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  • The Thickness of Cinema

    Poster image: Still from FOR THIRTY YEARS, NANCY WOULD SIT OUT ON THE STREET CORNER AND WATCH THE SUNSET (2017) Sam Hamilton​. Screening as a part of Thick Cinema, CIRCUIT Artist Cinema Commissions. 

    Symposium: The Thickness of Cinema

    Saturday 27 August 2017

    CIRCUIT is proud to announce The Thickness of Cinema, a one day symposium exploring cinema’s sensorial capabilities and notions of embodiment and experience, presented by CIRCUIT at Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu on Saturday 26 August 10-4pm, with support from Creative New Zealand, the Govett-Brewster Art Gallery/Len Lye Foundation, The Physics Room, Canada Council for the Arts, The Free Theatre and Canterbury Workers Education Association.

    The Thickness of Cinema is CIRCUIT’s 5th annual symposium exploring artists moving image practice in Aotearoa New Zealand and internationally. This symposium presents responses to the following;

    What might be the role of the body and sensorial experience in cinematic intelligibility and meaning? How does film affective experience contribute to our knowledge of the world? In what ways might we be able to analyse and get beyond sensation and emotion to explore cultural, gender or ideological implications? How have cinema, and phenomenological approaches to film been influenced by and respond to recent technological developments in our digital age? What might the cinematic experience be destined to offer us in lieu of the new sensorial experiences brought by these technological advances?

    The Thickness of Cinema is curated by CIRCUIT 2017 curator-at-large Dr. Mercedes Vicente, an independent curator and writer who has recently completed her PhD at the Royal College of Art, London, on the work of New Zealand pioneer video artist Darcy Lange. Dr Vicente will be travelling to Christchurch to take part in the symposium. $45 waged / $20 unwaged. Register online: https://the-thickness-of-cinema.lilregie.com/step1

    SCHEDULE

    9.30-10:00: Coffee and Registration
     
    10am-10.20: Welcome / Introduction
    Mark Williams (Director, Circuit)
    Dr. Mercedes Vicente (2017 Circuit Curator-at-Large) 
     
    10.20-11.00: Keynote Presentation
    In this keynote address, Erika Balsom questions the response that experimental documentary practice may have to our contemporary moment, a moment that some have deemed a “collapse” of reality. 
    Presentations/Panellists:
    Erika Balsom (senior lecturer in Film Studies, King’s College, London)
     
    11.00-11.20: Morning tea break 
     
    11.20-11.40: Conversation with Fiona Amundsen and Dr. Mercedes Vicente
    Presentations/Panellists:
    Fiona Amundsen (Artist Senior lecturer, School of Art and Design, Auckland University of Technology)
    Dr. Mercedes Vicente
     
    11.40-12.00: Fraying Intimacies
    How might we get beyond sensation and emotion to explore culture, gender or ideology? Lucinda Bennett looks to contemporary moving image works to discuss how networked technologies have both changed and extended the phenomenon of intimacy in art. 
     
    Presentations/Panellists:
    Lucinda Bennett (CNZ curatorial Intern, Dunedin Public Art Gallery) 
     
    12.00-1.00pm: Lunch 
     
    1.00pm-2.00pm: Embodied Movement and the Thickness of Cinema: Theories, Histories,
    Practices
    How have artists working with moving images engaged the body of the viewer? In this panel, Erika Balsom will chair a discussion following two presentations. Dr. Catherine Fowler will present a historical survey exploring the assaults, demands and impressions that artists have sought to make on bodies at rest and in motion, inside and outside the black box of the auditorium. David Green’s presentation considers how Kurt Lewin’s (1890-1947) concept of ‘hodological space’ could be described as the concept of mise-en-scene expanded to encompass a whole life. Followed by a Q&A. 
     
    Presentations/Panellists:
    Dr. Catherine Fowler (associate professor in Film, University of Otago)
    David Green (filmmaker, special effects artist and motion control specialist)
    Erika Balsom (senior lecturer in Film Studies, King’s College, London), Chair
     
    3:00pm-3.20pm: Afternoon tea break 
     
    3.20-3.40: Conversation with Kim Pieters and Elle Loui August. 
    Presentations/Panellists:
    Kim Pieters (Artist)
    Elle Loui August (Independant writer and assistant curator, Objectspace). 
     
    3.40pm-4.00pm: Building a Tower of Cinnamon: the Kaballah of Abraham Abulafia considered as a cinema of ‘pure means.’
    Bruce Russell presents a reflection on improvisation with sound as simultaneously a form of yogic meditation, a utopian act of profanatory rebellion and a form of cinema stripped back to metaphysical first principles. 
     
    Presentations/Panellists:
    Bruce Russell (sound artist)
     
    4:00pm-4.20pm: Conversation with Joyce Campbell and Mark Williams
    Joyce Campbell (Artist, Associate Head, Research and Postgraduate studies, Elam School of Fine Arts University of Auckland)
    Mark Williams
     
    4.20pm-5.00pm: Roundtable and Final Conclusions
    Mark Williams
    Dr. Mercedes Vicente
  • Peter Waering

    IMAGE: Who spends the time? Some practical questions concerning the democratic process and personal responsibility (Parts A, C and B) (Still). Courtesy of the artist.

