Double Ghosts featured in What Remains 11 April-22 May 2022

WHAT REMAINS
http://www.videoclub.org.uk/what-remains
11 April – 22 May 2022
With: Seecum Cheung, George Clark, Onyeka Igwe, Bahar Noorizadeh, Josèfa Ntjam, Naïmé Perrette, Mamali Shafahi, Oraib Toukan, Geo Wyeth
Curated by Mehraneh Atashi and Tabitha Steinberg
Text by Mahan Moalemi

My film Double Ghosts shows in Part 1: Traces alongside Onyeka Igwe’s No Archive Can Restore You and Oraib Toukan’s Place of the Slave from 11 April – 24 April 2022

What Remains is an online film and events programme curated by Mehraneh Atashi and Tabitha Steinberg for moving image platform, videoclub from 11 April to 22 May 2022. The programme showcases nine artists using moving image to explore collapsing relationships between history, documentary, fiction and reality.

What Remains is divided into three sections – TracesCloseness and Forwards. Each section includes three films available for two weeks over the programme’s six weeks. Traces features artists exploring archival material to reflect on and re-imagine historical remnants. Closeness features artists exploring their own personal, familial and genealogical histories. Forwards features artists examining how technology has affected the way we view and engage with history and reality today. Although following a loosely methodical structure, What Remains explores the relationship between its sections to reflect its own inquiries into expanded notions of history.

The programme brings together artists of varying backgrounds, identities and artistic concerns, following the artists’ own investigations into multi-narrative stories and cross-linear timelines. This foregrounds connections between disparate methodologies and geographies in new and transformative ways.

 

Casual Encounters: The Untroubled Mind and Nervous Translation, essay for screening 6 April, ICA London

Casual Encounters: The Untroubled Mind and Nervous Translation
6 April 2022
ICA, London

Commissioned essay on pairing of Manon de Boer’s The Untroubled Mind (2016) and Shireen Seno’s Nervous Translation (2018) as part of The Machine That Kills Bad People film club at ICA, London to accompany screening 6 April 2022.

Set in the Philippines in the late 1980s, not long after the People Power Revolution that led to the fall of President Marcos, Shireen Seno’s second feature Nervous Translation evokes the uncertainty and precarity of those years through the eyes of its shy eight-year-old protagonist. Yael cooks meals on her miniature kitchen set, watches soap operas on television with her mother and obsessively listens to cassette tapes recorded by her father, a migrant worker in Saudi Arabia. At once playful and sad, Nervous Translation is above all concerned with what it feels like to be a child.

Manon de Boer’s The Untroubled Mind is a collection of images of constructions of the artists’ son filmed over a period of three years. The duration of each shot is around 20 seconds, the length of time you can film with a Bolex 16 mm camera when winding it manually.
The Machine That Kills Bad People is held bi-monthly in the ICA Cinema and is programmed by Erika Balsom, Beatrice Gibson, Maria Palacios Cruz and Ben Rivers.

 

Major of Hackney visit to the An Viet Foundation archive project

Major of Hackney visit to the An Viet Foundation archive project
Hackney Archives, London, 11 February 2022

In February 2022 the Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville, visited the An Viet Foundation archive, the largest known collection of British-Vietnamese historical documents, currently stored at Hackney Archives. The visit was arranged to discuss the work being carried out by a team of local heritage specialists, including archivists, conservators and volunteers, to preserve the records co-ordinated by Hackney Archives and the An Viet Foundation steering committee of which I am a member. 

I am delighted to be able to personally support this vital project. Seeing for myself the great work being done by the team of archivists, conservators and volunteers at Hackney Archives was so powerful and their work in preserving this important collection is crucial to ensuring we remember the long contribution of the Chinese, Vietnamese and other South East Asian communities to the borough and its economic and cultural life. It also helps us tell the stories of our proud and diverse migrant history so that we can cherish them for future generations in Hackney. It is a reminder to us all of the deep challenges many communities faced as they built their home here. We’re grateful for this fund which will help us work with the community to stop the loss of this valuable heritage, keeping these chapters of our past safe and accessible to everyone. – Mayor of Hackney, Philip Glanville

The visit and discussion were documented as part of long-term film project Handle With Care exploring issues of the invisible labour around two distinct archives, the An Viet Foundation in Hackney and the Vietnam Film Institute in Hanoi supported by British Council’s Heritage of Future Part project in Vietnam and TPD Centre for the Development of Movie Talents. This archival show-and-tell was arranged by the Hackney Archives (Etienne Joseph and Diana Le) and the An Viet Foundation steering group (Tamsin Barber, Jabez Lam, Kim Lau, Cuong Pham, Georgina Quach, Vicky Sung, Moi Tran, Toan Vu). Thanks to the archive staff, National Conservation Centre, volunteers and fellow members of the steering group.

