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Absence of Satan

UK, 1985
4 minutes 50 seconds, Colour, Sound


A beautiful woman screams at something unseen off camera. Paul Newman appears eating salad and soon the famous sequence of Paul Newman closing a car door cut with a helicopter takes place. Absence of Satan is probably one of George Barber's best Scratch works and is a deft reworking of cinematic narrative and cliché. George Barber is one of the pioneers of Scratch Video which emerged in the UK during the mid-1980s. Scratch video makes use of found images from films and television, cutting seemingly incongruous imagery together to make a new meaning; it has been compared to the record-scratching techniques of hip-hop music, hence the name.


George Barber was born in Georgetown, Guyana and studied at St Martins School of Art and Slade School of Fine Art. Early in his career his compilation The Greatest Hits Of Scratch Video became internationally known and a highly influential work. Narrative and found footage seem to be at the centre of much of his work, either deconstructing it or trying as an artist to evolve an approach that is contradictory to the maker's original intention. Barber has created many low-tech video pieces and was influential in defining an emergent 'slacker' aesthetic in the 1990s which has been influential on a younger generation of video artists.


Source: LUX online

George Barber


Catherine Elwes


UK, 1986
4 minutes


"An elegantly simple piece with only two images, a child tapping on glass and a piano player. Elwes seems to have arrived at a simple but resonant style, which is a refreshing counterpoint to the video overkill of her male contemporaries." - Nick Houghton


Born in 1952 in St Maixent, France, Catherine Elwes completed in 1979 a BA in Fine Art from the Slade School of Art, London, and a MA in Environmental Media, at Royal College of Art, in 1982. Between 1977 and 1981 her initial training as a painter led to performance works at various venues and festivals. From 1981 onwards she began specialising in video and video installation works. She is currently Director of the Digital Editing Research Programme at Camberwell College of Art, London, and Director of the British-Canadian culture exchanges with Ontario College of Art and Design.


Source: LUX online


Nicky Hamlyn


UK, 1990
1 minute, Colour, Sound


Nicky Hamlyn is one of the UK's key artist filmmakers of the past 30 years. Working in 16mm film and video, he has produced a large body of both single screen work and installations in both media. "Hamlyn's films offer a delicately observed but rigorous encounter between objects and their depiction, whose motifs embrace spaces (windows, rooms, landscapes, gardens) that parallel the camera frame in both senses - ie screen shape and single frame exposures." - A.L. Rees, A History of Experimental Film and Video


Nicky Hamlyn is an internationally renowned artist who has completed over forty films and videotapes since 1974 that have been shown at venues around the world including the Images Festival in Toronto, the New York Film Festival, National Film Theatre and the Tate Britain. Nicky was an active member of the London Filmmakers Co-operative, co-founder and editor of The Undercut Reader and is the author of Film Art Phenomena: A Survey of Experimental Film and Video (2003).



Source: LUX online


Barbara Hammer


16mm film, USA, 1974
4 minutes, Colour, opt


A popular lesbian 'commercial,' 110 images of sensual touching montages in A, B, C, D rolls of 'kinaesthetic' editing. "The images are varied and very quickly presented in the early part of the film, introducing the characters, if you will. The second half of the film slows down measurably and all of a sudden I found myself holding my breath as I watched the images of lovemaking sensually and artistically captured."

- Elizabeth Lay, Plexus.



Barbara Hammer is an internationally recognised film artist who has made over eighty films and videos, and is considered a pioneer of lesbian-feminist experimental cinema. Dyketactics (1974) was presented in 2004 in the programme of Sexy Lesbian Shorts for the LUX salon, a regular series of free screenings at the LUX office in Dalston.