    Installations

    TUESDAY 22 AUGUST—FRIDAY 25 AUGUST

    WHO SPENDS THE TIME? SOME PRACTICAL QUESTIONS CONCERNING THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS AND PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY (PARTS A, C AND B)

    An installation by Peter Wareing (NZ/UK)
    Hours: 12.15pm—5pm
    Canterbury Workers Education Association (CWEA)
    59 Gloucester St 
    FREE

    How might parallel filmic spaces exist simultaneously? In this speculative urban documentary Peter Wareing juxtaposes fictional scenes shot in the London Borough of Dagenham against interviews with volunteers from the recent political campaigns of Bernie Sanders (USA) and Jeremy Corbyn (UK). Onscreen Wareing asks the actors playing dramatic roles to also take up the role of interviewer. 

    Event: Artist talk with Jamie Hanton, Friday 25 August 12:30 pm

    TUESDAY 22 AUGUSTSATURDAY 26 AUGUST

    ST BATHANS REPETITIONS 1/2/16—12/3/16 (PORTRAITS DE JACQUES À ST BATHANS, AVEC INTERLUDE DE PAYSAGES, SUR ÉCRAN TRANSLUCIDE)

    An installation by Alexandre Larose (CAN)
    Hours: 11am—4pm Tues 22—Fri 25 August, 11am—1pm Sat 26 August
    The Gym, The Free Theatre
    Christchurch Art Centre
    FREE 

    A single channel video/audio installation shot in the former gold mining town of St Bathans around the Blue Lake, a small turquoise body of water formed by the artificial process of gold-sluicing in the late 19th century. Made by Larose in 2016 whilst CIRCUIT's international artist-in-residence, the artist subjected images of scenic and domestic environs to intense image manipulation through in-camera techniques, suggesting slippages in time and place. 

    Event: A live soundtrack by Christchurch musician Motte will be performed Wednesday 23 August, 5.30pm – 6.30pm

  • Motte

    Photo: Justyn Rebecca Denney Strother

    Events

    Wednesday 23—Sunday 27 August

    LIVE SOUNDTRACK: MOTTE PERFORMS ST BATHANS REPETITIONS 1/2/16—12/3/16

    Wednesday 23 August
    5.30pm
    6.30pm
    The Gym, The Free Theatre

    Christchurch Art Centre

    “Neoclassical tape delay violin... sounds like what you would imagine it would feel like to be stuck inside a hothouse in the dead of night... full of tropical plants, flying insects, and a suffocatingly humid atmosphere.” —RNZ 

    Christchurch musician Motte performs a live soundtrack to accompany Alexandre Larose’s experimental portrait of environs surrounding the former gold mining town of St Bathans.

    ARTIST TALK: PETER WAREING IN CONVERSATION WITH JAMIE HANTON

    Friday 25 August
    12.30pm
    1.15pm
    Canterbury Workers Education Association (CWEA)
    FREE

     
    How might parallel filmic spaces exist simultaneously? Artist Peter Wareing discusses his installation Who spends the time? Some practical questions concerning the democratic process and personal responsibility (Parts A, C and B) with Physics Room Director Jamie Hanton.

    WORKSHOP: ART WRITING WITH MEGAN DUNN

    Sunday 27 August
    10am
    4pm 
    Venue TBC
    FREE

    Wellington-based writer and critic Megan Dunn leads a practical workshop that offers tips on how to bring your art reviews to life. The workshop will include a mixture of class discussion and writing exercises. Participants will engage with language in ways that will strengthen their criticism and reviews. 

    Following the workshop selected attendees will be asked to contribute to an e-book addressing events in the CIRCUIT Artist Week and/or Symposium. Any writing assignments will be paid, with full reviews of 1500-2000 words remunerated at a rate of $200. Writers may also be invited to contribute to future CIRCUIT online editorial content.

    Note: Writing workshop spaces are limited. Contact [email protected] to register interest. Presented in association with The Physics Room.

  • Screenings

    Wednesday 23—Friday 25 August

    WEDNESDAY 23 AUGUST

    Tonsler Park (2017)
    A film by Kevin Jerome Everson
    7pm
    8.30pm
    Canterbury Workers Education Association (WEA)
    59 Gloucester St

    A portrait of black staff members working in the polling station at Tonsler Park in Charlottesville, Virginia on 8 November 2016, the final day of the recent United States Presidential election. Filmed from distance, Everson records close up observational shots of staff taking an oath, nervously handing out voting slips and exchanging jokes. Few seem aware of the camera, while Everson pulls the viewer into the inexorable process of work, labour and democracy in action. 

    THURSDAY 24 AUGUST

    Gonda (2012)
    A film by Ursula Mayer
    7pm Wunderbar
    19 London St, Lyttelton

    Gonda (2012) is a 30 minute film by Austrian artist Ursula Mayer which responds to a 1937 play called Ideal written by free-market advocate Ayn Rand. As a critical counter, Gonda addresses cinematic and linguistic space by creating settings in which image, text and sound shift roles to affect presupposed ideals of identity and existence. The script by Maria Fusco rebuilds and re-imagines Gonda through a polyvocal voice and the film features, next to others, Dutch transgender model Valentijn de Hingh.

    Note: A free bus will depart for the Wunderbar at 6.30pm from outside the CWEA. 
    Contact [email protected] to reserve your place. Bus returns 9pm.

    FRIDAY 25 AUGUST

    Thick Cinema (2017)
    Works by Fiona Amundsen, John Di Stefano, Sam Hamilton, Kim Pieters, Joyce Campbell. Curated by Mercedes Vicente
    6.30pm
    7.30pm (plus Q&A)
    Christchurch Art Gallery Te Puna o Waiwhetu

    Premiere of CIRCUIT’s annual Artist Cinema Commissions, featuring work shot on New Zealand, Japan, USA. Each artist was asked to respond to the theme of this years symposium which seeks to explore cinema’s sensorial capabilities and notions of embodiment and experience. Three of the artists will be present.

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