Join us for a screening of video works by four artists participating in our exhibition: METAGEOGRAPHY. SPACE - IMAGE – ACTION. The films explore notions of foreignness and social and political aspects of migration.
I Wanted to be Happy in the USSR
“I Wanted to be Happy in the USSR” follows the story of a Guinean-born man and his family living in Russia. George Blemu came to the Soviet Union in 1979 as a medical student but the rise of nationalism and racism now forces him to seek asylum abroad. Stabbed and shot by the police, attacked by skinheads in the subway, and threatened for attempting to seek justice, George’s life is a testimony to conditions in Russia today, where ethnically non-Russians struggle to survive in the daily presence of extreme and often violent racism. George and his family, disillusioned with the possibility of justice and living a dignified life, maintain only one hope: to get out.
Dimitri Venkov is a filmmaker working across art, film, and academic institutional contexts. His works have been presented at Documenta 14, 5th Moscow Biennale (Russia), First Bergen Assembly (Norway), Kino der Kunst, Oberhausen (Germany), and other exhibitions and film festivals. In 2012 he received the Young Artist Kandinsky Prize for his film Mad Mimes (2012). Dimitri is a professor of video art at Moscow Rodchenko School of Photography and Multimedia and has lectured at Yale and Moscow State Universities.
‘A Natural Vision’ is a trilogy, which playfully explores the way our engagement with the natural world has been informed by the framing of nature by art.
Natural Vision (Part of the trilogy ‘A Natural Vision’)
16mm black & white or HD transfer, 3'
Lucy Harris, 2011/2015
Sound: Sybella Perry.
Natural Vision is a study in perspective – comparing obscured landscapes of mist, clouds and light with constructed landscapes of rocks, parsley and paper. It is inspired by Degas’ use of tissue models for clouds, Constable’s trees of broccoli and the rocks and stones used to depict mountain landscapes in Italian Renaissance painting.
The film gives an altered vision of landscape with its continued inquiry into perspective and how landscapes are creatively perceived, constructed and altered through the medium of 16mm film via illusion, framing and exposure.
The sound for Natural Vision is composed of field recordings and birdsong, with music from found reel-to-reel tapes. It responds to the film’s romantic imagery and the pursuit of the landscape painter, in their attempt to replicate a natural scene through the use of improvised objects.
Form and Flight (Part of the trilogy ‘A Natural Vision’)
16mm, black & white, HD transfer, silent, 3'30"
Lucy Harris, 2015
From the framing of the landscape by British romantic painting through the experiments of modernism, Natural Vision and Form and Flight ask us to think again about the way perspective and the phenomena of nature are colonised and represented to us through visual trickery. The films give an altered vision of landscape in an extended inquiry into perspective and how landscapes are creatively perceived, constructed and altered through the medium of (16mm) film via illusion, framing and exposure.
Lunar Visions (Part of the trilogy ‘A Natural Vision’)
16mm black & white & colour, HD transfer, silent, 5'
Lucy Harris 2015
Lunar Visions explores the moon as an ‘imagined’ environment – a site for invention, experienced primarily through photography and film. Fascination with the moon is present, for instance, in cinema’s earliest experiments (Méliès). Very few people will ever experience it directly, and yet we think we know the moon’s surface and its geography.
Combining archive film and new material shot on location and in the studio, this film combines early cinema’s illusionary techniques with a reworking of familiar images (moonscapes), reconstructed scenes (smoke clouds, paper moons) and the idea of flight (birds/Brancusi’s bird sculptures) to investigate the fantasy that frames exploration. Lunar Visions, Natural Vision, Form and Flight, were installed together as the trilogy A Natural Vision as part of A Murmuration (2015) at ONCA gallery, Brighton.
Idit Elia Nathan
Seven walks in 28 Minutes
@Footnotes Playing Dead 28”, 2011
The film documents the Seven Walks in a Holy City project - Walking , playing and collecting photographs in the city of Jerusalem during October 2011.
Cards picked out at the outset of each day define where the walk starts from and the theme for the day. A die tossed at the starting point of each walk and then at regular intervals throughout it, dictates directions to walk in and another die dictates how often a photo is taken.Seven Walks is part of an ongoing development project funded by Arts Council England.
Dual channel HD video
10' 22", 2017
Sound Design: Toby Wiltshire
Editor: Lara Garcia Reyne
Urban foxes complicate the boundaries between wildness and cultivation in the contemporary urban space. Largely invisible to their human counterparts, at night these creatures permeate walls and fences to invade the private gardens of London’s inner city.
It is not only human animals that seek more economic stability by migrating to the city from rural areas. Seekers offers evidence of those on the margins who are forced to migrate and adapt in order to survive in the new era of the Capitaloscene, in which humans, other animals, and plants are all displaced in the name of economic-political globalisation.
What might remain once capitalist decay has rendered urban and rural landscapes ragged and unrecognisable? How will the city swell and re-form to absorb the additional multiple species populations that are already arriving due to war, economic instability and climate change?
“We are stuck with the problem of living despite economic and ecological ruination”, writes Anna Tsing. We must reorient our attention to seek alternative strategies for survival. Perhaps these foxes, occupying the unruly edges of the city, suggest a model of resourcefulness and offer hope for possible survival in the wake of imminent capitalist ruins.
Please note that Pushkin House will hold the tickets of latecomers for twenty minutes following the event start time, after which unclaimed tickets will be released.
If you are running late, please contact us in order to avoid this.