Cinema of Dreams: Selected Shorts - 21 June
Shezad Dawood, Rebecca Jane Arthur and Helen Dowling
‘Leviathan Episode 5: Ismael’ looks at issues around cargo ships, international waters and free trade zones, and how maritime law creates a whole separate legal infrastructure. These human aspects of international trade, and globalization are paralleled with the migrations made by marine fauna, to look at ideas of frictionless trade, in relation to how the concept of ‘conservation’ might be applied to humans as much as to animals.
Stemming from a personal account of a search for liberation set in the US during the early 70s, ‘Liberty: an ephemeral statute’ reflects upon post-68 desires for emancipation, emigration, and education through an impressionistic memoir and portrait of the filmmaker’s mother back home in Scotland today.
The video “The Burning Time Slideshow” remixes footage filmed by the artist on a research trip to an island off Africa, found footage of unknown tourists exploring their surroundings through the lens of a camera and underwater clips filmed by the artist’s niece on the popular GoPro. The sound sourced separately and after the fact, comes from recordings of live music performances and environmental sounds that often become grammatical in their punctuation of the editing. Beautiful images are heightened and pulled further away from their initial appearance using colouring techniques such as inverting. Other footage, typically gleaned whilst existing in a foreign country and extremely common to most peoples hard drives, is also changed in some way, whether through layering, sharp editing cuts or effects. Immersive and nearly banal, the video affects a sense of pathos towards the acquisition and reliving of casualness within contemporary amateur footage. Elements of the video are reminiscent of old cinema – from bubble clouds that snag in the frame, particles and plankton in the water which remind of film grain to abstracted lights shot from a moving car that resemble early animation. Common footage, common memories and common nostalgia all emphasise the importance of empathy in Dowling’s work.