The moving magic of film lies in its frame-by-frame flickering approximation of life. The stilling of that movement re-directs the viewer’s gaze towards an entirely new reality. Context and meaning are rearranged and new beauties unearthed behind the seemingly banal. In halting, repeating or reconstructing, the image persists, becoming a thing in itself, which as film theorist Laura Mulvey notes ‘has its own visual pleasures and rewards that do not replace, but compliment those of watching a film’.
Whether using paint, photography or film, each of the artists exhibiting in Still is in their various way engaged in this quixotic cinematic alteration.
1. Andrew Bracey’s Frames is a series of hundreds of small paintings on leader from 35mm filmstrips. Each image is culled form a different film on a variety of ‘best of’ lists and has been selected a ‘non-moment’ in the movie.
2. Jackie Chettur constructs imaginary film sets in hotel rooms that ooze vibrant, technicolour lusciousness reminiscent of MGM musical mise-en scenes.
3. Paul Kindersley’ s morbid expression of filmic horror takes the form of a backdrop on a film set populated by oversized disembodied heads.
4. Cathy Lomax selects a moment from every film she watches to make into a swiftly executed painting which gathered together form a formidable Film Diary.
5. Alli Sharma ‘s paintings lovingly recreate a kitchen sink cinematic melancholia, when the working classes were the stars.
6. Mimei Thompson strips her painting of protagonists to concentrate on the psychological effect of filmic landscapes.
7. David Wojtowycz’s film Lake has the feeling of an aftermath or prelude. Alongside this he shows documentation relating to the cult American Bodies phenomena.
8. Nicola Woodham dismantles the comfortable narratives of blockbusters such as Love Actually so that form and context are changed, drawing the spectator into hitherto unimagined spaces.
Still, 7th until 30th September, Transition Gallery Unit 25a Regent Studios, 8 Andrews Road, London E8 4QN. www.transitiongallery.co.uk
Credits: J Chettur