A study day with curator and writer Dan Kidner exploring the artists’ feature film and its relation to other histories of experimental narrative film and video. Drawing on his own recent writing and exhibition projects Kidner will lead an introductory seminar session with participants, screen a number of films and chair a roundtable discussion with leading artist filmmakers and theorists, including Ben Rivers, Margaret Salmon, Erika Balsom and current Spike Island exhibiting artist Maeve Brennan.
The entangled histories of visual art and cinema become even further entwined through the term the ‘artist feature film’, which is currently gaining traction. Kidner, a leading researcher in artists film and video, will open the day by outlining a speculative taxonomy, history and critical framework to contextualise the artists’ feature film. Through screenings and discussions, the morning session considers 1970s avant-garde cinema and its relationship to artists’ film and video. The work of many filmmakers will be discussed including Chantal Akerman, Jean-Luc Godard, Harun Farocki, Yvonne Rainer, Leslie Thornton, Albert Serra and Lav Diaz.
The afternoon session includes screenings of short films by artist-filmmakers Ben Rivers and Margaret Salmon, and a panel discussion chaired by Kidner with Rivers and Salmon, Maeve Brennan, and theorist Erika Balsom. Each panelist will talk about issues related to the production, distribution and critical reception of artists’ feature films, and unpack the term from their perspectives as practitioners and researchers.
The day ends with a screening of the debut feature film by acclaimed artist Margaret Salmon, Eglantine (2016), followed by a conversation with Kidner and opportunity for audience questions. Eglantine is long form children's film and nature study, shot on 35mm film on location in Scotland, which draws reference from Jean Renoir’s The River and Albert Lamorisse’s The Red Balloon, as well as televised nature studies from the 1950s.