The Swedenborg Film Festival returns on 24 November with special guest judge, the artist Susan Hiller. Featuring 20 new short films by international artists, alongside a special screening of Hiller’s work, the SFF is co-curated by Gareth Evans (Whitechapel Gallery) and Nora Foster (Frieze). Selected films will explore this year’s theme of 'Correspondences' – symbols, metaphor and hidden meanings – and screenings will take place at Swedenborg House in Bloomsbury.
Chosen from an open call for submissions, this year’s featured artists are: Jonathan Bryant Crawford, Martin Del Carpio, James Edmonds, Keira Greene, Oona Grimes, Atobe Hiroshi, Andrew Kötting, Mox Mäkelä, Diane Nerwen, James Norton, Julian Olariu, Louiza Orlof, Annette Philo, Jon Ratigan, Victoria Skogsberg, Alkaios Spyrou, John Smith, John Strutton, Huangzhi Tang and Sharon Whooley. Films will span screenings in Swedenborg Hall and installations throughout the grade-II-listed Swedenborg House, ‘one of London’s most atmospheric venues’ (Guardian).
The artist Susan Hiller will choose and announce the winner at the close of the festival, as well as present a special screening of her work in Swedenborg Hall.
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About the Swedenborg Film Festival
The only film festival in the world inspired by the work of a single philosopher, the SFF invites entries from the latest emerging and established talent of experimental and artist film. For the 2018 edition, filmmakers were invited to submit films of 20 minutes of less, exploring the concept of 'Correspondences' – a theme encountered in the work of scientist, philosopher, theologian and visionary Emanuel Swedenborg (1688–1772), as well as those he influenced, from William Blake to Jorge Luis Borges. Artists and writers including Ali Smith, Bridget Smith, Andrew Kötting, Jeremy Millar and Lech Majewski have judged and shown work at SFF.
About Susan Hiller
With a multimedia practice extending over 40 years, Susan Hiller is one of the most influential artists of her generation. Since first making innovative use of audio and visual technology in the early 1980s, her groundbreaking installations, multi-screen videos and audio works have achieved international recognition. Each of Hiller’s works is based on specific cultural artefacts from our society, which she uses as basic materials. Many pieces explore the liminality of certain phenomena including the practice of automatic writing (Sisters of Menon, 1972/79), near-death experiences (Channels, 2013), and collective experiences of unconscious, subconscious and paranormal activity (Belshazzar’s Feast, 1983-4; Psi Girls, 1999; Witness, 2000). Hiller’s powerful and resonant films range from the J Street Project (2002-05), a chillingly extensive search for every street sign in Germany bearing the word Juden (Jew), to The Last Silent Movie (2007), which also documents disappearance and absence, although this time through speech recordings of dying or extinct languages. Her psychologically charged and thematically varied practice amounts to an impassioned plea for the joys and mysteries associated with irrationality.
Susan Hiller was born in 1940 in Tallahasse, Florida, and has been based mainly in London since the early 1960s. After studying film and photography at The Cooper Union and archaeology and linguistics at Hunter College in New York, Hiller went on to a National Science Foundation fellowship in anthropology at Tulane University in New Orleans. Her work features in numerous international private and public collections including the Centre Pompidou, Paris; Ludwig Museum, Cologne; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tate Gallery, London; and the Centro de Arte Contemporanea Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil. Her career has been recognized by survey exhibitions at the ICA, London (1986); ICA, Philadelphia (1998); Museu Serralves, Porto (2004); Castello di Rivoli, Turin (2006); Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2007); and, most recently by, a major retrospective exhibition at Tate Britain (2011).