Source: LUX online


Simon Hartog

Soul in a White Room alternative

16mm film, UK, 1968
3 minutes 30 seconds, Colour


Soul in a White Room was filmed by Simon Hartog around autumn 1968. Music on the soundtrack is Cousin Jane by the Troggs. The man is Omar Diop-Blondin, the woman I don't recall her name. Omar was a student active in 1968 during 'les evenement de Mai et de Juin' at the Faculté de Nanterre, Université de Paris. Around this time, Godard was in London shooting Sympathy For The Devil / One Plus One with the Stones and Omar was here for that too, appearing with Frankie Y (Frankie Dymon) and the other black panthers in London.... Maybe Michael X too. After returning to Senegal, Omar was imprisoned and killed in custody in '71 or '72. I believe his fate is well known to the Senegalese people". - Jonathan Langran


Simon Hartog (1940 - 1992), born in England, was a founder-member of the London Filmmakers' Co-operative, the key organisation in developing an independent avant-garde in 1960s Britain. His commitment to cinema included a passionate interest in the Third Cinema of Africa and South America. Hartog was active in the Independent Filmmakers' Association pressure-group that campaigned for a genuinely independent and innovative Channel 4. Just before his death he completed Beyond Citizen Kane, his film on the development of TV in Brazil, concentrating on the role of TV Globo. He died before the transmission of the programme and the subsequent controversies in Brazil.


Source: LUX online


Ian Helliwell

Return To The Light

UK, 2001
2 minutes, Colour

Evolving out of bleached off-cuts from the 1998 film Into The Light, this short abstract sequel overlays super 8 film shot directly into a projector beam.


Ian Helliwell has been operating from his current HQ in Brighton since 1992, and has produced experimental music, super-8mm films, installations, electronic instruments and light-show projections for concerts and club nights. He has completed a range of short films exploring different techniques, including hand painting, bleaching, scratching and stop motion animation. He uses a similar 'hands-on' working methods in his electronic music.


Source: LUX online


Kurt Kren

Pygmalion Event

16mm film, UK, 2008
4 minutes, Colour, Silent


The simultaneous double projection of Pygmalion Event is concerned with the topic of metamorphosis and the transitions in the process of cognition. The left hand screen shows the priest of the chapel at the Dominican monastery in Vence, France, as he puts on his robes and presents them to the viewer. The chapel in Vence was designed by Henri Matisse as a Gesamtkunstwerk (an untranslatable German term denoting a 'total', 'complete' artwork), from the windows to the exact liturgical robes the priest is putting on in the film. On the right hand screen, a movie is projected that appears to react, as it were, to the scene on the left hand screen, for its images correspond to the actions of the priest. Colors, landscapes or pictograms are evoked and add a formal commentary to the narrative structure of the film on the screen to the left. Just like two different linguistic systems which read and react to each other, the images change because of their respective counterparts.


Rosalind Nashashibi was born in 1973 in Croydon, South London. She studied at Sheffield Hallam University and Glasgow School of Art. Her work is shown internationally and she has recently had solo exhibitions in New York, Basel, Christchurch, London, Glasgow and Dublin. She won the Beck's Futures in 2003.


Born in Cambridge in 1975, Lucy Skaer lives and works in Glasgow and London. Skaer uses a range of media, including drawing, sculpture and video. Her multi-layered pieces oscillate between the symbolic and the documentary, weaving together images drawn from the media, pictorial motifs, diagrams, heraldic elements, etc. into complex works that require attentive reading. Aside from developing her own practice, Skaer has collaborated with Rosalind Nashashibi on projects including Flash at the Metropolitan, exhibited as part of the 3rd Biennial for Video Art, Mechelen, Belgium (2007), and is also a founding member of the artist group 'Henry VIII’s Wives'.


Sources: LUX online for Nashashibi and LUX online for Skaer

6/64: Mama und Papa – Materialaktion Otto Mühl

16mm film, Austria, 1964
3 minutes 48 seconds, Silent


With the making of his sixth film 6/64: Mama und Papa, Kren introduced subject-matter that was considered at that time to be highly revolutionary or even explosive. He began filming 'action' and 'happenings' staged by Otto Muehl and Gunter Brus, and by the Vienna Institute for Direct Art.

- Stephen Dwoskin

Kren made eight films based on the aktions of Muehl and Brus. Far from being documentaries these films take the image material of the materialaktions and transform it into the quite distinct, separate aktion of the films itself. The film acts stand beside the materialaktions as co-equal investigations.

