Monday, 12 November 2012

Film Viewing at the Tangled Parrot

Viewing of my films at the Tangled Parrot, Carmarthen- Nov 15 7.30 pm

Sichuan Fine Art Institute, Chongqing, China

Installation image of - Everyday, exhibited in the Uncommon Past; visual explorations of time, history and memory at the Sichuan Fine Art Institute, Chonqing, China.
A collaboration between the New Media Centre Gallery, Sichuan Fine Art Institute and the University of Derby. The exhibition formed part of the British CouncilUK NOW festival in China.

Sunday, 22 April 2012

'an Uncommon Past' - Sichuan Fine Art, ChongQing, China

The Exhibition ‘An Uncommon Past’ opens on the 26 April at the Sichuan Fine Art Institute in China – as part of the British Council's Festival of British Art in China entitled UK NOW.

Professor John Goto of the University of Derby has curated the show which considers questions of time, memory and history.

artist include:
Cesario Alves
Robert Casselton Clark
Huw Davies
Fletcher, Parker and Watson
John Goto
Sookyoung Huh with Bjorn Larsson
Vared Lahav
Heike Lowenstein
Louise K Wilson

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Silent Village, "Making Histories, Recreating Memories" conference - DOX Centre for Contemporary Art March 10th 2012


                                         Saturday March 10th 2012 

0930 - 0945


0945 - 1000

Welcome + Introduction by Russell Roberts and Jaroslav Anděl

1000 - 1100

Presentation I – Jerri Zbiral
Presentation II – Pavel Barša
Presentation III – Daniel Blaufuks
Chaired by Béatrice Gonzalés-Vangell

1100 – 1130

Plenary I
1130 – 1200

Coffee break

1200 – 1300

Presentation IV -  Ernst van Alphen
Presentation V – Jaroslav Pinkas
(Presentation VI - René Block – tbc)
Chaired by Pavel Barša - tbc

1300 - 1330
Plenary II

1330 – 1500

1500 – 1530

Panel discussion “The Silent Village”  (Russell Roberts + Peter Finnemore + Jaroslav Anděl)

1530 – 1630

Plenary  III – chaired by Alexis Nuselovici

1630 - 1700

Concluding remarks - Alexis Nuselovici
Thanks - Jaroslav Anděl, Russell Roberts

1700 - 1800

Snack break


Departure to Lidice (bus)

1900 - 1915
Introduction by Lidice Memorial Staff - tbc

1915 - 2000

Public Reading “A Child Called Lidice” at Lidice Memorial


Departure for Prague


Thursday, 5 January 2012

Silent Village - DOX Centre of Contemporary Art, Prague, Czech Republic - Jan 12 - April 9th 2012


section from the artist book, Album, by Peter Finnemore

Monday, 19 December 2011

Silent Village tours - DOX Centre of Contemporary Art, Prague, Czech Republic. Jan 12 - 9 April 2012

'The Silent Village: Humphrey Jennings / Peter Finnemore / Rachel Trezise / Paolo Ventura, curated by Russell Roberts for DOX Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague: The exhibition opens on January 11 2012 and a symposium is planned to coincide with the exhibition for March 2012 to explore the roles of art and literature to reflect on historical memory. This exhibition coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Lidice atrocity which Humphrey Jenning's original film sought to evoke in his 1943 film of the same name; responses by leading artists Finnemore and Ventura along with the meomrable prose fiction of Trezise, introduce a number of strategies to examine the significance of the film as history and its contemporary relevance.'

                                                                                   Paulo Ventura

                                                                                    Peter Finnemore

On June 10th 1942, the Czechoslovakian village of Lidice, 20km north of Prague, was obliterated by the Nazis following the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich by the Czech resistance. Throughout the West, news of the atrocity was met with outrage that later inspired various acts of commemoration including poems, novels, symphonies and films. These memorials sought to come to terms with the total destruction of a village, a symbolic attempt to try to understand and remember what took place. However, a more immediate response came from within the British Government that turned to film as propaganda to reconstruct the horrific events as if they had taken place in mainland Britain.

