projection 47

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The Starry Messenger began as an exhibition of moving-image works at VOID in Derry last September. The exhibition was particularly interested in issues around materiality and we at EFC were excited to see how the exhibition would work when transposed to the cinema space. A fascinating group of films taking in a number of different locations and modes of practice including documentary, field recordings and materialist practices. At the time of the exhibition these artists were mostly unfamiliar to us and we are grateful to Declan for introducing us to such an interesting group of works and artists and we are delighted to have the opportunity to screen them now in the Irish Film Institute - (EFC)

I only screen The Starry Messenger publicly on 16mm so that the black is the actual absence of light, as opposed to the projected black of video. (Marika Borgeson)

This show has evolved from an interest in the 'perceptual moment' of film, a borrowed phrase that is intended to position filmmaking and film watching as an expanded way of thinking in a visual language not limited by strict rationality and simple causality, which engages with the materiality of film as a manifestly analogue physical and chemical process. The seven selected artist filmmakers engage with what is made visible and invisible in the emulsion and grain and lights and darks of each unique celluloid print, and explore the materiality of the film medium through physical manipulation of film and alternative processes. This expanded understanding of the analogue film-making process has run parallel to a growing awareness that the survival of analogue film-making itself has come to resemble a campaign for a critically endangered species – as film processing labs are seemingly no-longer commercially viable and are closing – and so filmmakers, artists, and critics across the world have had to come together to campaign for institutional support to safeguard the ability to manufacture, shoot, process, print, make and project film. At the campaign you can add your support to the call for national and international organisations to take active steps to protect the medium of film, and request that UNESCO recognise film, the practice of filmmaking and film projection as world cultural heritage. (Declan Sheehan, curator)

Screening order:

A Idade da Pedra (The Age of Stone) (2013, 29 min, sound, 16mm & digital transfer/post-production, France/Brazil) – DVD SCREENING
"As artifical as the world must have been when it was created"
A voyage into the far west of Brazil leads us to a monumental structure - petrified at the centre of the savannah. Inspired by the epic construction of the city of Brasília, the film uses this history to imagine it otherwise. "I look at Brasília the way I look at Rome : Brasília began with a final simplification of ruins". Through the geological traces that lead us to this fictive monument, the film unearths a history of exploration, prophecy and myth. (AV)
Ana Vaz born Brasília, Brazil, 1986. Masters in Cinema and Visual Arts at Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains. Lives and works in Paris.

Garden (2012, 3 min, sound by Tom Simmons, 35mm slides & digital transfer, UK) – DVD SCREENING
Produced during an artist’s residency at Culpeper Community Garden in London. Pairs of 35mm celluloid slides are overlaid and re-photographed to create double exposure effects. These photos are then sequenced to create illusions of movement. The audio is fabricated from soundfield recordings captured over the course of 48 hours in the garden and neighbouring locations. Guided by duration, flicker and time passing in the image, the interleaved sounds reflect the process of double exposure and compose distances between the photography and the bustling city around. (MN)
Michaela Nettel born in Bedford, England, 1983. MA Animation, RCA, 2007. Lives and works in London

Liahona (20 min extract) (2013, total film 69 min, sound, 16mm transferred to HD, USA) – DVD SCREENING
An experimental documentary, recorded on 16mm film, that examines the culture, history, and lived experience of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; traversing Utah, Nauvoo and Carthage, Illinois and Independence, Missouri, and exploring the balance and the tension between the illogical and the pedestrian, the public face of faith and gaps in accessibility, and how mysticism becomes mundane. (TS)
Talena Sanders born USA, 1983. MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University. Assistant Professor of Media Arts at the University of Montana.

Eleven Forty Seven (2013, 11 min, silent, HD video, USA) – DVD SCREENING
Granite, metal, conifers, glass, and K-spar crystals. (MB)

Murmurations (2013, 6 min, sound, 16mm, USA) - 16MM PROJECTION
Bird calls, a forest muffled with snow, the soughing of willows, the flutter of wings. A reverie wrapped in fur. (RM)
Rebecca Meyers born 1976, New York. MFA in Film & Video Production, University of Iowa 2001. Academic Film Programmer & Lecturer in Film/Media Studies, Bucknell University Pennsylvania.

the object which thinks us – OBJECT 1 (2007, 7min, sound, 16mm, UK) - 16MM PROJECTION
The work begins, not with a concept, but with one or more mental images and sounds, which are then composed and constructed through recording and editing. The relationship between the object (to be filmed) and the camera irretrievably alters the mental image with which the film began, through becoming something unimagined. Likewise the editing process effectively destroys the initial filmed image through forcing it into relationships (with other images) which fundamentally change the way it is perceived, through the formation of correspondences and potential meaning. The process of perceiving / reading the images - and the mutable space between the film and the viewer - is what the work is interested in exploring. Meaning appears and disappears. The film exists in its rhythms, intensities and signification where one is unable to part one from another. (SR)
Samantha Rebello has been working in film and sound since 2004. She lives and works in London

Two-Fountains, 2014 (2014, 2 mins, silent, un-split standard 8mm ie.16mm, IRE) - 16MM PROJECTION
A visual juxtaposition of two outcomes, each one questioning the validity of the other: is it beautiful? Is it useful? (JD)
Janine Davidson born Belfast, 1974. MFA in Sculpture at NCAD Dublin, 2012. Lives and works in Dublin.

The Starry Messenger (2013, 20 mins, silent, 16mm, USA) - 16MM PROJECTION
It takes about 8 minutes and 20 seconds for the light from the sun to reach the earth… A sun print refers to multiple printing techniques which use sunlight as a developing or fixing agent... In the process of making the sun print The Starry Messenger, a black and white 16mm film negative was placed on undeveloped black and white 16mm film print stock and left in the sun for days to weeks and then fixed. The sun was the only developer used in making the film print. (MB)
Marika Borgeson born Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts, Duke University. Lives and works in Los Angeles.