Close Up

16 October 2017: Image Inverts: Recent Work from the Artist Film Workshop, Melbourne


The Artist Film Workshop, Melbourne presents a programme of 16mm and digital video works from the centre of contemporary experimental filmmaking in Australia. In the light of increasing precarity and growing disdain for non-functional artist practices becoming the norm both in Australia and globally, AFW has established a collective space for the experimentation in and production of images, and for screening rarely shown works from the vast and unresolved histories of work on film. More recently, the emphasis upon a medium often characterised as outmoded has become a way of operating outside of established conventions for contemporary art, which has more or less maintained the model of studio-based production of individual artist subjectivities and their works. Against this model, AFW has developed a collaborative and lab-oriented workshop approach for investigating and representing work on film, and film as such.

This programme presents recent work by AFW members and affiliates: Hanna Chetwin, Zi-Yun Lam, Giles Fielke, Madeleine Martiniello, Lorant Smee, Matthew Berka, Richard Tuohy and Dianna Barrie.

Hanna Chetwin
2017 | 6 min | B/W | 16mm

Soda explores the forms and rhythms of bubbles. The film uses camera-less techniques (including scratching and rayogramming) intercut with footage of water in progressive stages of boiling. Accompanied by a soundtrack by Rohan Drape.

Richard Tuohy & Dianna Barrie
2017 | 9 min | Colour | 16mm

Jakarta traffic moves with the harmonious chaos of complex self-organising entities everywhere. Through contact printer matting techniques this mass transport becomes denser and denser until only the fluid futility of motion/motionlessness remains. Jakarta traffic stands as proof of the paradox of motion.

Internal and External Objects
Giles Fielke
2017 | 7 min | B/W | 16mm

Leo’s hand rayogrammed on my laptop, perusing Kracauer. Maddy reads Transparencies on Film and listens to Michael Jackson while I hovered threateningly somewhere in the background.

Tomato Day
Madeleine Martiniello
2017 | 6 min | Colour | 16mm

A short study of the tension between nostalgia and the filmic image, using the home movie as a means of exploring family, history and cultural knowledge. the images of many hands at work are accompanied by a soundtrack assembled from the hand-developing process of the film, and a instructional conversation between granddaughter and grandmother. Tomato Day is a translation from one generation to the next, in an attempt to learn, to record and to remember.

Lorant Smee
2016 | 6 min | Colour | 16mm

An homage to Shirley Clarke's Bridges Go Round, this is a 16mm colour film of New York's Williamsburg Bridge shot originally on high contrast black and white film. It was printed, and reprinted using a colour additive contact printer, and it includes double exposures (during the printing process) and various other techniques to achieve the "multiple colour" effect in a single image, as well as incorporation of solarisation during development to some sections.

Travel Film
Zi-Yun Lam
2017 | 6 min | B/W | Digital

An excerpt from a work in progress. In a quiet corner on a busier street, conversation and postage stamps take us to other times and other places.

Focal Constriction
Sabina Maselli
2017 | 4'30min | Colour | Digital

Moving from the exterior to the interior...a 16mm exploration of the film still as a specimen of time...and time itself as a spiral.

Hume’s Disappointment
Matthew Berka
2017 | 11 min | Colour | Digital

Based on a story of disappearance which occurred at Mount Disappointment, this film presents a fictional reimagining of explorers Hume and Hovell’s expedition from Sydney to Melbourne in 1824. The phantasms of a Gothic Australian mythos are smeared together from past and future worlds.