19 and 20 April
Wed 12-5pm, Thurs 12-8pm
In the Same Breath: Screening Programme
Aled Simons, Lea Torp Nielsen, Matt Zurowski, Myrid Carten, Robin Price, Tom Cardew,
Ends 20 April 2023
Artists and works
When uttered ‘in the same breath’, multiple statements share the same intimate space and moment. They coexist but by implication are contradictory, sometimes casting one another in a new light. The skill of an artist is often to illuminate truths through and within such juxtapositions.
Here, a series of films are presented in the same breath: each is a separate proposition held together in the same space. This shared space encompasses not only this event and the exhibition from which it is derived, but the space of the Freelands Artist Programme, through which these artworks have emerged. The artists are fellow travellers on the programme, participating across the same two-year span, albeit from different locations – breathing simultaneously across time and space.
The film works presented are taken from In the Same Breath, on view at Freelands Foundation, London 23 March – 29 May 2023, an exhibition of work by 20 artists in the third cohort of the Freelands Artist Programme. The programme supports emerging artists across the UK in partnership with g39, Cardiff, PS², Belfast, Site Gallery, Sheffield and Talbot Rice Gallery, Edinburgh
Aled Simons, Legend Extension II, 2023 (8 minutes)
Through ritualism and faux mysticism, Legend Extension II considers personal histories blurred by nostalgia and mundane misinterpretations and mistranslations. A video narrated by the artist ponders contagious non-conscious mimicry and debatable anecdotal facts, skewed by repetition as if memories and collective knowledge have been recorded, re-wound and re-recorded on to mouldy VHS tape.
Lea Torp Nielsen, Hydra / Brook (Becoming Water), 2023 (19 mins)
Torp Nielsen’s personification of Hydra emerges from the rivers of Sheffield, wading through the Porter Brook in search of alternatives to the industrial and patriarchal narratives that run through the city’s rivers like currents. Hydra / Brook (Becoming Water) invites us to think about, with and through water; to become aware of the water in ourselves. The narrative embodies multiple voices: water as storage for environmental data, as a molecular form and as a planetary life support system. It stretches time and bridges millennia by speaking from and of the earth, through the physical body; the head, the heart, the gut and the anus, with the voices of the artist, a fictional mystic and water itself, holding these perspectives simultaneously. A soundscape designed by David Pape mixes field and found recordings.
Matt Zurowski, Eadar, 2023
Eadar (Scottish Gaelic – Between) combines research into Scottish folklore archives and their associated technologies, paranormal investigative techniques and contemporary ecological thought. After erasing all human voices from archive tape recordings of people discussing encounters with the daoine sìth (fairies), all that is left behind is the residual tape hiss of pauses between words. By splicing these ‘silences’ together, Eadar attempts to fuse the paranormal listening methodology ‘Electronic Voice Phenomenon’ with the supernatural ecologies present in Gaelic folklore, attending to the presence of the more-than-human in archival materials. Complimenting these ghostly resonances is an 8mm video taken at a fairy mound located near the southern point of Loch Awe in the village of Ford, one of hundreds in the Scottish landscape.
Eader is shown as short intervals between and around the other works.
Myrid Carten, Sorrow had a baby, 2023 (18 mins)
‘I absorbed the women in my life as I would chloroform on a cloth laid against my face.’ – Vivian Gornick
Sorrow had a baby explores the mother-daughter relationship through multiple lenses: memory, beauty and inheritance. It includes Carten’s own footage of childhood in early 2000s Donegal, featuring home videos of DIY talent shows. These sit within the context of her relationship with her mother and her mother’s struggles with mental illness and addiction. Jumping between home movies, TV shows and raw intimate documentary footage the short film asks: Who writes the stories in a family? Who can change them?
Robin Price, I thought you wanted what I was giving you, 2023 (11 mins)
In a filmed walk between the intended location of a fictional public sculpture and its final resting place, the narrator describes the absurdities and motivations that have led him to his present situation. Reflecting philosophically on the conditions under which art is made, he charts his course from apprentice technician to attempted public sculptor and back again, before finally pondering an escape route. Price suggests that the artist’s quixotic quest for recognition and a decent living is a relatable one: we may laugh at the outcome of confused circumstances and thwarted ambition, but know that we can all miss our mark.
Tom Cardew, Machynys Forgets Itself, 2023 (16 mins)
Machynys Forgets Itself explores two central themes: class-oriented cultural representation and the collapse of linear history through collective mythmaking and the digital. It focuses on the displacement of the village community of Machynys, which occurred in the 1970s during a period of post-industrial decline from the site of one of the largest tin sheet producers, with streets of terraced housing for the workers. In the sixth century, the site housed a monastic settlement; the monks were said to surveil the area via a secret tunnel, popping up out of the ground to check on the locals. Today, it is a golf course, spa and gated luxury housing estate.