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.
A free glass of wine is offered with the ticket.
I Wanted To Be Happy in the USSR
15’ excerpt (40’ 36”)
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.
Lucy Harris (UK)
Part of the trilogy ‘A Natural Vision’
Natural Vision, Form and Flight and Lunar Visions playfully explore the way our engagement with the natural world has been informed by the framing of nature by art.
16mm black & white or HD transfer, 3'
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.
Lucy Harris is a visual artist filmmaker who lives and works in London. In a combination of site-related work and studio practise her central thematic concerns are landscape, architecture history and memory.
Her work has been exhibited in galleries, cinemas and film festivals in the UK and internationally, including the Whitechapel, BFI and ICA cinemas. She is currently the recipient of the Rita Harris ACME studio award, and the winner of the Jules Wright 2016 Prize. She works as a freelance video editor and as a visiting lecturer at Kingston University and the London Film School.
Form and Flight
Part of the trilogy ‘A Natural Vision’
16mm, black & white, HD transfer, silent, 3'30"
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.
Part of the trilogy ‘A Natural Vision’
16mm black & white & colour, HD transfer, silent, 5'
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 (UK)
Seven Walks in 28 Minutes
Part of Footnotes Playing Dead
15’’ excerpt of 28’’
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.
Idit Nathan is an artist and (practice led) PhD candidate at Central St Martin’s College at the University of the Arts London. Her visual arts practice is often playful and interactive and her artworks have been exhibited in the UK, Europe and Israel Palestine.
Her works create a provocative space in which the viewer is challenged to respond to the unsettling contemporary dilemmas derived from our identity as both actors of free will and actors in an historical context focusing on coexistence and tensions between past and present, the gallery and ‘non gallery’ space and the activity and interactivity of the audiences that inhabit these spaces. Her research project titled Art of Play in Zones of Conflict, explores playful and interactive artworks in the context of Israel Palestine. She has been nominated an Arts Council England escalator artist and has been awarded funding from Arts Council England for the Seven Walks in a Holy City project as well as the Contested Sites/Sights project (both ongoing).
Dual channel HD video,10' 22"
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.
Corinne Silva lives and works in London. She is a research fellow at the Photography and the Archive Research Centre, University of the Arts London. Recent exhibitions include Garden State, Ffotogallery, Wales, and The Mosaic Rooms, London (2015); ReGeneration3, Musée de l'Elysée, Lausanne, Switzerland (2015); My Sister Who Travels, The Mosaic Rooms, London (2014); I See Europe! Kunstbezirk, Stuttgart (2013).
Recent artist residencies include Darat al Funun, Amman, (2017), AADK, Centro Negra, Murcia, Spain (2015); Kaunas Photography Gallery, Lithuania, (2014); A.M. Qattan Foundation, Ramallah, (2014), Triangle International Fellowship with Makan Space, Amman (2014). Her monograph Garden State was published in 2016 by Ffotogallery and The Mosaic Rooms.
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.