Within weeks of the Lidice tragedy, work had begun on translating those events into a film supported by the Ministry of Information, London, that was subsequently made in South Wales. In September 1942, a Crown Film Unit crew arrived in the Upper Swansea Valley at the small village of Cwmgïedd, close to the town of Ystradgynlais. Under the supervision of the artist, poet and filmmaker Humphrey Jennings, they set out to make a short film that recreated the fate of Lidice. The Silent Village (1943) both memorialises a recent tragedy, and alludes to future scenarios involving loss of liberty and ultimately death. 
This exhibition and attendant publications reflect on the distinctive relations of time and place that defined Humphrey Jennings’ original film. The artists Paolo Ventura and Peter Finnemore and the writer Rachel Trezise offer their response to a film that is both a reconstruction of the Lidice atrocity and an account of Welsh life in the early 1940s. The artists’ attention to the power of fiction and generational memory through different modes of storytelling, offers an imaginary and emotionally complex bridge to historical events. In Jan and Krystyna Kaplan’s film The Assassination of Reinhard Heydrich (1992), a similar strategy to The Silent Village’s initial dramatisation of history connects with increasing use of fiction as a way of ‘knowing’ the past when seen in relation to archival footage.

Jennings’ remarkable film that fused re-enactment and realism still retains a prominent place in the filmic imagination of Wales and remains an important example of a pioneering documentary practice in the service of the State. The performative and fictional devices used in the original film also have a relevance to expanded ideas of documentary within contemporary art. It is here between official and unofficial histories that new narratives can emerge to broaden the historical imagination, to offer ways that encourage of reflection on what it means to represent the past and to understand better the conditions under which ideas of history are both produced and consumed.
text by Russell Roberts
The Silent Village is a Ffotogallery commission in partnership with the University of Wales, Newport.
Curator: Russell Roberts, Reader in Photography at the European Centre for Photographic Research, University of Wales, Newport

                                                    Humphrey Jennings on set in Cwmgiedd

Saturday, 29 October 2011

I Cannot Escape this Place....

There is truth to the title of the National Galleries of Wales display I Cannot Escape This Place, the inaugural exhibition that opened last June, launching six brand new contemporary gallery spaces within the National Galleries of Wales building complex. This title brings to mind an idea that Wales is the worlds largest open air prison. Traditional escape routes - becoming a master of disguise, tunnelling, sea coracles, helium filled balloons, riding on the backs of wild boars are all doomed to fail. A possible means of escape would be locating a portal, maybe creative actions might map us and lead to that gateway..... ahhhh.. the nostalgia of escape, the attainment of freedom....

 ...well anyways... The debate about the need for a dedicated space to Welsh visual culture at the National Gallery of Wales in Cardiff has been evolving since Peter Lord published his essay 'The Aesthetics of Relevance' (Gomer 1992). These new spaces are a welcomed addition to the arts scene in Wales and will show the range of artwork produced in Wales since the 50's and how they relate to a larger international artistic context. Hence in this new exhibition artworks by Lucian Freud, Francis Bacon, Richard Long, Keith Arnatt are seen alongside Shani Rhys James, Ivor Davies, Common Culture, Carwyn Evans, Tim Davies, Myself, and Awst & Walther.

All the artworks in this exhibition come from the National Galleries permanent art collection. My contribution to this exhibition contains a series of colour images from the series Lesson 56 Wales and Base Camp, a single screen monitor version of my three daylight screen installation of 31 short films exhibited at the 51st Venice Biennial in 2005.

Radio 4's Today programme did a feature on the opening of the new galleries and the exhibition and I got a mention... Hey ! waking up on a Saturday morning and hearing your name and soundtrack on a national radio station, I just cant escape from this place..... here is a link to the radio feature.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

House That Balthus Lived

My contribution to the exhibition the House That Balthus Lived contains an installation of a single framed photograph and a brand new film entitled 'Stray', 3 mins on a loop. This film has been over a year in the making / thinking / production process and is very bleak !

Moist: The House That Balthus Lived
Opening Event Friday 14th October 7-9pm
Milgi's will be MOIST from Fri 14th Oct 7pm till Wed 19th

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Evan Walters- Blackened Face with Reclining Nude - full essay

here is a link to my complete essay which is fully illustrated, discussing Evan Walters picture Blackened Face with Reclining Nude (1945) which was published in the recent book Evan Walters - Moments of Vision, edited by Barry Plummer.