of an English Ant-Eater by Alex Crumbie (5 mins 2)
A surreal short animation film about Thomas, a boy who becomes addicted to eating ants – despite the warnings of his parents. The work, which is inspired by Thomas De Quincey’s Confessions of an English Opium Eater, playfully explores themes such as childhood rebellion and addiction. It is accompanied by a moody folk-noir soundtrack, which brings together an eclectic ensemble of instruments including banjo, double bass, and flute. 

HOW PERFECT IS THIS HOW BLESSED ARE WE by Babar Suleman (22 mins 11)
The title of this film is taken from the inscription on a bench on the top of a hill, at the highest point in the landscape of Compton Verney, designed by Lancelot “Capability” Brown in his ideal vision of the British country house. By appropriating this statement of contentment as a critical tool to inquire how perfect it really is and who is the ‘we’ that is so blessed, the artist inserts their body into the landscape as a reminder of historical absences and erasure, and the legacy of colonialism. The film is narrated, however, in the register of an address to an absent lover. A personal history and a lover’s yearning doubles as a critique of violent and exclusive histories. 

Xanatby Martha Jurksaitis (TBC)
A Super 8, hand-processed artist film exploring the little-known myth of Xanat, a Mexican Goddess who defied her father’s orders and chose her own carnal desires over patriarchal feminine ‘respectability’ and was turned into the first vanilla orchid, the only orchid to bear edible fruit.  
Commissioned by HOME for PUSH Festival 2023 

Looking for Barbara by Helen Kilbride (8 mins 32)
Looking for Barbara is a short experimental film that explores the relationship to the individual personal archive found in every home. This is the ‘behind-the-scenes’ archive usually found in boxes in attics, garages, and cupboards in domestic settings. Set to a backdrop of the filmmaker’s personal archive in the form of Super 8 footage from the mid-1990s Looking for Barbara examines queer readings of the personal archive in relation to family, identity, collective memory, place, self-curation, and queer history. 

Recipes for Baking Bread by Sara Nesteruk (5 mins 30)
A project exploring stories from Holodomor, collectivisation in Ukraine 1932–1933. Interviewees: Jerry Prytulak, former British Ukrainian baker; Philip Colley, great nephew of journalist Gareth Jones; Serhii Plokhy, professor at Harvard University; Daria Mattingly, scholar at University of Cambridge; Jerry Berman’s letters, courtesy Alison Marshall and Reverend Volodymyr Sampara, Ukrainian priest, Manchester. Partners: Holodomor Museum, Kyiv.  

Reesheh by Mahshid Alavi (5 mins 35) 
Reesheh tells the story of dance in Iran, where this art form has been prohibited for the last few decades. The film attempts to show the fight for liberty to express, and the struggle to take back the right to move freely. Mahshid’s artistic journey began with dance in Iran. During her studies in Media Management, she explored her interests in filmmaking and photography. Her work is inspired by her experience as an Iranian immigrant female artist. 

Image credit: Earth Will Not Accept Them by  Suzy Mangion and Katie Mason

Running time: 120mins

Tickets: £5.50 (£4 concessions)

The certificate for this film programme is 18.