Islands 島嶼 Taiwan / UK moving image festival, August 2021
My film Inner Sage / Outer Kingwas featured in the festival Islands / 島嶼 curated by Wen Hsu and Peter Treherne. Islands, a Taiwan / UK moving image festival, takes place in August via newsletter. Every week a programme of films and letters will be emailed straight to audiences in the UK and Taiwan.
Inner Sage / Outer King was featured in the programme Transmissions / 標定基地 that considers “islands as transmitters. For millennia, navigators have used the way islands affect winds, waves and currents to orient themselves in the vastnesses of oceans.” alongside work and letters with Edwin Rostron and 許鈞宜/ Hsu Chun Yi.
When he stares off into the distance at the steam fog coming from the coast on a winter day, is he aware of the impossibility of a closure, of something eternally unresolved?
They stroll among tombstones of varied sizes and shapes all day long. A considerable number of cigarettes are lit and put out. Photos are taken in a leisurely manner for them to kill some time.
Fictional or fabricated—this is likely one of the few methods with which we are able to identify the past: we hold strips of celluloid film against a light source and look at the lined-up frames. Everything we see in these frames is vague, undetermined, as if their names were lost. We can only try to point at it with our fingers. I picked up the roll of celluloid film on that humid hot summer afternoon. In its negative images, I saw the sea as a vast desolate land; on the surface of the film, I saw dust particles as remote celestial objects. Images, at this moment, became the most incomprehensible and the most ungraspable thing for us. Viewing what I have not experienced is comparable to reading someone else’s diary in a language foreign to me—like staggering clumsily along the illusion-like coastal line in Raúl Ruiz’s films.
A possible ending might be there for this unfinished film: during the time when the shooting schedule is paused, they lean on the rocks, sitting like that couple on the beach in front of the camera. Every person, whether knowingly or not, purposefully or not, is turned into images and becomes part of the past.
Article by Adam Pushkin explores the art scene in Indonesia and the lessons to be learned from their models of collective practice. The West Java West Yorkshire Cooperative Movement is highlighted alongside interview with George Clark and Ismal Muntaha.
For Jatiwangi Art Factory (JAF) the approach of Let’s Create would sound familiar. Jatiwangi is a small town known mostly for its ceramic industry. For decades it produced the roof tiles that were used across Indonesia and JAF’s work engages with the changing industrial and social landscape of the town. According to Ismal Muntaha, based there since 2009, JAF is “not working for the community, it is part of the community”. The vibe is that of an extended family: everyone lives together, eats together, creates together.
UK artist George Clark has been to Indonesia twice in the last three years and has forged an ongoing relationship with JAF. He was fascinated by what he saw as a horizontal structure rather than the hierarchical structure present in the UK. This structure isn’t just about decision-making – although Ismal tells me that when decisions are needed, they are usually made collectively – it’s about a fluid way of working: “artists need to be community organisers, cooks, carpenters… and those skills are not held hierarchically”. Or as Yuki Aditya of Jakarta-based collective Forum Lenteng told me, “everyone’s job description is something fluid, where everyone can fill any position depending on the needs of the program or of other people”.
Really please to be participate in Wysing 2020 residency programme thematically linked around the theme of Broadcast. Will be developing a new project with Ismal Muntaha and Bunga Saigian as continuation of our West Java West Yorkshire Cooperative Movement project.
During 2020, we will be supporting over 40 artists-in-residence whose work will put broadcasting at the centre of our artistic programme to connect with remote and physically distant audiences in a way that privileges listening as much as the transmission of ideas and which builds and sustains radical online communities.
– Wysing Art Centre
West Java West Yorkshire Cooperative Movement (WJWY): George Clark, Ismal Muntaha and Bunga Saigian
WJWY was initiated in 2018 by George Clark, Ismal Muntaha, Bunga Saigian and Will Rose, as a platform for exchange and collaboration between communities in West Java, Indonesia, focused around the Jatiwangi art Factory and around Pavilion in West Yorkshire. For this project, two artists from the collaboration, George Clark and Ismal Muntaha, will co-ordinate and facilitate a series of transmissions from across each region, drawing together artists and communities connected with the project.
The act of remaking is an attempt at reconciling with parts that have been found missing. The Films We Remake showcases a series of short films that make such attempts with films that have been either lost or left unfinished. In doing so, these restorative works break through the barriers of time, uncovering new directions for the present within the material absences of the past.
Screening with work by Khavn, Ashim Ahluwalia, Su Hui-Yu and Hirakawa Youki. Organised by Asian Film Archive.
