Late Screenings II
The New Sun
People Like Us (aka Vicki Bennett)
Work, Rest & Play
Tuesday 10 September 2019, 9.00—10.00pm
Following the third session of Automatic for the People, a reading group on the hopes and struggles of technology (you can read more about the reading group here), Rhubaba is delighted to present a screening of three films variably associated with ‘sleep’ – the theme of this reading session: The New Sun (2017) by Agnieszka Polska, Work, Rest & Play (2007) by People Like Us (aka Vicki Bennett), and Hotel Central (2000) by Matt Hulse.
You do not have to attend the reading group to come along to the screening. This event is free and un-ticketed; refreshments and popcorn will be provided.
Agnieszka Polska’s The New Sun presents a character of the Sun: a child-faced star with a beautiful voice. In its half-sung, poetic monologue, the Sun directs its lover, a human – and in an unsettling manner, presents a gloomy vision of a collapsing world, where the only lasting and immutable elements are the words and language. The Sun’s speech is a juggle of styles and moods: it goes from the elevated and emotionally-charged confessions to the goofy stand-up comedy, and ends up with an interpretation of ‘I got love’, a song from the 1970 musical Purlie. The general ambiance of the film is dark, but the sung monologue leaves a space for hope and marks the significance of words as tools of social responsibility.
People Like Us’ Work, Rest & Play has been carefully constructed using industrial and documentary film footage from 1940 to 1975. Collating various materials and extracts from the Prelinger Archives and AV Geeks – two of the largest footage libraries in the world – the film has been composed to echo the rapid motions of everyday life. The film is created through a fusion of imagery revealed in triptych format; simultaneously depicting production lines, factories, creative industries, and educational spheres, alongside more leisurely scenes and hours of relaxation. Illustrating the increasing commodification of leisure spheres and private life, the film considers processes of industrialisation, work, and labour time.
Matt Hulse’s Hotel Central was created through a process of collaboration between the director, performer and crew. Nothing was scripted; instead, the creative process relied merely on improvisation and chance occurrences. Drawing on avant-garde traditions and Surrealist filmmaking techniques, the film’s creators employ accidents as vital tools for production, as well as found objects and chance locations. Surrealist filmmaker Luis Bunuel called this open-ended, intuitive process ‘conscious psychic automation’, allowing for a subconscious dictation of event processing. By enabling objects and chance to map the creative process, the resulting narrative presents not the rendering of a dream but the mechanisms that dreams utilise.
Agnieszka Polska positions her computer-generated media works in an intricate relationship between language, science and history using them to focus on the individual and social responsibility. She attempts to describe the overwhelming ethical ambiguity of our time by poetic means and the relationship between an individual and their surroundings by constantly shifting of the narrative through different scales. These melancholic journeys might depart from the laws of quantum mechanics, the female mouth or an imperfect and fragile artefact, and soon reach the horror of catastrophes on a cosmic scale. The protagonists of her animated videos and films are often historical artists – those who left art or discredited their own role as an artist, like Lee Lozano, Charlotte Posenenske or Paweł Freisler. Polska’s videos take a hallucinatory form, composed largely of found, digitally manipulated images. Many of her works examine various processes of influence, legitimisation or exclusion in the fields of language, consciousness and history. In order to describe these processes, Polska deliberately uses visual and acoustic stimuli to affect the viewer’s brain – in other words, she triggers a very physical feeling of being immersed in what is being watched. Agnieszka Polska was the 2017 winner of the Prize of the Nationalgalerie in Germany, and a part of the main show of the 57th Venice biennale, curated by Christine Macel. Agnieszka Polska was born 1985 in Lublin, Poland. She lives and works in Krakow, PL, and Berlin.
People Like Us is the stage name of London DJ multimedia artist Vicki Bennett. Since 1992 she has created and released multiple albums composed of music and sound collages. Bennet specialises in the digital manipulation of original sources, utilising founds images and sound to create experimental and immersive performances. She draws heavily on music, film and radio as visual art forms and popular culture. She is an advocate for free archive access for the purposes of creativity and in 2006 was the first artist to be awarded unrestricted access to the entire BBC Archive. Bennet has since been experimenting and developing her multi visual arts practice and has shown work and performed at a number of modern art galleries including the Sydney Opera House, Tate Modern, The Barbican, Whitechapel and the Institute for Contemporary Art. She has also been featured on both the BBC and Channel 4. In 2009 she completed the Great North Run Moving Image Commission and has had her work featured in various arts, moving image and film festivals including the 2015 transmediale in Berlin. She has an ongoing sound art radio show DO or DIY on WFMU. She is the 2019 a-n Artist Bursary recipient and will be Hallwalls Artist in Resident 2019-2020.
Matt Hulse is an artist, filmmaker, photographer, performer and writer. He creates mainly short subject films, both feature and animated. He utilises various animation techniques to create a surreal atmosphere reminiscent of avant-garde traditions. He is interested in different attitudes towards filmmaking, particularly concerning sign language and those for the deaf or hard of hearing. His work has been featured in several prestigious festivals including Rotterdam International Film Festival, Edinburgh International Festival and he also organised Deaf Focus Film Festival. He studied Fine Art at Reading University and a PG Diploma in Electronic Imaging at the Jordanstone College, Dundee. He was Experimental Film Tutor at Edinburgh College of Art between the years 2003-2008. He has also held freelance lecturing positions at various higher education institutions including the Royal College of Art, University of Dundee, University of North Carolina and Glasgow School of Art amongst others. He has been thrice nominated for The Jarman Award and Magaret Tait Awards. In 2019 he is one of ten artists commissioned to make a short film for the centenary of Magaret Tait’s birth.
This event is open to everyone.
If you have any accessibility requirements please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org and we can advise if we are able to accommodate. Please note that unfortunately Rhubaba does not have a wheelchair accessible toilet or any baby changing facilities and has one gender neutral bathroom. The gallery space is accessible by wheelchair; please email in advance (or knock!) and staff will assist with the door. Assistance dogs are welcome.