An Viet Foundation, Major of Hackney visit, 11 Feb 2022
An Viet Foundation, Major of Hackney visit, 11 Feb 2022
An Viet Foundation, Major of Hackney visit, 11 Feb 2022
An Viet Foundation, Major of Hackney visit, 11 Feb 2022

Further details on the ongoing work to preserve this invaluable collection can be found here Brighter Future Ahead for the An Viet Foundation Archives .

New writing as part of ‘Noguchi: Resonances’ project at the Barbican

New writing as part of ‘Noguchi: Resonances’ project at the Barbican
Oct 2021-Jan 2022

Developed by independent curator and researcher Annie Jael Kwan as part of a digital residency at the Barbican, Noguchi: Resonances is a collaborative exploration in response to Noguchi, an exhibition celebrating Japanese-American sculptor Isamu Noguchi (1904-1988).

From October to December, Annie Jael Kwan has invited artists, curators, and thinkers from across the UK and Global Asias to reflect together on the themes related to Noguchi’s artistic legacy, transnational lived experiences, and his voluntary internment at Poston in solidarity with Japanese Americans that were forcibly relocated and incarcerated during World War II in the USA.

Featuring contributions by Yarli Allison, Alexandra ChangYoungsook ChoiChong Li-ChuanGeorge ClarkRei HayamaMarci KwonAdriel LuisMing TiampoMika Maruyama and Nine Yamamoto-Masson.

For my contribution to the December displatches I wrote a new letter to Annie Jeal Kwan, Yarli Allison and Youngsook Choi as well as initiating a new path of correspondence with LA based artist Margaret Honda. The collected letters can be read here: https://sites.barbican.org.uk/noguchi-resonances-december-despatch/#_ftn1

Mure Shikoku, Japan, 1960 – 1988. The Noguchi Museum Archives, 07508 ©INFGM / ARS - DACS
Isamu Noguchi, Mure Shikoku, Japan, 1960 – 1988. The Noguchi Museum Archives, 07508 ©INFGM / ARS – DACS
Sift, 1992, 92.17a-c, 2013 Reconfigured sculpture: melted steel, copper, brass, stainless steel5 elements: 3 x 3 x 13-1/2" to 5 x 3 x 13-3/4"Collection Long Beach Museum of Art, Photo credit: Yongho Kim
Margaret Honda, Sift, 1992, 92.17a-c, 2013 Reconfigured sculpture: melted steel, copper, brass, stainless steel 5 elements: 3 x 3 x 13-1/2″ to 5 x 3 x 13-3/4″Collection Long Beach Museum of Art, Photo credit: Yongho Kim

Sea of Clouds featured in exhibition A Hidden Whisper at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts

A Hidden Whisper/隱曖喃喃
Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts, Taipei, Taiwan
Exhibition date: 2021.11.26~2022.02.06
My film Sea of Clouds/雲海 (2016) is featuring in the exhibition ‘A Hidden Whisper/隱曖喃喃’ at the at Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts. The exhibition brings together moving image works by eleven past residency artists at the museum. Chinese subtitled version of Sea of Clouds is available to view online.

Participate Artists
Marta Roberti (Italy)
Wojciech Gilewicz (Poland)
George Clark (United Kingdom)
于吉 / Yu Ji (China)
鄧國騫 / Tang Kwok-Hin (Hong Kong)
Jeamin Cha (Korea)
Soh Boram (Korea)
Mitsunori Sakano (Japan)
Soichiro Mihara (Japan)
KBT (Australia)
Drew Pettifer (Australia)

Reconstructing the Archive – TPD workshop, Hanoi

Reconstructing the Archive
Workshop with TPD, Hanoi

September 2021

As part of the ongoing project Handle With Care, this series of workshops for TPD curatorial group in Hanoi, explored expanded concept of archive supporting ongoing research and curatorial projects with Vietnam Film Institute devised with curators Trần Duy Hưng and Truong Que Chi.

Workshop 1: Reconstructing the archive part
This session will explore ways archives can be approached and explored to reveal their underlying structures – building on work of essay filmmakers we will explore models of critical engagement to explore the historical function of the archive and ways it can be creatively reimagined and reconstructed.

Workshop 2: Reconstructing the archive part
Following our opening discussion this workshop will be focused on creative ways we can reconstruct and reconsider the archive. The workshop will be structured around the experiences of FC1curatorial participants who will be invited to bring and share materials and reflections from their initial time in the archive – looking at materials from their research, life and memories to explore the entanglement of the archive with their own impressions, feelings, dreams and futures.

These workshops are part of ongoing curatorial programme building new curatorial models for archival film in Vietnam. The first workshop I did with students was Neither For Nor Against in January 2020 and following by Moving Image Ecology Workshop  in September 2021. These workshops are part of longer course run by Trần Duy Hưng and Truong Que Chi over 2020 and 2021 that have informed and fed into Handle With Care project.

