Close Up

9 December 2016: Edge of Frame: Elemental Animation


Curated by Edwin Rostron, this programme presents a series of works which use the material of film itself as a canvas. These visceral, vibrant films feature camera-less techniques such as scratching, painting and printing onto the filmstrip, subjecting film to decay and decomposition, and affixing materials such as letraset or insects to its surface. The remarkable visions created through these diverse approaches fill the frame with dynamic textures and colour, and many will be presented on 16mm and 35mm prints. Seen in the cinema, these works achieve a powerful effect, immersing us in strange and previously unseen worlds, and displaying the breadth and scope of abstract film.

Several of the filmmakers will be in attendance.

This programme is part of the Edge of Frame Weekend, which also includes a public seminar addressing questions around the context for animation practice, and further screenings at Whitechapel Gallery.

Linear Dreams
Richard Reeves
1997 | 7 min | Colour | 16mm

Images from the minds eye. Music from the minds ear. A pulsating heartbeat gives life to a motion painting experience. Abstract animation produced by drawing both sound and picture directly onto 35mm film.

Queen’s Quay
Stephen Broomer
2012 | 1’11 min | Colour | 16mm

Red, green, blue, and yellow grids track the horizon, left and right. The colours collide and mix.

Landfill 16
Jennifer Reeves
2011 | 9 min | Colour | 16mm

"Exhumed 16mm film from my very own landfill in Elkhart, Indiana, constitute the canvas of Landfill 16. After finishing my double-projection When It Was Blue I was horrified by the bulk of outtakes that would normally go to a landfill. So I temporarily buried the footage to let enzymes and fungi in the soil begin to decompose the image, and then I hand-painted the film to give it new life." – Jennifer Reeves

Something Between Us
Jodie Mack
2015 | 9'30 min | Colour | 16mm

A choreographed motion study for twinkling trinkets, beaming baubles, and glaring glimmers. A bow ballet ablaze (for bedazzled buoyant bijoux brought up to boil). Costume jewellery and natural wonders join forces to perform plastic pirouettes, dancing a luminous lament until the tide comes in.

Stan Brakhage
1963 | 4 min | Colour | 16mm

"Brakhage made Mothlight without a camera. He just pasted moth wings and flowers on a clear strip of film and ran it through the printing machine." – Jonas Mekas

Dresden Dynamo
Lis Rhodes
1971-72 | 5 min | Colour | 16mm

"Dresden Dynamo is a film that I made without a camera – in which the image is the sound track – the sound track the image. A film document." – Lis Rhodes

Vicky Smith
2016 | 10 min | Colour | 16mm

"I needed to make something and so I began with the urgent method of direct animation, using a roll of 16mm unprocessed fogged negative and my own body. Emulsion softened with saliva rubbed away to reveal textures impressed upon the film surface." – Vicky Smith

Sunset Strip
Kayla Parker
1996 | 4'15 min | Colour | 35mm

A day-by-day animated diary of a year's sunsets, recorded directly onto a continuous strip of 35mm film using a variety of materials such as magnolia petals, net stocking, lacquer and ink, to create a dazzling expression of the visual music revealed by 365 setting suns.

Deep Red
Esther Urlus
2012 | 7 min | Colour | 35mm

Dense, addictive, multi-pass, colour printing with trees shorn of their leaves transformed into thirty six layer deep technicolour. Deep Red is an investigation into additive colour mixing on film, handmade by a DIY silkscreen printing technique.

Get Set
Ian Helliwell
2005 | 3'20 min | Colour | Digital

A direct animation film made over a period of 3 years, using clear super 8 covered with ink and overlaid with various Letraset shapes. The titles incorporate paper cut-out animation, and the soundtrack features Helliwell’s home-made electronic sounds and improvisation on toy organ.

Colour Poems
Margaret Tait
1974 | 12 min | Colour | Digital

"Nine linked short films. Memory, chance observation, and the subsuming of one in the other. A poem started in words is continued by the picture, part of another poem is read for the last of the nine. Some images are formed by direct-on-film animation, others are "found" by the camera." – Margaret Tait

Little Boy
Jordan Baseman
2014-16 | 3'45 min | Colour | Digital

Little Boy takes its name from the atomic bomb that was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima by the B-29 bomber, Enola Gay at 8:15 AM on August the 6th 1945. Little Boy is an abstract, stop-frame animation of the sky, recorded at the Hiroshima Peace Museum, within the detonation site of the first atomic bomb. The animation provides the raw material for this film, which has then been hand-processed using only the most rudimentary techniques.

Edge of Frame Weekend is supported by Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Royal College of Art, and using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The event takes place during the Whitechapel’s William Kentridge exhibition, and is part of the London International Animation Festival.

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