Whereas the materialaktions of Muehl and Brus were time- and site-specific, drawing their power and significance from the immediate situations of their enactments, Kren's responses are formalized in filmic time and distanced in space and time through enactments (film showings).
Kren's working method would no sooner take the material structure of the film medium for granted than it would the image material. The 3 minute film, 6/64, based on Muehl's materialaktion Mama und Papa, is constructed of short shots (less than one second, often only a few frames), combined according to a pre-arranged score. The emotionally charged images of nude bodies smeared with various liquids engaged in various perverse acts and contortions are counterpointed by their rapid and regular recurrence within the mathematically precise system of editing. This produces a compelling tension in the resultant film. - David Levi Strauss, Notes on Kren: Cutting Through Structural Materialism or, Sorry. It had to be done in: Cinematograph I, San Francisco 1985.


Kurt Kren's achievements with regard to the montage of short cuts in his early works was many years ahead of the rest of the (film) world, in both form and content. Kurt Kren was a pioneer: an avant-gardist in the classic and best sense of the word. A filmmaker who knows how to think in images like few others in this trade, and who realized these images in films that are among the 'most beautifuland 'most important' in cinematic history. - Peter Tscherkassky



Source: LUX online




Nashashibi / Skaer


Grace Ndiritu

Natural Disasters No. 2 Tremor

UK, 2007
2 minutes 22 seconds, Colour, Sound


In this work nature is re-imagined through a game of absence and presence. Inner earthquakes and minor tremors mirror 'real' disasters on a minute scale.


Grace Ndiritu (Kenya/UK) studied Textile Art at Winchester School of Art. Her archive of over forty 'hand-crafted' videos; experimental photography, painting and shamanic performances have been widely exhibited.  Recent solo and group shows, performances and screenings include: ‘La Ira De Dios’, Buenos Aires (2014); Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (2014); MACBA, Barcelona (2014); Musée Chasse & Nature and Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013); Bamako Biennale (2011); ICA Artist Film Survey, London (2011); International Center of Photography, New York (2009); Chisenhale Gallery, London (2007); and the 51st Venice Biennale (2005). Her experimental art writing has been published by Animal Shelter Journal Semiotext(e) MIT Press, Metropolis M art magazine and Oxford University Press. Grace Ndiritu is represented by Klowden Mann Gallery, Los Angeles.


Source: LUX online

Jayne Parker


59 ½ seconds for a string player (versions 1-3) (part of Foxfire Eins)

UK, 2000
3 minutes, B&W, sound


Composed by John Cage in 1953, and played by Anton Lukoszevieze, there are several versions of this film, each lasting a minute. Despite being played from the same score, the films can appear to sound different - depending on what you see. Exhilarating and surprising, the score for 59 ½ seconds for a String Player runs through the gamut of possible ways to produce a sound on a cello.


Jayne Parker was born in Nottingham in 1957. She studied at Mansfield College of Art, Canterbury College of Art and Slade School of Fine Art. She was a visiting lecturer at Goldsmiths' College, from 1984 until 1998 and has taught at the Slade School of Fine Art since 1989. Her work has been shown at art venues, on television and in film festivals internationally.


Source: LUX online


Laure Prouvost

Stong Sory (Cake)

SD video, UK, 2005
2 minutes, Colour, 4:3, Sound


"A video still life is set to song - Laure Prouvost tells us about a fantastical birthday cake prepared for her brother. Just when you think you've had enough of nearly incoherent, French, sing-songy stories about cake, birds, and paint, something likes this comes along to remind you that you can never have too much of a good thing. Do you remember your kindergarten stream of consciousness?" - Michelle Green



Born in 1978 in Croix-Lille, Laure Prouvost lives and works in London. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Central Saint Martins, London, in 2002 and a Master of Fine Arts from Goldsmiths College, London in 2010 before becoming one of the most highly visible artists on the international contemporary art scene. Laure Prouvost exhibited at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, in 2014, and did a performance for the 2014 FIAC at the Grand Palais. Laure Prouvost was awarded the Turner Prize in 2013, the Max Mara Prize for Women in 2011, was a Principle Prize Winner in the 56th and 57th Oberhausen Short Film Festival in 2010 and 2011, and was the recipient of the EAST International Award in 2009.


Source: Galerie Obadia


James Richards

Practice Theory

Quicktime File, UK, 2006
2 minutes 18 seconds, Colour, Sound


A portrait of distraction, with sampled monologue from an online video essay about the Roland 303 synthesizer is read over collaged images on the studio desk and intercut by the back of a porn DVD and the MGM logo.


