This combined programme includes recent work by Maddi Barber, Mary Helena Clark, Simon Liu, Ross Meckfessel, Jayne Parker.
Gorria (Red) I Maddi Barber | 2020 | Spain
Gorria adds a new chapter to Maddi Barber’s long-term project of documenting the environment around her native village of Lakabe on the slopes of the Navarrese Pyrenees. An observational study of traditional shepherding and sheep farming practices in the customary style of anthropological documentary, Gorria opens with the slaughtering of a lamb. Barber’s camera focuses on hand gestures – hands that, as the filmmaker notes, “feed, milk, stroke, shear, film; hands that kill. Hands which inhabit the doubts and contradictions about using other species.
Triforium I Jayne Parker | 2021 | UK
Images of Westminster Abbey’s triforium – a gallery hidden from view for centuries that runs sixteen metres high above the floor of the nave – are contrasted with those of magnolias that blossom for only a few days, plants which Parker films year after year. Permanence and transience; life and death. Laurence Crane’s musical accompaniment fills with feeling the quietude of the sacred space. The film is dedicated to the memory of the late teacher and writer A. L. Rees, who passed away in 2014.
Figure Minus Fact I Mary Helena Clark | 2020 | USA
“Night, like mourning, remakes space through absence: forms at the threshold of perception heighten sound and touch. When someone dies there is a pull towards the concrete and tangible, but disbelief creates a world of unreliable objects. Figure Minus Fact draws and redraws coordinates between spaces, senses, and objects, groping in the dark, desiring to see something that’s not there. Spaces become evidentiary yet deceptive in a subject-less portrait of loss.” (Mary Helena Clark)
Zero Length Spring I Ross Meckfessel | 2020 | USA
A mysterious, sensory collage depicting occult and paranormal activities. Zero Length Spring revolves around a reiki healing ritual interspersed with found photographs and original 16mm material referencing alternately pagan and (folk) horror imagery. Slyly connecting elements and artefacts of esoterica with references to the more cynical modern healing and faith industries, Ross Meckfessel creates a film that seems intended as a kind of incantation. Going deep into the materiality of film – light pierces through cracks in black leader – film itself becomes a metaphor for the brain of the hypnotised spectator
Happy Valley Simon Liu | 2020 | Hong Kong, UK
“British Colonial-era structures overlook scenes in the aftermath of civil unrest as Hong Kongers work to retain some semblance of normality. The sound of petty arguments from local TVB soap-operas of the 1980s are put in concert with captive animals, political graffiti and desolate highways. Suspension cables and ship anchor lines reveal a fragile urban anatomy; the structures that keep the city moving along. As civic functions grind to a halt, the limits of our empathy and control come into question.” (Simon Liu)
Maddi Barber, Mary Helena Clark, Simon Liu, Ross Meckfessel and Jayne Parker in conversation with Steffanie Ling.