Derek Jarman is one of Britain’s most important and ground-breaking artists of the late 20th century. The Jarman Award is inspired by his practice and celebrates some of the most innovative filmmaking in the UK today. The 10 shortlisted practitioners all demonstrate a spirit of experimentation, imagination and inspiration. This year the films have toured across the country and arrive at Whitechapel Gallery, London, this weekend for the announcement of the winner on Monday 8 December. The winner will not only receive a £10,000 cash prize, they will also win a broadcast commission — to produce a series of film artworks for Channel 4. Find out more about each of the shortlisted artists.
Bridging the worlds of cinema, broadcast and exhibition, the work of Akomfrah is both beautiful and provocative. He has attracted critical acclaim worldwide, winning over 30 awards for features and art installations. A founding member of Black Audio Film Collective (1984), a seminal British filmmaking collective, he continued his practice as Smoking Dogs Films with Lina Gopaul and David Lawson, former members of the Collective and his works continue to contribute to the creative forms of filmmaking.
Utilising moving image, kinetics, sound, light, sculpture and digital print, Buckley recontextualises the everyday. The artist works with scanned imagery and her prints feed back into her projected videos which when combined with footage from her life create highly abstracted environments of extramundane experience. Her immersive installations produce a collective memory, where various of states of mind are conjured and played out, from melancholy and anxiety through to celebration and euphoria.
German artist, Buerkner, lives and works in London. He completed an MA at Chelsea College of Art & Design in 2002 and was awarded their Fellowship Residency 2003. Since 2004 the artist has exclusively focused on animation. Recent solo shows include Kunsthaus im KunstkulturQuartier Nuremberg, Germany; Tramway, Glasgow; Sketch, London; The Showroom Gallery, London; Whitechapel Project Space; London and LUX at Lounge Gallery, London; Art on the Underground, Screen at Canary Wharf, London.
Marvin Gaye Chetwynd
Performance, sculpture, painting, installation, and video can all be found in Chetwynd’s expansive practice. She plays on elements of street spectacle and folk drama, ancient ritual and pop culture to create experimental live performances and videos. Featuring handmade costumes and props, her spontaneous performances often involve fluid troupes of friends and relatives. Chetwynd read Social Anthropology before studying art at the Slade and the RCA. She was shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 2012.
Claydon’s art focuses around concepts of the artefact, the object, or the “thing”. Working in video, sculpture and performance, his pieces often highlight the ambivalent status of artefacts in human society and the uncertain transmission of knowledge between cultures and epochs. Both formal and narrative, his videos aggregate found and original footage, utilising analogue and digital formats. Through cross-processing they produce intricate visual and sonic tapestries.
The work of Entwistle aims to rethink recent history, its places and social issues through a radical documentary approach; replaying, rebuilding, reproducing materials into an abstract and archetypal reality. His pieces unites documentary with fiction, investigating histories of social and aesthetic displacement. Essayistic in the most experimental sense of the word, the films are critical explorations of the link between abstract cultural capital and historical, material site.
Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard
Meeting as students at Goldsmiths university in the mid-1990s, Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard have worked together ever since. Initially, the duo was known for their recreations of highly-charged cultural moments which pioneered the use of re-enactment within contemporary art, such as File under Sacred Music, their re-creation of an infamous bootleg video tape showing The Cramps playing at Napa State Mental Institute, California in 1978. Earlier this year they released 20,000 Days on Earth, a film about Nick Cave.
The semiotics of cinema sit at the heart of Mayer’s work. Her single and multi-channel films are crystalline circuits of images composed of signs borrowed from architecture, fashion, literature, politics, mythology, geology and visual art. The references within the films jump across multiple periods, locations and figures. Mayer uses the grammar of cinematography and montage to excavate how spatial composition, human choreography and narrative construction inform each other.
Reupke’s unique films are stylised and awkward videos about common place activities such as drinking, dating and domestic arrangements. Playing on the concept of worry, each of her works outline the problems of communication. She is currently researching the agency and affect of the complaint letter. Her work has recently been exhibited at Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Musuem of Modern Art, Vienna; Tate Britain and South London Gallery.
Based in Glasgow, Sutcliffe creates film collages from an extensive archive of British television, film sound, broadcast images and spoken word recordings he has been collecting since childhood. He often reflects on aspects of British culture and identity, producing melancholic, poetic and satirical amalgams which subtly tease out and critique ideas of class-consciousness and cultural authority. His extensive editing process means sound and image are pitched against each other in his innovative projects.
The Winner of the Jarman Award will be announced 8 December at Whitechapel Gallery. See the touring programme at Whitechapel Gallery 6-7 December. Find out more at http://filmlondon.org.uk/funding/artists-film-fund/jarman_award
1. Redmond Entwistle, Walk Through, courtesy of the artist and Film London.