Goodbye Piccadilly: 16th May 2014 – 8th March 2015

Films by students of MA Character Animation at Central Saint Martins bring the First World War to life at the London Transport Museum

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Second Year students of the course worked with archival recordings from the museum’s oral history collection to augment the exhibits in the Goodbye Piccadilly exhibition, which runs from 16th May 2014 –  8th March 2015 at the London Transport Museum in Covent Gardens. One of many exhibitions commemorating the outbreak of the dreadful events of World War 1, this show focusses on the Home Front – events in London.

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The accomplished animated films combine a mixture of techniques such as hand drawing, stop motion, Cel Action, Maya, Flash and After Effects to visualise elements of the collection that exist in the form of sound recordings only. This includes an account of the origin of the song ‘It’s a Long Way to Tipperary’ and the stories of women’s suffrage during the First World War, such as the struggle of women bus conductors for equal pay. The concepts for the films were selected by museum staff from a series of pitches by the talented students, who worked together in teams of four to complete the films to a strict deadline.

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Traion I (Ferme)

Dans Ma Cellule, Une Silhouette, 1st February – 20th April 2014, Centre d’Art Contemporain, La Ferme du Buisson, Noisiel, Paris

Gallery

Maryclare Foá and myself were commissioned to create a new piece of work for this exhibition inspired by the legend of the first drawing told by Pliny the Elder. In this apocryphal tale a Corinthian maiden, whose name is not recorded, traces a line on the wall around the shadow of her lover as he is about to depart. Her father, Butades, a potter, fills the outline with clay and fires it in his kiln.

This action of Butades’s daughter, in which she attempts to freeze time and contain presence, is seen by many art historians as the foundational act of Western painting and drawing.

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This exhibition curated by Lore Gablier for La Ferme du Buisson features the work of different artists who use drawing to investigate the visualisation of absence, loss and desire. Artists included are: William Anastasi / Abdelkader Benchamma / Mathieu Bonardet / Geta Brătescu / Maryclare Foá & Birgitta Hosea (Performance Drawing Collective) / Jean Genet / Dennis Oppenheim / Santiago Reyes / Till Roeskens / Carla Zaccagnini.

Here is the English translation of the text by curator Lore Gablier about the exhibition:

I have the shape of a dead man on the wall of my cell. He’s been in his grave almost five years now, yet his shadow still lingers. He was no one and nothing. All that remains of him is a handful of old rape charges and a man-shaped pencil sketch. Perhaps it’s just superstition, but I can‘t help but feel that erasing it would be like erasing the fact that he ever existed. That may not be such a bad thing, all things considered, but I won’t be the one to do it.

 – Damien Echols, Life After Death

(Damien Echols was sentenced to death by the state of Arkansas in 1994 after being wrongly convicted of murder at the age of 19. He was released from prison in 2011)

Offering an exploration of drawing in its relation to gesture and the body, the exposition Dans ma cellule, une silhouette turns to the story of the daughter of the Corinthian potter Butades who, before her lover left on a long journey, “drew an outline of the shadow of his face as cast by the light of a lamp.”  If this seminal act, as told by Pliny the Elder in his Natural History, has come to be considered as an allegory for the origin of drawing and painting, it is, at the same time, an invitation to renew our relation with the visible.

Through her act, the young woman refers us to that which remains invisible in the visible  in this instance her desire, which cannot reconcile itself in the image. What we see is, as such, always inhabited by the absence of what we cannot see, an absence that not only structures our vision, but also allows the advent of a potentiality or, as Jean-Luc Nancy explains,  “the indeterminate possibility of the possible as such, a potentiality of being [pouvoir Ítre] that is not the abstract form of a being that remains to be embodied, but is rather itself a modality and a consistence of being: a being of power [Ítre de pouvoir], the reality of momentum, of birth and beginning.”

Freed from the gaze and returned to a physical act, drawing opens up a multiplicity of forms and potentialities, as the works brought together for this exhibition testify. Drawing becomes alternately the inscription of a gesture, a repeated action or constraint, a narrative support, the means of a tactile exchange, the boundary of a theatrical space. Or else, drawing hallows itself out, empties itself, by erasure, comes to life. In each case what drawing reveals is the body itself: a body that lends itself less to being active, efficient or operative, than it does to a momentum through which it releases its sensuality.

Set_up

Birgitta Hosea setting up the work with the help of Anne Pietsch, Lore Gablier and the technical staff at La Ferme du Buisson.

