The White Ship is a seascape film as historical re-enactment, imagining the potential conversations shared amongst the bored and exploited workers of Hastings who for a week at the end of 1120AD were enlisted to spend their nights shivering in the cold, scanning the foggy horizon, pondering an uncertain future as they waited for King Henry I’s “White Ship” to arrive – one of the earliest recorded shipwrecks.
Using contemporary metrological webcam footage, used to monitor increasingly perilous weather conditions and sensorially overloaded field recordings captured on the Hastings coast at night, the film dissolves between the past and the present, artifacting and fog, between the precarious futures of the middle ages and the now – grounding itself amongst the solidarity and care transmitted between bored and exploited workers.
Graeme Arnfield is an artist filmmaker and curator who produces sensory essay films from found, often viscerally embodied, networked imagery. His films use methods of investigative storytelling to explore issues of circulation, spectatorship and history.
The White Ship is a new Push 2021 commission from HOME.
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