“This film explores the potential of unrealised histories, from Chilean filmmaker Raúl Ruiz’s legacy to Taiwanese animist traditions. Its starting point: Ruiz’s unfinished Taiwan-set Comedy of Shadows, its script inspired by Zhuangzi and Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author. Drawing on collaborations with filmmakers and fishermen, the film then investigates similarly unrealised political histories, from Chile’s short-lived socialist government to life under Martial Law in Taiwan and Chile.” – States of Motion
State of Motion is Asian Film Archive’s annual film and art event, exploring the intersections between cinema, art and filmic research. Since its inception in 2016, the multidisciplinary platform has engaged contemporary artists, curators, filmmakers and researchers to uncover hidden histories and latent discourses in response to the institution’s rich and diverse archival work.
Future Tao: Workout #donotsayaction Taipei Contemporary Art Center, Taipei
Dec 21-22 2-6pm TCAC project page
Two day workshop continuing collaboration with lololol as part of TCAC’s Sensuous Tua-Tiu-Tiann. A series of programmes to re-enact our sensory experiences, exploring the neighborhood through senses except for vision.
“To suspend the call for “Action” means to pause the anticipation of Futures. The camera does not command, green signals mixed with red, an unraveled reel spreads out like landscape released from the clocking of frames, and potentials rise from the unknown like heavy mist from a neon-lit night market fruit stand. How do we understand this situation in which the archive gets up from its seat, stretches its knees, and in a dramatic turn, bends towards itself and starts folding origami? As a matter of fact, it has always done so, with its engine making terrible noise that disrupts the experience of its projected contents. How do we read this situation in totality? In search of tools for diagnosis while resisting the reductive gravity of language? Tying the animated Tao with sticks and stones, then releasing it back to natural state of anonymity? How do you and I, as spectators, as engagers, as micro-universes inhabiting the same space relate on a level of rare alchemic channels of connection that challenge our normal cognitive spectrum? What about expanded senses as a means to new modes of assembly? Of communication? Of a continual striving for the freedom to become?
Join us in two days of experimentations in reading, intuiting, composing, listening, setting stage for a new basis for “Action.” In these two days, we will work with new martial art forms, alternative diagnostic and prescriptive methods, botanical studies and cinematic material and scripts. Participants are also invited to share their questions, ideas and explorations of performativity for any form of engagement. – lololol
Sheryl Cheung Sheryl Cheung experiments with the idea of the body as an instrument that is continually played by affects. Like an open, metabolic body, her sound palette is vulnerable and harsh at the same time. Sheryl works between experimental music, abstract scoring and writing to explore a materialist understanding of power, emotion and moral order. Her recent research focuses on sound and medicine through the perspective of Chinese ontology. Sheryl has held supported residencies, workshops and research projects in China, UK, Thailand, Korea and Taiwan. Her work, performances and collaborative projects have been shown at Flaneur Festival 2019, Bangkok Biennial 2018, Taipei Biennial 2018, Asian Meeting Festival, Somerset House studios, Osmosis Festival and Chronus Art Center, among others. Sheryl is a co-founder of lololol.net, an art project that is currently exploring Taoist-informed mind and body technologies. She currently lives and works in Taipei, where she is an independent artist and writer.
Xia Lin Xia Lin employs multimedia, video, text and performance for an artistic practice that concerns Taichi philosophy, martial arts, and cognitive processes of humans and machines. Xia Lin’s ongoing project ’3C Xing Yi Quan’ is a open source new style of martial arts that imitates the body language and characteristics of 3C products (3C is Computer, Communication, Consumer Electronics). Xin Yi Quan is a form of internal martial arts and is based on capturing the essence of animal behavioral ecology. Through informed movements, the exercise fosters deeper understanding of familiar technological gadgets that are an intimate part of our daily lives. The highest ‘Xing Yi’ is ‘to be’, Learn from these products by imitation, experience, and cohabitation, in order to find a sense of symbiosis and enjoyment with our new technological nature. Xia is co-founder of lololol.net, a Taipei-based art collective founded in 2013.
George Clark Bridging curatorial and artistic practice, George Clark’s work explores the history of images and how they are governed by culture, technology and social political conditions. His work has been shown at festivals and museums internationally. His multi-part project Double Ghosts held its premiere at Chin Pao San cemetery in Taiwan as part of his project for the 2018 Taiwan Biennial. His feature film A Distant Echo premiered in the official selection at the 20th Jihlava IDFF as part of the Opus Bonum competition. His collaborative project Living Archive (Jatiwangi Art Factory, Sept 2017; UK/ID Festival Jakarta, Oct 2017, Yunseul Museum, South Korea, March 2018) was made with Jatiwangi Art Factory and over 30 community curators. His short film Sea of Clouds / 雲海(2016) made in Taiwan is structured around an interview with the artist Chen Chieh-jen and premiered at the BFI London Film Festival 2016. George is co-founder of the West Java West Yorkshire Cooperative Movement, a collaborative platform for exchange and collaboration between communities with the Jatiwangi Art Factory and Pavilion.
