The films in this programme respond to the multiple heritages of a place. Screening here for the first time, Aoife Desmond’s new film Mná and Sons explores overlapping layers of place through an examination of built residue, feral landscapes and embodied reanimation of site through ritualised performance. This approach is echoed in different ways throughout the programme in works by Charlotte Pryce, Rosalind Fowler and Onyeka Igwe. Ranging from minute observation of a forest understory, constructed participatory rituals for an urban community and decolonisation through a re-editing of the ethnographic gaze, human heritages collide with non-human and architectural infrastructures. This film screening accompanies the architectural heritage seminar at TEST SITE and is curated by Aoife Desmond in collaboration with aemi.
Charlotte Pryce, Discoveries on the Forest Floor, 2007, hand processed 16mm (SD transfer), colour, silent, 4 min
Rosalind Fowler & Fourthland (Isik Sayarer and Eva Knutsdotter), Breadrock, I feel like doing this, 2018, 16mm, black & white, sound, 17 min
Onyeka Igwe, Specialised Technique, 2018, black & white, sound, 7 min
Aoife Desmond, Mná and Sons, 2021, colour, sound, 90 min
Charlotte Pryce, Discoveries on the Forest Floor
Three Miniature, Illuminated, Heliographic studies of plants, observed and Imagined. The individual titles of the films are: Burnt Umber/ pale ochre/ Burnt Umber,
The Talk of Lichen on a Lonely Day, Those Whose Attachment to the Earth is but Tentative
Rosalind Fowler and Fourthland (Isik Sayarer and Eva Knutsdotter), Breadrock: I feel like doing this
“The work is a visceral homage to cultural history, memory and universal myth. Melding experimental and ethnographic filmmaking, the work presents a series of staged vignettes drawing on the rituals and artefacts of the Estate’s Bangladeshi, European, Kurdish, Serbian, Turkish, Ugandan and West Indian communities, to create new kinships, myths and culture”
Onyeka Igwe, Specialised Technique
William Sellers and the Colonial Film Unit developed a framework for colonial cinema, slow edits and minimal camera movement, no camera tricks. In an effort to recuperate black dance from this colonial project, Specialised Technique, attempts to transform this material from studied spectacle to livingness. Developed with the support of Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN), Arts Council England and the Fenton Arts Trust.
Aoife Desmond, Mná and Sons
This new site-specific film directed by Aoife Desmond combines a critical essay response with inserted performative actions. The film is structured around seasonal changes, documenting evolving plant, bird and insect life, development of built works in progress and transformation of the site from a state of vacancy to temporary inhabitation. These contrasted visual elements are framed with layers of field recordings, vocal loops, acoustic interventions and where appropriate voiceover. Aoife Desmond has filmed in 16mm, with additional performance cinematography by Narayan Van Maale, Denise Woods and Andrew O’Reilly with sound design by Fiona Sheils. This layered approach is used to create a film work which captures abstract and reflective aspects of the urban research project TEST SITE.