The practice of James Richards (born in Cardiff, 1983, lives and works in London) transcends the usual constraints of film and video projection by accumulating imagery in a manner that resists completion. Rather, the material of video is treated as a resource for constant manipulation, and the 'work' emerges through the act of continual reconstitution. Richards also shifts the form of presentation of his material by moving between formats associated with the public realm - the screening, or the live VJ mix - and the suggestively private and devotional form of the mixtape.



Source: LUX online


Chris Saunders

Roy Dead

Lo-band, UK, 1993
4 minutes, Colour, 4:3, Silent


Roy Dead presents a re-worked silent and host-less version of a live TV talk show where ‘everyday’ people play judges and jury in order to enact a spectacle of ‘open debate’. Roy Dead uses footage from 90s talk shows such as ‘Kilroy’ where the flow of opinions is managed and shepherded towards a depoliticized and atomized state of banality. These shows represent a live manufacturing of consent – a hysterical gagging. The idea of a ‘host’ is a misnomer - Kilroy and other TV talk show hosts behave as vainglorious teacher-priests and stern-Dad figures to their studio children/flock. The audience has no voice, just looks of approval, seduction, disgust, shock, worry or outrage. The ebb and flow of studio reactions is distilled into a moral studio breeze that blows across the audience.


Christopher Frank Saunders lives and works in London. He makes moving image works (and other related art works). His socially engaged practice is grounded in a ludic use of film/visual language to speculate on the overlooked motivations behind psycho-social patterns and change.


Source: Courtesy of the artist


John Smith

Dad’s Stick

UK, 2012
5 minutes, Colour, 16:9, Stereo


Dad’s Stick features three well-used objects that my father showed me shortly before he died. Two of these were so steeped in history that their original forms and functions were almost completely obscured. The third object seemed to be instantly recognisable, but it turned out to be something else entirely.



John Smith was born in Walthamstow, East London in 1952 and studied film at the Royal College of Art. Since 1972 he has made over forty films, video and installation works that have been widely shown internationally in galleries, cinemas and on television. His solo exhibitions include Royal College of Art Galleries, London (2010), Tanya Leighton Gallery, Berlin (2010), Sala Diaz Gallery, Texas (2010), Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2006). Major group shows include Berlin Biennial (2010), The Talent Show, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2010), Altermodern Tate Triennial (2008). John Smith’s work has been awarded major prizes at many international film festivals and profiled through retrospectives at festivals in Oberhausen, Cork, Tampere, Uppsala, Glasgow, La Rochelle, Regensburg and Winterthur.

Source: LUX online


Stephen Sutcliffe

Writer in Residence

UK, 2010
3 minutes, Colour, Sound, Stereo


Writer in Residence takes the form of a TV-style interview and continues Sutcliffe's interest in collage as a means by which to shake certainty and to surreptitiously undermine. Sutcliffe poses the melancholic hallucination that is Adrian Leverkuhn's meeting with the Devil in Thomas Mann's Doctor Faustus (1947) in direct counterpoint to the conception of positive existentialism presented by Colin Wilson in his novel The Outsider (1956) - a philosophical standpoint that was, in turn, developed through Wilson's own critique of Leverkuhn's meeting with the Devil.

Sutcliffe returns to his characteristic theme of (artistic) self-doubt, expressed in terms of a monologist's interior dialogue, which extracts symptoms and provides prognoses, remedies and worst-case scenarios. This neurotic experience of artistic production, often felt but rarely admitted, is more broadly a metaphor for the uneasy relationship between established and emergent voices and, as such, feeds his interest in class and autodidacticism, evident in other works such as We'll Let You Know.

Writer in Residence was commissioned for Frieze Film 2010. 


Glasgow based artist Stephen Sutcliffe (1968, Harrogate) creates film collages from an extensive archive of British television, film sound, broadcast images and spoken word recordings, which he has been collecting since childhood. Often reflecting on aspects of British culture and identity, the results are melancholic, poetic and satirical amalgams, which subtly tease out and critique ideas of class-consciousness and cultural authority. Through an extensive editing process Sutcliffe's works pitch sound against image to subvert predominant narratives, generating alternative readings through the juxtaposition and synchronization of visual and aural material.


