videoclub is presenting a curated showcase of artists’ film and video by five artists based in the UK at FLAME, Asia’s first video art fair in October. The fair is on between 4 and 6 October at Ovolo Southside, Wong Chuk Hang Road, 64, Hong Kong.
Patrick Hough, And If in a Thousand Years, 2017, 22’14”
When the film-set for Cecil B DeMille’s The Ten Commandments had had its day, it was, like the biblical civilisation it evoked, lost to the sands of time – in its case, deliberately buried, in an act of money-saving expediency, under the dunes of the Southern California desert where the movie was shot. Over the years, though, those shifting sands have gradually exposed this piece of epic landfill, bringing souvenir hunters to gather where archaeologists (or Egyptologists) used to tread.
In Patrick Hough’s video, shot on location at the site, it is not just fake fragments of the past that are disinterred. What hovers over the place is a spirit of uncertainty; one that questions bedrock values like ‘originality’ and ‘authenticity’ and dusts them with other layers of meaning: the extraordinary ease of reproducibility, the spray-on glamour of cinematic semi-celebrity. This spirit of uncertainty is encapsulated by the figure of a sphinx – once part of the décor of the majestic film-set, now wandering in ghostly limbo; haunting the nearby town like a wildcat on the prowl. The sphinx’s hybrid form and cryptic, enigmatic presence is also a symbol of a blurring between the material and the virtual that Hough’s video not only proposes but visibly enacts, using sophisticated digital scanning techniques to suggest the outline of a new technological horizon that is, even as we look back nostalgically at the remnants of earlier eras, writing its own name upon the sand.
boredomresearch, AfterGlow (Susceptible, Exposed, Infected, Recovered), 2016, 4’36”
boredomresearch’s artwork is informed by principles of scientific modelling, inspired by the mechanisms and behaviours of natural systems. Central to their work is the aesthetic expression of intriguing patterns, motions and forms, expressed in real-time over extended durations, using technologies usually associated with computer games. AfterGlow (Susceptible, Exposed, Infected, Recovered) is a film made using sequences from their real-time digital artwork; informed by models of disease transmission, on Banggi Island in Malaysia. Locked in perpetual twilight (prime mosquito blood-feeding time), the film presents a terrain progressively illuminated by glowing trails, evocative of mosquito flight paths.
Sarah Cockings and Harriet Fleuriot, Plasma Vista, 2016, 7’31”
Plasma Vista began as a promotional film for a new business concept of the same name that creatively showcased episodical art, design products, furnishings and clothing. Everything featured in the frame would be available to purchase. After two years of development, the promo morphed from a strategic investment into a collaborative, expressive work. The film manifested a disobedient breakdown that rejected the original brief. Hijacking the commercial framework and seizing the business name for its own, Plasma Vista moulded itself around ideas that explored utility, economics, production, creativity and aesthetics. The promotional concept had eaten itself, pushed back, self-rendered dysfunctional and reformed within an independent experimental piece of moving image.
videoclub exhibits these works collectively as a group of exceptional artists working with film and video; their work explores human behavior that connects us all.