Emily Wardill's latest film, Sick Serena and Dregs and Wreck and Wreck ' a Film London Artist's Moving Image Network and Picture This co-production produced as part of the Bristol Mean Time residency ' takes audiences into dark allegorical scenes depicting religious iconography, outmoded superstition and slapstick comedy.
Sick Serena and Dregs and Wreck and Wreck employs imagery from British ecclesiastic stained glass to create a visually and conceptually rich, dense and multi-layered film. The references Pier Paolo Pasolini's controversial 1963 short film La Ricotta, (for which he was imprisoned for blasphemy on the basis of 'enacting' a religious scene as a comedy sketch) The scenes that unfold invoke both a sense of unease and amusement.
The bold colours and dramatic compositions of stained glass are echoed within the film's series of seemingly unrelated scenes. Characters inhabit a world of allegory and slapstick within a constructed set that lies somewhere between medieval imagery, cubist and fauvist painting and the modern-day office. A soundtrack of 12 th century choral music juxtaposed with dance hall beats, spoken dialogue and voice-overs becomes an additional discordant layer. In this world characters turn from stained glass to humans to paper and back again. They speak theatrically - slowly, stilted and with precision, with a careful vernacular punctuated by contemporary references.
The film's use of many different and often contradictory references, its clash of opulence and low-fi and the use of unexpected dialogue all catch audiences off guard.
A specially commissioned essay by Ian White, independent curator and writer and Adjunct Film Curator for Whitechapel Gallery, London accompanies the exhibition.