Source: LUX online


Peter Todd

For Luke

16mm film, UK, 2012
2 minutes 29 seconds, Colour, 4:3, Stereo


A portrait of the artist Luke Fowler shot on 16mm film by filmmaker Peter Todd. This work was commissioned for The Turner Prize 2012, for which Fowler was a nominee. It is included here as a kind of ruse, exposing the intimacy of the artist’s life as it intersects, awkwardly, with this public moment via promotional materials meant to celebrate artistic ‘personae.’ Images of Fowler’s home and studio in Glasgow and surroundings are intercut with a voiceover that surprisingly redirects the questions back onto the filmmaker, and the viewer, as we participate in the contrivance. 



Peter Todd is a London-based artist, curator and filmmaker. “ The objects that he has filmed, his house, a tree, a street, the underground are things that we come across every day and that seem to have come into the film by some chance operation. But he films these things with such determination, and with so much respect for their being that it seems as if they themselves had decided on the framing and the length of image and their place in the film and the filmmaker had only very conscientiously fulfilled their demands”. Renate Sami. Filmsamstag. Berlin. 2005.      

"An artist rooted firmly in the moment" - William Fowler, 58th BFI London Film Festival, 2014.


Source: LUX online


Vision Machine Film Project

Muzak – a Tool of Management

UK, 2003
3 minutes, Colour, sound

Founded in 2001, Vision Machine Film Project became a not-for-profit filmmakers’ collective with the aim to research, analyse and respond to the conditions and mechanisms of economic, political and military power. Two of its founding members, Joshua Oppenheimer and Christine Cynn, later went on to co-direct 2012’s The Act of Killing, a documentary which challenges former Indonesian death-squad leaders to reenact their mass-killings in whichever cinematic genres they wish, including classic Hollywood crime scenarios and lavish musical numbers. Muzak is the convoluted starting point of a larger project that shocked the co-directors who could only wonder, "How could these people tell these horrible stories so lightly and so proudly? You just want to challenge them right away. But you have to keep telling yourself to be patient, to let them tell the story the way they like. Because then we can learn something about the whole system of destruction."


Founded in 2001, Vision Machine Film Project is a not-for-profit filmmakers' collective that seeks to create an international video production and distribution network to research, analyse and respond to the conditions and mechanisms of economic, political and military power. In particular, Vision Machine focuses on the many forms of systemic violence and terror - from organized mass murder to dangerous working conditions - and the contradictions this devastation poses to the dominant notions of Progress and History, the mythology of Power, and the religion of Capital.


Source: LUX online


Ceryth Wyn Evans

Kim Wilde Auditions

SD video, UK, 1995
5 minutes, Colour, 4:3, Stereo

A record of screen tests carried out to select young male actors suitable to perform in the singer Kim Wilde's newest promotional video. Rumour has it that Wyn Evans found these tapes in a dumpster and turned them into a work – and by doing so exposes the tragic sexuality of a male body when exposed to our gaze (we can’t look away). The object of pop desire and industry rejection.



Cerith Wyn Evan’s conceptual practice incorporates a wide range of media, including installation works, sculptures, photography, film and text.  For Wyn Evans, installations should work like a catalyst: a reservoir of possible meanings that can unravel many discursive journeys. Moreover, his work has a highly refined aesthetic that is often informed by this deep interest in film history and literature.


Cerith Wyn Evans lives and works in London. In 2011 he was commissioned by the Vienna State Opera to design the safety curtains for 2011-2012 opera season. Recent solo exhibitions include Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London (2014), Kunsthall Bergen (2011), Tramway, Glasgow (2009), Inverleith House, Edinburgh (2009), MUSAC, Leon (2008), Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris (2006) and Kunsthaus Graz (2005). In 2009 he collaborated with Florian Hecker and Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary on No night No day at the 53rd Venice Biennale and has also participated in the Moscow Biennial (2011), Aichi Triennale (2010), the Yokohama Triennale (2008), the International Istanbul Biennial (2005) and the Venice Biennale (2003).


Source: Whitecube


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