18 September 2016

A Note on the Films for RE-TAKE / RE-INVENT

RE-TAKE/RE-INVENT was to include interviews with each of the participating artists. I was thinking that the best way to do this was to visit each studio and have a conversation and see what was being made first hand. Alternatively, a correspondence document type question and answer was also an option being the easiest and most cost effective way; although this was always to be the last option.

I have always enjoyed artists films and have been inspired by many during my career. They were very much a way into practice when in the 80s and 90s visual arts programmes occasionally surfaced in the listings. I remember the series on the St Ives artists with interviews with William Scott amongst others. The South Bank Show was always one to watch whenever an artist was featured. The programme on Patrick Heron was one of my favourite VHS tapes and I watched it many times; his approach to painting at that time seemed so invigorating and advanced.

I also remembered when growing up watching Face to Face with Jeremy Isaacs ( I was a little too young for the earlier version).  I liked the close encounter and at times rigorous questioning; they seemed to reveal other things about the people being interviewed who one knew through their work, literature, film and art. With television, we could actually see these people talking; it seemed amazing to have this accessibility. However, with the interviews there was something else, something about being in the place just to respond to questions in a focused and challenging way that seems so revealing.

For Retake Reinvent I decided to visit each studio, and record the interview rather than take notes (I have done this before).  The next step was resolved to make a film of each interview. I had not done this before so the whole process of filming would be a new challenge. Each film is exclusively documentary in nature but I wanted there to be a feel of the visit evident in the captured conversations around the work being made. In the event each 15 to 25 minute film is simply a record of studio practice at this time September 2015 to April 2016.

As I started making these I realised that they would probably be one of the most significant parts of the evidence of studio practice in terms of historical record for the project and possibly highly popular being available through online channels. As a spontaneous gesture the films stand as an exploratory and improvised action. They work because everyone engaged with the process so enthusiastically.

The final compendium film of nearly 50 minutes, to be shown at the exhibitions works very well as the overview of all of the project work in progress.

The individual interview films can be found at the project blog.

The final compendium film will only be available to view at the exhibitions.

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