Artist Film Workshop Screening Programme
Curated by Richard Tuohy
AFW is an open, membership funded and membership run collective in Melbourne, Australia. Its focus is on creating a space for learning about and using motion picture film in art practices. Like other labs in the ever expanding network of artist run labs, the centre of gravity at AFW is the dark room. It’s a DIY thing, the point being to make film use, and film experimentation, both affordable and accessible. This program represents a sample of some of the recent output from the lab. It must be born in mind that the artist run film lab is not a substitute for the commercial film lab; we can’t do what they do. Rather, the artist run lab is always about something else, about what else cinema can be, outside the possibilities of commercial realm.
Watercourse (2014), 5:00 min
To make Watercourse, I took a ten second 16mm black and white shot of a fountain and reprinted it through scratch masks made from black 16mm film, scratching out repeated patterns that echo the original footage. The result is a film which explores the interplay between the formal and representational characteristics of the original footage and its subject matter, water in motion.
Soundtrack by Francis Plagne.
Intimacy is Hair in the Drain (2015), 8:00 min
Intimacy is Hair in the Drain explores the intimacy of cohabitation and the everyday bodily functions and rituals of self grooming one is privy to in a shared home. To make the film I collected and rayogrammed my hair and used this footage as a curtain or mask, through which the viewer glimpses private moments of my partner and I in our apartment. The result is an abstract yet slightly voyeuristic portrait of a couple’s shared life. Soundtrack by Francis Plagne.
Apartment (2015), 7:00 min
Apartment is a short film that observes the domestic spaces constructed and inhabited every day by the film-maker. drifting into abstraction, it lingers on and out of focus, losing standard time looking for light-time.
Split (2015), 10:00 min
The term “movie” is a very old one. Moving pictures. For that was the initial novelty: pictures that moved, because until the invention of moving pictures, pictures didn’t really move that much. They could signify movement. But couldn’t themselves move. They remained in a kind of timeless pose. So this is a movie, in the sense that it is moves. Indeed we might call it an action movie. And in particular the actions in this movie are that of Wing Chun, a martial art.
Caterpillar (2010), 14:00 min
The shooting script for this film was very short – ‘enter caterpillar, chews leaf, exit caterpillar’. The lab instructions were rather longer. Instead of immersing the whole film in developer, developer has been applied to each frame with a very small paintbrush.
Niekas (2013), 6:00 min
Bench print film using one ten second shot repeated, overlayed and repeated. The double sprocket hole original creates the soundtrack.
Home (2015), 4:00 min
Tension builds as two point-of-view shots in parallel slowly merge, ‘to reach the unreachable [unintelligible]’…
Ginza Strip (2014), 9:00 min
The Ginza of fable and memory. This is the first film I have finished using the ‘chromaflex’ technique that we developed. This is a very much hands on colour developing procedure that allows selected areas of the film to be colour positive, colour negative, or black and white.
On the Invention of the Wheel (2015), 14:00 min
On man and machine. On man bonded to machine. On the wheel upon which man turns and is turned. On ‘homo mechanicus’ – ‘machine man’. I’ve been thinking a lot about the kinds of art, and kinds of experimental films, that mean most to me. I like work where we sense that the maker has learnt to see the world from inside their medium, indeed where the medium they use shapes their very perceptions of the world. With film – the mechanical art – this means the artist standing inside the cinema machine, or having the cinema machine inside their head. In this film I was interested in making this metaphor explicit.
Richard Tuohy (b. 1969, Melbourne, Aus.) began making works on super 8 in the late nineteen eighties. After a brief hiatus from cinema (including formal study in philosophy for seven years) he returned to filmmaking in 2004. Since then he has created almost 40 films. His films have screened at venues including the Melbourne IFF, EMAF (Osnabruck), Rotterdam IFF, New York FF, Ann Arbor and Media City and he has toured Europe and North America presenting solo programs of his work. His films are typically highly structured and and have strongly formalist concerns. He is the proprietor of the artist-run film lab nanolab – the only lab for small gauge film in Australia. His works are firmly in the ‘hand-made’ film tradition. An advocate for the possibilities of hand made cinema, Tuohy has devoted much time and effort in sharing his knowledge through workshops and classes both in his native Australia (notably through the Artist Film Workshop in Melbourne of which he is the founder and convener) and internationally. He was also a co-founder of the AIEFF experimental film festival in Melbourne.