AboutMark Neville's The Jump Films explores the relationship between performative art and the documentation that survives the event. Our experience of performance art history from the 1960's and 70's is mostly confined to grainy, still images, taken from films or videos, in art history books. By contrast The Jump Films document a series of three jumps, or falls, captured at thousands of frames per second, shot with a high-speed film camera that is normally used in scientific research or car-crash testing. The notion was to employ scientific equipment to try to analyse something that could not be quantified scientifically; in this case the mythology of performance art. The three films are shot in contradictory styles and at different speeds; The Jump Films, all self-performed, clearly reference heroic male performance art of the 1970's; one seems to portray an abortive suicide attempt, another references Pre-Raphaelite subject matter, and the third looks like an absurd Olympic event, or a Buster Keaton stunt.
Originally shot on 16mm film, taking advantage of state of the art high definition telecine techniques, this seminal piece of film installation will be shown for the first time in high-definition.
The exhibition aims to extend the dialogue surrounding Neville's work, considering how the re-staging or re-presenting of a performance can change the work. Here Neville's work will be recreated, not through re-staging the performance itself, but through updating the medium in which it is archived and presented.
This new HD presentation of The Jump Films interrogates how technology and digital media is used to continuously reframe and re-represent events of human exertion. Fifteen years on from the original performative 'jumps', the exhibition intends to question how scientific and digital technology is constantly revising and altering how we view archive footage.
The Jump Films HD Project is a commission by
CIRCA Contemporary Art Projects
Exhibition curated by AV Festival10 & CIRCA Contemporary Art Projects:
Sam Watson and Adam Phillips
Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England,
The Cannon Bill & Jeanette Hall Fund, and University of Sunderland
Part of AV Festival 10: Energy
International festival of electronic arts featuring visual art, music and moving image
5 14 March 2010
NewcastleGateshead, Middlesbrough, Sunderland