The domestic landscape holds complex emotions at its core; memory, family, identity and culture are just some of the concepts tied into its structures. Curated from the Aesthetica Art Prize’s longlist of Artists’ Films, the Making a Home strand, screening at 1331’s independent cinema, York, offers an introspective and intimate view into personal realms, connecting viewers through impacting and deeply honest narratives.
The screenings give the genre a platform that extends beyond the gallery walls, celebrating the innovative and thought-provoking nature of Artists’ Film on the big screen. Alongside a full display of both longlisted and shortlisted works at York Art Gallery, this immersive and all-encompassing showcase offers new perspectives on the contemporary socio-political landscape, exploring themes of race, gender and sexuality.
Featured films include Riffy Ahmed’s Afloat, which challenges the daily stereotypes of under-represented voices. Exploring the construction of characters, cultural narratives and myths, it offers a transformative, responsive experience. In a similar way, Salma Ashraf’s Chalta hi gaya follows a British Asian family within their home, capturing everyday conversations. The piece counteracts the media’s contribution to the dehumanisation and surveillance of the Muslim community.
Another responsive work is The Aleppo Room by Viktor Witkowski, which focuses on a group of museum guides in Berlin who have been displaced by war. Three Syrian women and one Iraqi man narrate a poetic meditation on an object with which they are well acquainted.
The selection explores selfhood from a multitude of perspectives. Celebrating cultural identity, Rhea Storr’s Junkanoo Talk is an examination of the colourful and sensual world of Junkanoo, a carnival of the Bahamas. Taking the rhythms of Rake ’n’ Scrape music and techniques of costume crafting, the film uses abstraction to examine a mixed race, British-Bahamian heritage.
Comparably, A Navigation by Bhebhe&Davies investigates personal journeys and perceptions of sexual identity, anxiety and desire. Working with women aged over 50, the film highlights how women’s bodies can negotiate multiple histories, disrupt power structures and form relationships of solidarity.
Other highlighted works include Embrace, directed by Timo Wright. A mediation on the relationship between human vanity and the surrounding world, it explores notions of death, questioning what will be left as red smoke fills an abandoned house.
Making a Home screens at 1331, York, 25 July from 19.00-20.00. Free Entry. Find out more here.
1. Still from Afloat by Riffy Ahmed.
2. Still from Embrace by Timo Wright.
3. Still from Junkanoo Talk by Rhea Storr.