Chen Yi-tian Chen Yi-Tian is the owner of Teh-Chi Chinese Medicine Store in Anping, Tainan. He practices, a unique method of reading and communication that utilizes prescriptive poetry and intuitive diagnostics. Chen is also a cultural worker dedicated to the study of local history and culture of Tainan.
Liam Morgan Liam Morgan is a Canadian visual artist, film-maker and cinematographer whose practice involves interference, disruption and situational response. He is concerned with materiality, space and vernacular meaning. His work is often interventionist in nature. He keeps one foot in the world of film-production and the other in visual art; the two practices feed into each other. His expertise as a professional gaffer in the film industry informs his understanding of light and his close attentiveness to the political and the everyday influence his use of the medium. Liam’s work is shown in public and private galleries, festivals and museums in Asia, Europe, Australia and North America and is included in the permanent collection of the Maiiam Contemporary Art Museum as well as various private collections. His films have been shown in festivals around the world. He is a co-founder of the Bangkok Biennial. He is based between Bangkok and Taipei.
Presented by lololol
lololol is a boundless laughter, an endless extension of lol (laugh out loud), an acronym that appears to be constructed by the building blocks of I-Ching and/or computer code. lololol is a hearty release amidst interchanging states of existing and non-existing, emptiness and substance, changing conditions of the natural, without resistance or submission to any singular logic or assumption, to respond to the world with an evolving vibration that spreads across the seas.
George Clark: Sites & Rites
30 October 2019, Irish Film Institute
Presented by AEMI
Sites & Rites is a new configuration of artist George Clark’s ongoing Eyemo rolls project, a series that interleaves his 35mm film footage with works by other artists. Developed as a means to think about the cinema as a space of montage and a site of cultural entanglement, this programme considers contested territories and ritual actions. Filmmaker and activist Mok Chui-Yu explores the origins of the struggle of Hong Kong’s intellectual youth while Barbara McCullough’s water ritual shows reclaimed space in Los Angeles. Other works include Tito & Tita’s feline screen-test Director’s Cat, Maori artist Shannon Te Ao’s reading of poetry to house-plants, and Ismal Muntaha’s arresting depiction of Indonesian community rituals in Terra Na Sae.
Thanks Alice Butler & Daniel Fitzpatrick, AEMI, Irish Film Institute and all participating artists
Programme: Eyemo #1-3 (Sylmar), George Clark, 3 minutes, U.S.A., 35mm, silent Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification, Barbara McCullough, 6 minutes, U.S.A., DCP, sound Eyemo #57-60(Los Angeles), George Clark, 5 minutes, U.S.A., 35mm, silent Untitled (Epilogue), Shannon Te Ao, 5 minutes, New Zealand, DCP, sound Eyemo #120-121, #124 (NZ – Lyell cemetery), George Clark, 3 minutes, New Zealand, 35mm, silent Letter to the Young Intellectuals of Hong Kong, Mok Chiu Yu, 15 minutes, Hong Kong, DCP, sound Eyemo #16-17 & #74-75 (Hong Kong), George Clark, 3 minutes, Hong Kong, 35mm, silent Director’s Cat, Tito & Tita, 3 minutes, Philippines, DCP, sound Eyemo #81-84 (Philippines – Taal Lake), George Clark, 5 minutes, Philippines, 35mm, silent Terra Na Sae, Ismal Muntaha, 11 minutes, Indonesia, DCP, sound Eyemo #140-157, #165, #168-69 / The Scent of Jati Trees, George Clark, 25 minutes, Indonesia, 35mm, sound
THE IMAGE AND ITS IMAGE
14-18 October 2019
Nordland Kunst- og Filmfagskole, Kabelvåg, Norway
I curated this festival of moving image for Nordland Kunst- og Filmfagskole in Kabelvåg, Norway. Taking trajectory from the writings of Manny Farber, the screenings draw together many works which have helped me think through cinema, its potential and multiple futures.