Supported by British Council Vietnam, and supported by Hải Anh and Nguyen Hoang Phuong from TPD.

Mother Bank Band open Biennale Jogja, October 2021

Mother Bank Band open Biennale Jogja, October 2021
6 October – 14 November 2021

Mother Bank was presented at the Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6 including debut performance of the Mother Bank Band on the opening night of the Biennale on 6 October 2021. Mother Bank is the latest collaboration of Badan Kajian Pertanahan / Land Affair Study Agency and West Java West Yorkshire Cooperative Movement.

Members of the Mother Bank worked with musicians from Jatiwangi art Factory to write and create songs inspired by their everyday lives. All songs were performed by members of the Mother Bank who worked over 5 moths developing the songs while working their day jobs as tile factories workers, truck drivers, street food vendors and housewives. The performance was part of presentation organised by the Land Study Agency including an installation and investment presentation of the Mother Bank at the Jogja National Museum.

Mother Bank at Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6, installation view at National Museum of Jogja, 6 Oct - 14 Nov 2021.
Mother Bank at Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6, installation view at National Museum of Jogja, 6 Oct – 14 Nov 2021.

Read account of the performance here:
https://biennalejogja.org/2021/en/mother-bank-band-music-without-bank-interest-and-instalments/

Mother Bank at Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6, installation view at National Museum of Jogja, 6 Oct - 14 Nov 2021.
Mother Bank at Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6, installation view at National Museum of Jogja, 6 Oct – 14 Nov 2021.
Mother Bank at Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6, installation view at National Museum of Jogja, 6 Oct - 14 Nov 2021.
Mother Bank at Biennale Jogja XVI Equator #6, installation view at National Museum of Jogja, 6 Oct – 14 Nov 2021.

Inner Sage / Outer King shows in Islands 島嶼

Islands 島嶼
Taiwan / UK moving image festival, August 2021

My film Inner Sage / Outer King was 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.

Letter from 許鈞宜 Hsu Chun Yi to George Clark as part of Islands, 2021
Letter from 許鈞宜 Hsu Chun Yi to George Clark as part of Islands, 2021

Dear George,

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.

Hsu Chun Yi

Dear George,

當他遠眺著沿海襲來的冬日水氣,是否正感到完結的不可能、一種永久的懸宕?
他們終日在大小不一的墓碑間徘徊,並且燃去不少香菸、隨意地拍照來揮霍時間。

虛構或杜撰,這似乎是我們能夠指認過去的少數方法,拿起底片朝向光源、抬頭看著那些並列的影格,其中一切仍是那麼模糊不定、彷彿失去名字那般,只能用手去指著。我在那悶熱的午後拾起那卷底片,將反白的海面看作空曠的荒地、把沈積在膠片上的塵埃認為遙遠的星體。此時,影像彷彿成為我們最不可能掌握之物,看著那些我未曾經歷的,就像是以非我所熟悉的語言讀著他人的日記,如同蹣跚走過盧伊茲的電影裡那些幻覺般的海岸線。

在這未完成的電影裡,可能存在這樣一個可能的結尾:在拍攝暫停的時間裡,他們倚坐在岩石上、像是那對海灘上的情侶般站立於相機前,所有人都在不經意的情況下,成為了影像與過去。

許鈞宜

The brochure for Islands contains all the correspondences between British and Taiwanese artists with translations can be found below

Time to challenge the hierarchies, WJWY in Arts Professional, Sept 2020

Time to challenge the hierarchies
Arts Professional Magazine
September 2020

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”.

Read the full article here:
https://www.artsprofessional.co.uk/magazine/337/feature/time-challenge-hierarchies

TPD Workshop – Neither For Nor Against in January 2020

Neither For Nor Against
Moving Image Ecologies: Cinema, Archive and Factory
TPD Hanoi, 9 January 2020 and 9 September 2020

This was first of a series of talks I gave as part of the Film Curating programme 2019-2020 ran by the TPD Centre for the Development of Movie Talent (TPD) devised with curators Trần Duy Hưng and Truong Que Chi.

The three-part talk reflects on the connections between conceptions of cinema as place of exhibition as well as creation and site of invention. It looks at origins of film archive and models of curatorial practice for film, from origins of cinema to contemporary time. Finally, it reflects on how artists navigate between these fields drawing on discourses of cinema, visual arts and archive to find new possibilities for means of working with with legacy of film industry, from essay film to installation.

The workshops were organised in parallel with curatorial visits to the Vietnam Film Institute and to support development of new curatorial projects presented in the festival NHƯ TRĂNG TRONG ĐÊM
(NTTĐ – LIKE THE MOON IN A NIGHT SKY)  

Như trăng trong đêm, Hanoi 20 June 2020
Như trăng trong đêm, Hanoi 20 June 2020