SpaceView2Traion 1 (Ferme) 2014 (Maryclare Foá & Birgitta Hosea)
Material: Mixed Media (Graphite on paper, projected animation, chalk)
Dimensions variable

Artists Statement: 

Just as Butades’s daughter traced the outline of her lover before he left on a journey, so we (Foá & Hosea), following the same method, tracing round the shadows of our bodies cast by the electrical light onto the paper surface, attempt to hold time by fixing our shapes in place.

The multiple lines in this Traion (trace of presence in motion) also attempt to hold motion while leading into the gestured animated outlines of our digital shadows.

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Medium

“The cinema is the art of ghosts, a battle of phantoms… it’s the art of allowing ghosts to come back.” Jacques Derrida

Inspired by Victorian spirit photographs, this tableau vivant explores the act of mediation that is involved in the digital image making process. Taking the role of a techno-medium, I channel messages from film and radio through my multiple digital doubles and live projections of automatic writing, electronic ectoplasmic drawing and animation in an examination of the connections between a medium, such as film or digital code, through which a message is encoded, stored and transmitted and the psychic medium, a person who transmits messages from the spirit world.

Photos typical of the materialising mediums who inspired this work:


Medium by Birgitta Hosea,
Shown as part of the Dickensian Hauntings Illumini Event,
27th September – 4th October 2012.
Open daily from 11-7pm (free).
Opening Night on Thursday 27th September from 6pm – 10pm
Late Night Openings: Sat 29th Sept & Thurs 4th Oct till 10pm
At Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, London EC1V 9LT

Medium will be performed live at the following times (a video installation will play at all other times.):
Thursday 27th: 6-6.45, 7-7.45, 8-8.45
Saturday 29th: 6-6.45, 8-8.45
Saturday 29th: 7.30-7.45 Artist’s talk in which I will show examples of the original Victorian spirit photographs that inspired the project.
Thursday 4th: 6-6.45, 7-7.45


Preview presentation at Hostings 9:  Presence – ghost-makers 2
Wednesday September  26thth at 6.30pm – 9.00pm
The Hostings are a night of presentations and performances exploring the desire to materialise what is absent by manifesting ghosts.
At this event, I will present the research into Victorian spirit photography and materialising mediums that inspired the work.

The talks are FREE but please email:
ghost.hostings@gmail.com
to reserve your seats.

Venue: The Senate Room, First Floor, South Block, University of London, WC1E 7HU (An apparition known as ‘The Blue Lady’ has been reported to haunt the Senate room)

Hostings 9 Programme

Birgitta Hosea: Medium
Rosie Ward: Artful Hauntings: How Artistic Intuition can Create New memories within Landscape
Guy Edmonds:  Seancé du Cinema – A synthesis of domestic resurrection media

GHost is a visual arts and creative research project which brings together artists, writers, academics, scientists, curators, researchers and others for workshops, so-called Hostings and exhibitions and screenings of moving image art. The Hostings have been taking place in the “haunted” rooms at Senate House, University of London and the exhibition have been hosted annually by St Johns on Bethnal Green and also by The London Art Fair and Folkestone Triennial.

More information: www.host-a-ghost.blogspot.com


Derrida interviewed in Ghost Dance (dir. Ken McMullen, 1983, UK / West Germany, Channel 4 Films):

https://youtu.be/WG_JA6SJD8k

Turple: a celebration of Alan Turing

This short film was created for the  Decode / Recode exhibition, which is in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Alan Turing and launches the University of Salford’s new MediaCityUk building. Maryclare Foá’s text acknowledges the ongoing influence on contemporary technology by the tortured genius cryptographer, whose sinister demise from a bite into a poisoned apple is memorialised in the Apple Mac logo . Her words explore multiple permutations through which ‘Turing’ may be transformed into ‘Apple’. Birgitta Hosea’s animation is reminiscent of the earliest computer animations by Stan Vanderbeek and Malcolm Le Grice. One of her few forays into the world of coding, the computer generated colours generate the soundtrack through a synthaesthetic algorithm.

The Decode / Recode exhibition is being streamed live over the internet on Friday March 23rd. The live video feed is http://146.87.220.123:554/recode.sdp.

Less is More: Motomichi Nakamura

Strong visual storytelling, iconic, minimalistic design style and faintly disturbing, Motomichi Nakamura is a perfect example of less is more. Here is We Share Our Mother’s Health with music by the Knife (2006).

We Share Our Mothers Health » By Motomichi Nakamura from The Knife on Vimeo.

Here is an example of Nakamura’s expanded animation work with projections on Manhattan Bridge as part of Bright Nights in 2010.

“Bright Nights” outdoor projection at Manhattan Bridge from Motomichi Studio on Vimeo.