“How can we grasp the elusive nature of an object or an idea? Images can be means of capture but then how do we contain the image itself? The thirty work assembled here draw on a wide array of subjects but are linked in their exploration of the elusive quality of the image. Doubles, reflections, echoes and ghosts populate the works which each seek to find their own way to approach contemporary reality and the cosmic assemblages of images in which we live. The works provide models for how thought can be contained in what we may call after Ursula Le Guin, the carrier bag of images, which we know under its other name; cinema.” – George Clark
Featuring 30 works by Ayo Akingbade, Martha Mayet Atienza, Tanatchai Bandasak, Mariano Blatt, Duncan Campbell, George Clark, Shirley Clarke, Jatiwangi Art Factory, Humphrey Jennings, Joan Jonas, Barbara McCullough, Chris Marker, Vincent Meessen, László Moholy-Nagy, Ismal Muntaha, Kira Muratova, Ogawa Productions, Juanita Onzaga, Charlotte Prodger, Morgan Quaintance, Alain Resnais, Miko Revereza, Jessica Sarah Rinland, Francisco Rodríguez Teare, Raúl Ruiz, Taiki Sakpisit, Danech San, Kidlat Tahimik, Shannon Te Ao, Tito & Tita (Shireen Seno) Harry Watt and Eduardo Teddy Williams.
North American premiere
New York Film Festival, USA
5 & 6 October 2019
Honoured to have the North American premiere of Double Ghosts as part of the New York Film Festival. Screening in the Projections section curated by Aily Nash and Dennis Lim. Double Ghosts was shown in programme together with work by Luise Donschen, Ryan Ferko and Luke Fowler.
“Inspired by an unfinished film by Chilean director Raúl Ruiz, George Clark’s globetrotting short retraces Ruiz’s ill-fated production from the beaches of Viña del Mar and the port of Valparaiso to the cemeteries of New Taipei City. Framed around a conversation with Ruiz’s widow, the filmmaker Valeria Sarmiento, Double Ghostschannels the spirit of this unrealized project into a poetic reflection on the creative process and the power of influence.” – NYFF
GEORGE CLARK: DOUBLE GHOSTS
19th September – 27th October 2019
The Gymnasium Gallery, Berwick-upon-Tweed, UK
Double Ghosts is a multi-part exhibition which traverses the Pacific drawing on historical fragments, traces and ghosts from the coasts of Chile to a mountain cemetery in Taiwan. Exploring the status and potential of unrealised and fragmented histories, the exhibition draws together 35mm film, sound recordings, script fragments, photography and archival material filmed and gathered in Chile, France and Taiwan.
The project draws on research into temple film projectionists and an unfinished film made in Taiwan by prolific filmmaker Raul Ruiz (1941-2011) who made most of his films nomadically after his political exile from Chile in 1973.
The exhibition was accompanied by a series of events and workshops that reflect upon the themes of the exhibition and provide a variety of exercises to improve the circulation between the real and the virtual, drawing on animist practice, Taoist philosophy and ecological approaches to life of all kinds.
Double Ghosts is presented by Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival in partnership with Berwick Visual Arts and is supported by Berwick Welcome Visitor Project. With support from Arts Council of England and Connections Through Culture grant from British Council Taiwan – Arts and Education.
Over two days, 42 New Briggate became a Remang-Remang a functioning open studio and meeting place. Taking its name from the dimly lit rest areas common on the Pantura Road, the longest road in Indonesia, we invited musicans, poets, artists, filmmakers and members of public to join at any time to meet, talk, and play music with Indonesian artists Tedi Nurmanto and Ahmad Sujai.
The open studio was culmination of the two artists residencies as part of West Java West Yorkshire Cooperative Movement which incorporated numerous events, site visits, collaborations and encounters across West Yorkshire. Remang Remang involved wide range of local artists including Khemi Shabazz, Erik Schelander, Anna Peaker, Ahmed Kaysher, Lulia Togara, Abdullah Adekola, Rowland Thomas, Jamshed Folad and Daoud Al-Janabi.
Tedi spent the residency researching music across region, meeting and playing with numerous musicians from producer and artist Mark Fell to Colne Valley Male Voice Choir. Building a new composition from field recordings across the post-industrial landscape, Tedi worked with this as basis for recording with musicians during the Remang-Remang open studio. Tedi is the music director of Jatiwangi Art Factory and plays a custom built electric guitar made from a ceramic roof file. His most recent musical project is Lair, a group inspired by classical tarling music explored in a typical Pantura style, raw and open to passing influences.
Ahmad Sujai spent time gathering stories of West Yorkshire to help him create a local response to the mythic figure of Jante Arkidam. First imagined in a famous 1967 poem by Ajip Rosidi, Jante is an archetypal man from Jatiwangi – a charismatic rogue continually evading capture by the authorities.
Kindly supported by the London Book Fair Fringe Programme through funding from BEKRAF (the Creative Economy Agency of Indonesia). Organised by the National Organising Committee of the 2019 London Book Fair (NOC-LBF) and Virtuago.