Invisible Fabrick A Vessel for Action

Films by Anthony McCall, Katie Davies, Neïl Beloufa, Jessica Warboys, Pil & Galia Kollectiv and Gail Pickering

Whether documenting the political spaces which establish social rules, intervening directly in public space to subvert or disrupt it, or confusing our perception of our environment, the artists in this programme, via performance and play, offer the chance to reappraise our relationship with the spaces around us and suggest the means by which they might be animated differently.

Includes refreshments. With thanks to The Minories Galleries.


Pageant Roll
Jessica Warboys UK 2012 9’10
16mm transferred to HD video, colour, sound.
Courtesy of the artist

‘Pageant Roll’ can both allude to early British Modernism’s preoccupation with the power of landscape and mysticism or to a subtle feline presence, the cumulative tale or tail of a cat. Geometric assembled objects such as hula hoops bent into ellipses and squares in the form of monochrome paintings, are placed in the landscape whilst shots of Neolithic and Bronze age Cornish standing stones are collaged with painted eggs floating in milk. –Gaudel de Stampa

2007 April the Second
Neil Beloufa France 2007 13’40
SD video, colour, sound.
Courtesy of the artist and Zero, Milan

On 2nd April 2007, a white monolith appeared on the streets of Paris. Neil Beloufa’s film documents the ensuing reaction – or, in some cases, non-reaction – to this alien obstruction, and in doing so examines concepts around public and private space, change, chaos and order.

Another Proof of the Preceding Theory
Pil and Galia Kollectiv UK 2008 15’
VHS transferred to SD video, colour, sound.
Courtesy of the artists

Shot on VHS, ‘Another Proof of the Preceding Theory’ was produced as part of a residency run by Artists in Archaeology in conjunction with the Stonehenge Riverside project. The film explores the relationship between science, work and ritual, imagining archaeology as a future cult. As two robed disciples stray off from the dig, they are drawn to the drone of the stones and proceed to play the henge like a gigantic Theremin.

The performers are mostly artists and archaeologists from the art and archaeology teams. The archaeologists were encouraged to perform their normal work in the robes in an attempt to explore the meeting points of science and ritual and interrogate our relationship to an ultimately unknowable prehistoric past where activities we do not understand are relegated to the realm of religion. –P&GK

38th Parallel
Katie Davies UK 2008 8’
HD video, colour, sound.
Courtesy of the artist

‘Filmed at the Demilitarized Zone on the border between North and South Korea, the work ‘38th Parallel’ seeks to portray the particular reality of this contested site. It is a reality marked by an eerie sense of latency. Constantly alert, constantly inert, North and South face each other in a stalemate situation sealed by a cease-fire agreement 55 years ago. In her video, Davies operates in this void.

Working with the United Nations Armistice Commission and the United States Armed Forces in Korea, she shows how political reality manifests itself here, beyond representation, in the ways how space is structured and time is regimented in this militarized environment. Facing each other across the turnpike, for instance, border guards of both sides execute the silent ceremonies of authority proscribed by their military protocol. Its choreography of empty gestures enacted on the stage of a deserted strip of land and bleak interrogation rooms.

Davies then shows the local epicenter of conflict of global proportions to be a non-place where power manifests itself in ghostly acts of decorum performed in suspended time’.

– Jan Verwoert, catalogue text for Art Sheffield 08: Yes No Other Options

Dissident Sunset
Gail Pickering UK 2008 / 2010 8’
HD video, colour, sound.
Courtesy of the artist

A group of activists, actors and Romany re-stage archival photographs of their historical and fictional counterparts. As this activity descends into a carnivalesque dance, their stage-set too takes on its own performing role. The audio triggers the image turns as much as it is culled from their encounter and conversations; they find little alternative but to discuss their own representation. –G.P.

Landscape for Fire
Anthony McCall UK 1972 6’55
16mm transferred to DVD. Colour, sound.
Courtesy of Sprüth Magers London

In ‘Landscape for Fire’, Anthony McCall and members of the artist collective Exit set fire to  containers of flammable material in a field according to a pre-determined score. “Over a three-year period,” McCall later explained, “I did a number of these sculptural performances in landscape. Fire was the medium. The performances were based on a square grid defined by 36 small fires (6 x 6). The pieces, which usually took place at dusk, had a systematic, slowly changing structure.” In effect temporary sculptures, occupying an uncertain, constantly modulating space, whose creation assured their destruction, the fire-performance set the tone for later work such as the well-known ‘Line Describing a Cone’, 1973, which similarly activated the immaterial, dealing with the sculptural qualities of light.

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