26 April - 16 May 19 • Across UK

Trojan Horse / Rainbow Flag – UK screening tour

Trojan Horse / Rainbow Flag, Ian Giles, 2019 (film still)

The Joiner’s Arms smelt, tasted, sounded and felt like freedom.” Dan Glass, 2018

Trojan Horse / Rainbow Flag is a programme of artists’ film and video about LGBTQI+ spaces, presented by videoclub in LGBTQI+ clubs and community run spaces across the UK. At a time when queer spaces are increasingly under threat from gentrification the selected films variously configure a range of environments as places of resistance, community, desire and historical significance. By presenting both urban and rural spaces, the artists encourage us all to view our environment through a queer lens.

Artist, Ian Giles newly commissioned film Trojan Horse / Rainbow Flag about the closure of LGBTQI+ pub the Joiner’s Arms – provides the conceptual springboard for the screenings. Queering the restrictions of a fixed programme, each city will see a different selection of artists’ film and video presented alongside Giles’ new work; the artists included are: Prem Sahib, Charlotte Prodger, Patrick Staff, Sam Ashby, Rob Crosse, Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings and Mathew Parkin. Supported by Arts Council England.

A publication featuring a text by Paul Clinton alongside the transcript from Giles’ film will be distributed at each screening.

Following the screenings there will be an informal discussion about queer spaces with local organisers and thinkers.

The programme is produced by videoclub and supported by Arts Council England. Touring with the support of Gasworks, London; HOME, Manchester; BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead and Fabrica, Brighton.

Tour Details

26th April
The Marlborough Pub      
6:30pm doors and bar, 7pm screening
Sam Ashby, Rob Crosse, Ian Giles, Mathew Parkin, Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings Presented in partnership with Fabrica and Brighton LGBTQ+ History Club
Address: 4 Prince’s St, Brighton BN2 1RD
Price: Free – booking required
Booking link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/trojan-horse-rainbow-flag-tickets-58676438808

14th May
Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club
7pm doors and bar, 7:30pm screening
Ian Giles, Charlotte Prodger, Prem Sahib, Patrick Staff, Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings
Presented in partnership with Gasworks
Address: 42-44 Pollard Row, London E2 6NB,
Price: Free – booking required
Booking link: https://www.outsavvy.com/event/2525/trojan-horse-rainbow-flag-tickets

15th May
6:30pm doors and bar, 7pm screening
Sam Ashby, Ian Giles, Mathew Parkin, Patrick Staff, Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings
Address: 50 Sackville St, Manchester M1 3WF
Price: Free – booking required
Booking link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/trojan-horse-rainbow-flag-tickets-58672603336

16th May
Star and Shadow Cinema
6:30pm screening
Rob Crosse, Ian Giles, Charlotte Prodger, Patrick Staff, Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings
Presented in partnership with BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
Address: Warwick St, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1BB
Price: Free – booking required
Booking link: https://starandshadow.org.uk/programme/event/trojan-horse-rainbow-flag,3490/

About the films

Please see individual listings (in the above booking links) for which selection of films is playing in each city.

Within his filmmaking process, Ian Giles continues his employment of first-hand research, and participatory workshops as structures to produce a social network. By working directly with members of Friends of the Joiners Arms (a community campaign group), Giles’ film Trojan Horse/Rainbow Flag examines the campaign to save the Joiners Arms – an iconic LGBTQI+ space. The film’s title was inspired by campaigner Amy Roberts, when describing the cynical approach of property developers seeking to push through proposals to erase queer spaces by disingenuously claiming that their LGBTQI+ status would remain unchanged post-development. His films have been screened at MoMA PS1, New York and Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam.

Prem Sahib presents a rolling slideshow of images taken at London’s recently closed gay saunas, Chariots Shoreditch and Chariots Waterloo.  His work has been presented at ICA London and Kunstverein in Hamburg, Germany.

Charlotte Prodger’s LHB is the product of her extensive research into ‘queer rurality’ – how LGBTQI+ lives are lived outside the usual urban centres that tend to dominate queer narratives, and how coded notions of queer bodies radically shift when they occupy wildernesses rather than cities.  In 2018 Prodger won the Turner Prize, she is representing Scotland at Venice Biennale 2019.

Rob Crosse’s Prime Time follows a group of older gay men as they travel together on an organised trip on a cruise ship. Crosse’s incisive eye sensitively follows the group on their journey, and the vast ocean is an omnipresence here too – adding to the sense that Prime Time is, more than anything, a vital meditation on the passing of time. His films have been shown at Jerwood Space, London and Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool.

Sam Ashby’s The Colour of His Hair is based on an unrealised 1964 film script written by The Homosexual Law Reform Society – a British organisation that campaigned for the decriminalisation of male homosexual relations. Ashby’s film draws on oral histories and news clippings to create a crucial meditation on queer life before and after the UK partially legalised homosexuality in 1967. Sam’s film was co-funded by the BFI and Wellcome Trust and premiered at International Film Festival Rotterdam.

Mathew Parkin filmed Kake on a camcorder during visits to his lover’s farm in rural Scotland. The resulting work is intensely personal – a quietly yet all-pervasively erotic contemplation of queer rural life that invites us to recontextualise queer bodies beyond the usual urban centres that tend to dominate LGBTQI+ narratives. His work has been presented at Tramway, Glasgow and Grand Union, Birmingham.

Pink Room presents an empty gay bar drawn from Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastingsself-compiled moving image archive – an urgent strategy of resistance against the gentrifying forces that are rapidly erasing the UK’s LGBTQI+ spaces. By filming spaces devoid of revellers, the artists reveal the complex visual language they employ in their self-representation as gay. Their work has been exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery, London and the 15th Venice Architecture Biennale.

Patrick Staff’s Weed Killer centres around a monologue adapted from ‘The Summer of Her Baldness’, artist and writer Catherine Lord’s memoir about her experience of breast cancer. Staff accompanies the startlingly candid dialogue with a series of choreographic gestures shot on a thermal imaging camera, hinting at the all-consuming nature of serious illness and treatment. The film brings together questions of queer identity, societal attitudes to illness, and the blurry boundary between poison and cure. Their work has been shown at Chisenhale Gallery, London and New Museum, New York.