MMC21 12162015/ Itinerant Spaces: films by Stephe Connolly
Curated by Corktown Cinema, Q&A with Stephen Connolly
Presented by Corktown Cinema and Mothlight Microcinema.
Stephen Connolly’s work falls within the tradition of artists’ cinematic exploration of landscapes with a twist - his camera is interested in following the infrastructure of places to reveal their political plasticity. The work, shot on 16mm and more recently on digital, engages with the motion of people and places as metaphors for social forces slowing into form. This screening will present a selection of short pieces made in cities worldwide over the last ten years, culminating in a longer essay film exploring the downtown of Detroit as a work in progress.
Stephen will be in attendance for a Q&A and discussion following the program, moderated by Jeremy Rigsby, Co-Program Director of Media City International Film Festival. Film contributors may join the conversation.
London, UK based, Connolly’s single screen work has been widely shown since 2002. A FLAMIN award recipient, he has had solo screenings at the ICA and BFI Southbank in London, has screened at three editions of Media City, multiple screening at Ann Arbor Film Festival as well as a juror for AAFF in 2011.
The Reading Room, 2:40, 16mm to Video transfer, 2002
The Reading Room traces the movement of visitors to the British Museum reading room through an entire working day in under three minutes and in silence.
The film is an exploration of the changing place of the archive. Using an elevated camera, a single ‘master’ shot film reveals the layout of the library as a panoptican, a structure envisaged as an ideal prison by Jeremy Bentham (1785).
Bentham described his design as “a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.”
Más Se Perdió, 14:00, 16mm to Video transfer, 2009
Más Se Perdió (we lost more) explores a number of filmic options of showing place - Havana, Cuba. A public exercise area is shown in a single shot and in real time. The ruins of the National School of Ballet - a unique form of modern architecture - is explored through spatial movement and narrative. A street scene is repeated three times - with different sound treatments questioning each time the sufficiency of the representation.
Postcard from Istanbul, 6:00, Super 8mm to Video transfer, 2002
The camera in Postcard from Istanbul seeks out the shoeshines of the city. In exchange for the price of a shine, a short portrait on super8 was negotiated. A film shot shortly after 9/11 as a dérive through the streets of the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, encountering those working there.
Happy Valley/Kennedy Town, 2:30, 16mm to Video transfer, 2005
Happy Valley 快活谷/Kennedy Town 堅尼地城 is journey at speed from near the centre of Hong Kong Island - the Happy Valley race course - through the finanical district to the western tip of the island at Kennedy Town.
Current Work In Progress, 40:00, Video
This almost finished essay film concerns landscape and circulation: it looks at movement and money. The role of finance in the shaping of the material form of the downtown of Detroit segues to relating ways of experiencing the city then and now. In this work, questions of complicity in an exploitative spatial system are asked.