Artist films can be puzzling, startling, frustrating, eye watering and often incredibly inventive, ripping up the filmmaking rule book. Discover a selection of recent work from artists who are living in, working in, hailing from or have studied across the North West. Curated by Bren O’Callaghan from an open-call submission and featuring Chris Paul Daniels, Darren Nixon, Sois de Traca (María Álvarez and Elisa Morais), Christopher Tym and Kate Usher.
Chris Paul Daniels
Northern Lights, 2018
Super8 and 16mm digital HD scan
Originating from a residency at Lightworks – the Blackpool Illuminations Depot with Light Up the North Network, an inquisitive voice from the far future, or ‘visitor from another place’, interrogates the traditions and artefacts of the Blackpool Illuminations, the annual light festival first established in 1879. Co-Commissioned by Grundy Art Gallery and ICA as part of the Art and Screen network.
Screengrab emerged out of Coming soon to your screen, Darren Nixon’s recent eight-week exhibition at HOME. Whilst the building was closed, the large-scale painting across two walls became film set, rehearsal space and site of performance. Nixon used his time in the space to explore how time folds into various practices, looking at ideas of stillness and movement within painting and animation, performance and film, wall and screen.
Sois de Traca
Digital video animation
Spines is an exploration of doubt. Constructed as a dream, it follows a reluctant hedgehog in a quest to solve an impossible puzzle. Mixing real details of dreams with fictional scenarios the film follows a deceptively linear narrative that barely manages to contain the threats to branch out.
Soð – Mushroom Trip, 2018
Soð is an Icelandic cooking show but this episode is different: It started when Christopher Tym asked fellow artist and cook Kristinn Guðmundsson (the show’s creator) if he could guest direct an episode of the show, but after the first draft went very wrong, the final result ended up becoming a bizarre self-reflexive film about friendship, cooking and film-making.
The Photo Album, 2018
The Photo Album borrows the format of an essay documentary/poem, investigating our relationship with archive images and nostalgia. The focus is the artist’s discovery of a random vintage photo album found in an antiques shop. Using the internet as a research tool, more information is revealed about the contents, which begins to taint the foggy romanticism attached to images we so often deem as the glory days.
“It was fantastic to see a collection of films which weren’t acting competitively, but could be appreciated in their own right… Spit that Out created a platform to share and discover unique and important voices within art and film making… I hope for creativity’s sake that this will not be a one-off affair.” – The State of the Arts