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10 May 2017: New Zealand Artists’ Film: This is not Film-making


CIRCUIT presents a programme featuring five new works by New Zealand artists Gavin Hipkins, Juliet Carpenter and Gregory Kan, Daniel Malone, Louise Menzies and Nathan Gray. Comissioned by CIRCUIT and curated by George Clark, the project invited each artist to make a single channel work up to ten minutes in length in response to the writings of the late New Zealand conceptual artist Julian Dashper.

Centrally focused on the history, theories and popular ideas of abstraction, conceptualism and minimalism as working methodologies, Julian Dashper's work sought to understand the cultural and geographical position of New Zealand globally. His practice considered how this country received and disseminated visual information, and manifested itself in various forms including paintings, photographs, found objects (which he infuses with abstract images), various multiples, limited edition CD and 12" records and a series of conceptually driven videos. As Art Historian Christina Barton says; Dashper has "the unique perspective of attending to an internationalist art history from a distance, enabling him to devise strategies to work around his geographical isolation whilst simultaneously articulating its effects."

"While I’m interested in how the cinema can be understood as a place for engagement and circulation of art and ideas, Dashper's position outside of the dominant discussions of film and video, and his interest in history, distance and negation are also factors that have drawn me to consider his writings as a productive basis for this project. True to Dashper's work I have invited the artists to make responses that may take the form of negation or reframing of the terms of this invitation."  – George Clark

This programme is introduced by George Clark, who will be in conversation with artists Gavin Hipkins, Daniel Malone and Nathan Gray following the screening.

New World
Gavin Hipkins
2016 | 12’38 min | Colour | Digital

“In this experimental Western the poetic meets prosaic via a Victorian travel report written for the purposes of emigration to Northeast Texas. An abstract frontier thesis where Western movie tropes and mythologised geographies are navigated through historic and contemporary printed matter.” – Gavin Hipkins

Go Into the Density of it
Louise Menzies
2016 | 6’30 min | Colour | Digital

Go into the density of it re-works a YouTube clip of Robert Smithson & Nancy Holt’s film Swamp, replacing the original soundtrack with the Julian Dashper audio recording Blue Circles, which captured the sound of spectators looking at Jackson Pollock's famous painting Blue Poles, "Go into the density of it responds to an interest in documentation, how we tend to experience works like this in general, amongst a kind of cascade of documents and ripped versions of things that pass by, or sit open in a browser window that you mean to get back to…" – Louise Menzies

Mean Time 2016
Juliet Carpenter & Gregory Kan
2016 | 5’38 min | Colour | Digital

"mean time 2016 explores our complicity with anonymous agents and materials in our increasingly networked worlds, and the necessary relinquishing of anticipatory control in these unaffordable exchanges…" – Juliet Carpenter.

mean time 2016 sets into motion a series of voracious feedback spirals, using recurrent neural networks to rework original text, and remapping the visual world in infrared and ultraviolet.

Untitled (ß) August 2016
Nathan Gray
2016 | 11’56 min | Colour | Digital

Nathan Gray's works take common restrictions as their starting point; curatorial briefs, self-imposed and group negotiated rules and the various physical, legal, economic and material restrictions of exhibition, performance and everyday life. Inspired by Julian Dashper’s video lecture Untitled (this painting), Gray’s Untitled (ß) speculates on the conceptual and physical parameters of his own performance to camera for This is not film-making, asking "What is the work? What is it now and in the future?"

Victory Over the Sun, or, Spaghetti Western Unlike You & Me
Daniel Malone
2016 | 11’21 | Colour | Digital

Victory Over the Sun, or, Spaghetti Western Unlike You & Me was shot in a former cinema, built in the late 1950s in a small town overlooking the Gulf of St Euphemia in southern Italy. Malone constructs a kind of portrait of the cinema that reveals both its former elegance and international Modernity, alongside its current obsolescence and perhaps equally beautiful dilapidation. A narrative is ambiguously laid over the images in the form of a voiceover telling the story of an unusual percussion instrument designed by Russian avant-garde composer Galina Ustvolskaya.

Part two of our two-day programme devoted to New Zealand artists and filmmakers
Presented by CIRCUIT Artist Film and Video Aotearoa New Zealand: