Artists’ film and video screenings: Re-imaginings of the Future – Thursday 23 April

18.00-20.00; Gorvy Lecture Theatre (Dyson Building, 1 Hester Road, Battersea, London SW11 4AN); free, no booking required

The Trail of the Spider (2007), by Anja Kirschner and David Panos

The Trail of the Spider (2007), by Anja Kirschner and David Panos


London’s past and future are re-imagined through this collection of films – pre-Olympic, pre- housing crisis, pre-coalition cuts….

Steven Ball, Aboriginal Myths of South London. 2010. 11 min

Aboriginal Myths of South London adapts world-views associated with indigenous people of Oceania to an interpretation of the space and social history of places in South London. As the first manifestation of the project, this video is presented as its prelude and explores New Kent Road, a major road close to the artist’s home. This application of attitudes to the status of the dead and human relationship to the ground, becomes a materialist alternative to the concept of the genius loci and the familiar. The approach is measured and austere, employing an arrangement of animated photographs and voice texts that becomes a poetic essay.

Steven Ball (born 1960) studied film, video and sound at Maidstone College of Art in the UK, graduating in the early eighties. In 1988 he accidentally migrated to Melbourne. Within a few years he became deeply involved with the local media arts scene, in particular super 8 filmmaking. He was involved with a number of independent activist groups and collectives, and curated screenings and events for more established organisations. He has written for a number of journals, and worked across a range of arts administrative, teaching and technical positions. His artistic practice encompasses film, video, sound and installation. He currently lives in London and is Research Fellow attached to British Artists’ Film and Video Study Collection at Central Saint Martins.

Emily Richardson, Memo Mori. 2009. 23 min

Memo Mori is a journey through Hackney tracing loss and disappearance. Filmed between 2007 and 2009 the film is woven together with a commentary by Iain Sinclair and readings from his book, Hackney, That Red Rose Empire. The film begins with a canoe trip down the canal, taken with artist, Stephen Gill into the ‘Olympic zone’, where we discovered a shipwreck and a pair of kingfishers before the security barriers came down to the water line. We arrive at the Manor Garden allotments where the huts, each unique with their own character, a manifestation of their owners personality perhaps, sadly about to be demolished to make way for what we do not really know – an Olympic park or car park. We take a magical bus tour around the Olympic park in the Demolish, Dig and Design phase, which, as Sinclair says in the film, is all statistics and logistics, piles of mud and no photography. Then to a Hells Angels funeral, death on the motorway, martyred and immortalised on Hackney Rd with wreaths of flowers, Satan’s Slaves, RIP in black roses.

Emily Richardson (born 1971)  is a UK based filmmaker who creates film portraits of particular places. Her work focuses on sites in transition and covers an extraordinarily diverse range of landscapes including empty East London streets, forests, North Sea oil fields, post-war tower blocks, empty cinemas and Cold War military facilities. She is currently doing an MPhil/PhD on modern architectural space in artists’ film and video at the Royal College of Art.

Anja Kirschner and David Panos, The Trail of the Spider. 2007. 54 min

The film is an unsettling trans-historical vision of the Wild West that collides with the suppressed history of the multi-racial American West and the conflicts breaking up contemporary East London. In a vanishing frontier, swarming with calculating surveyors, corrupt lawmen and hired thugs, a lone gunfighter must avenge the dispossessed, or remain trapped in a state of limbo, haunted by the past and pitted against a future which offers no retreat and no alternatives.

Anja Kirschner (born 1977, Munich, lives in London) trained at the Slade School of Fine Art and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her work spans a number of disciplines – film, painting, drawing and music – and collapses documentary and historical sources, literary themes and popular genres such as sci-fi and adventure films. Themes central to Kirschner’s work are the divisions and exclusions imposed through law, language, race and property and the difficulties and possibilities of social and political transformation.

David Panos (born 1971, Athens, lives in London) is a musician, filmmaker and activist. His work with The London Particular involves critical, political and artistic interventions in the process of urban regeneration in East London. He is the co-founder of the Difficult Fun record label and the musical collective Antifamily and has collaborated with Anja Kirschner on a number of musical and film-based projects.

Semiconductor, Retropolis, 1999. 5 min

Retropolis is a city where the dust never settles and the last few light bulbs are fighting for survival. Transforming London into a modern Sci-Fi landscape, a fast moving journey takes us through destruction and chaos fuelled by an electrically charged soundtrack.

Semiconductor is UK artist duo Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt. In their art works they explore the material nature of our world and how we experience it through the lens of science and technology, questioning how they mediate our experiences.

We are delighted that Steven Ball will be in attendance with Emily Richardson to discuss their films.

These screenings follow the symposium Turn to the Archive! exploring archives, ethics and artists’ moving image.

Biennial film screenings are curated by Helena Bonett, Emily Richardson and Mercedes Vicente