I have had some feedback from Ruth for BOW A1 and have a meeting planned later today.
The BOW course is structured so that the initial assignment is reworked and split into two sections. Reworking the film is tricky for two reasons.
- It’s a collaboration and any editing would entail asking Emma to make time to collaborate again on the rework. I’m not sure this is viable. I cannot mess with the music without her as it would undermine the work she put in in the first place.
- The other issue is the central and underlying concept, which I must admit always felt somewhat contrived, revolves around the limited amount of footage of women, sans monsters and disasters, in the overall film; an irony, given it’s about visiting a planet populated by women only. In fact, eleven-minutes is probably not all that accurate. The women in the film certainly don’t appear for as long as the men. But I could have calculated a more exact time. We might also have been more robust with the concept. I suspect one reason for this failure is due to a lack of genuinely deep collaboration between Emma and me and a panicked feeling of needing to have something to show.
While the eleven-minute figure is a little tenuous, going back to start again and unravelling it all would mean starting from scratch with the same film and I just can’t see Emma having the time or inclination.
One of Ruth’s suggestions in her feedback is to shorten the film; “Overall sense of the film: it could be much shorter and thereby allow the viewer to be swept up in the whirl of the imagery and music but not start figuring out what is going on. The length somewhat detracts from the open-endedness of the film, and suggests a potential narrative.” (2019)
I agree with Ruth – but I also feel that work is done – for better or worse and it was a useful exercise from which I learned a great deal.
I have since worked on a subsequent film, also the result of a collaboration – and the things I learned while producing Sirens have been applied in this new project, and Ruth’s advice about length, avoiding fixed and typical narratives, rhythms, etc are all constantly whirling around in my head. It feels, therefore, a far better use of time to submit this second film for A1.2
Another reason for doing this is to keep both these early experiments as far away from the end result of BOW as possible. Both will inform where I venture next, but neither is yet in the vicinity of where I hope to arrive (no idea where that may be either).
- Pic London Project
What I will suggest is submitting the collaborative work I’ve produced for the Pic London project I’ve been involved with rather than a reworking of Sirens.
I am in a group who worked with Hal Silver (I’ll explain who that is if/when I submit this work in a more expansive blog). However, the group working together consist of six early-career artists/students recently graduated, or in their final year.
Here is a draft text about the collaborative project (written collectively):
A collective inquiry that began in a game set in an imaginary village, riven with rumours of witchcraft and industry. Over three months, six artists exchanged challenges and responses, out of which common themes emerged: loops and circles, colonies and growth, architecture and language, nature and storytelling. The exhibition is a settlement of images, objects, installations, moving image and living bacterial cultures, questioning what it means to form a community and, furthermore, emphasises the stories and concepts the community is built on.
Each artist will contribute work which they made in response – joining in greater or lesser degrees with other members of the group. The work will be shown in/on a circular three-dimensional ‘set’.
The main element I have contributed is a film – work in progress.
The film is a representation of feelings, words, and phrases which I arrived at after having conversations, reading responses, noticing mine – with or related to the group both off and online. These words prompted me to look for certain clips/footage.
Fiore – Flower – Berlusconi the Goat
That Goddam Enlightenment
Small – Big
The impossibility of
Here are images which I took myself (in no particular sequence). Some of these but not all are in the film. They were taken in the village I spent the summer in.
A sketch by artist/recent graduate Christel Pilkaerthomsen illustrating how we plan to show the work
2. Section 2 (Bits I made while thinking/preparing but which I don’t think fit, but including here to demonstrate development)
Here is a poem I wrote while living in a village over the summer and was prompted by my research and development for this project – I shared it with the group to be included in an accompanying book, however, I just don’t think it fits any more with the work – perhaps/we will see.
On the edge of the village
On the edge of the village, too far for the water to reach
two mummies lay on plastic sun loungers,
hoping and waiting for a glimpse of death in the sky. It was dark,
but the moon was full and high.
“When I was little, you told me the stars were dead people,” said the younger mummy, accusingly. Then excitedly, “There’s one! Did you see it?” Death lights up for a microsecond.
The older mummy missed it.
“I thought the sky was filled with ghosts looking down at me.”
On the edge of the village, beyond the reach of the bin men,
the mummies remember Fiore who lived in the barn below,
a second home for the summer months. His main
house was in the village square. But he was rarely there.
“When Fiore died, who inherited everything?” the younger mummy asked.
Long ago cancer killed his wife, then his daughter did it to herself. “And another!” Ephemeral, mortal, gone.
Never put bricks in your eyes.
The younger mummy smiled.
“I think it must have been the housekeeper. She and Fiore were close.”
Far from the men who grabbed the older mummy or the women
who took against her after her own husband died,
they lay there and waited for death to arrive. Too much light
makes it difficult to see though.
“Why wouldn’t he eat Berlusconi, his badly behaved goat?” wondered the younger mummy. Then she sat up and cried, “Look! That one lasted forever.” The planet’s demise was fantastic so the mummy made a wish.
Both mummies lay still.
“I think it was because he loved him,” thought the older mummy. Though she kept quiet.
Some images that might have worked with that text. (In no particular order) At the moment, they are not included in the project anywhere but I could print and place on the circular platform.
A collective Instagram Account where each of us was able to post images, research, and ideas.