Film As A Subversive Art at Zoo Art Fair

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Film As A Subversive Art (Amos Vogel, 1974)Film As A Subversive Art is a new LUX project inspired by Amos Vogel’s 1974 book of the same name. It will be one of four curated exhibitions at this year's new-look Zoo Art Fair (London, 16-19 October), alongside projects by Form Content, Studio Voltaire and Rob Tufnell.

Vogel's original book was based on his encyclopaedic knowledge of cinema, gathered during his formative years as the programmer of the Cinema 16 film society in New York. It offers a catalogue of ‘subversive’ film which stretches from the artistic avant-garde to mondo movies. Recently reprinted, the book remains tendentious, exhilarating and – above all – optimistic: as Vogel concluded, “the subject of this book will always remain on the agenda… these pages are but a rough draft; for the subject of this book is human freedom, and its guardians, at all times and under all circumstances, are the subversives.” Taking its cue from Vogel, LUX's Film As A Subversive Art project will examine the contemporary possibilities and limits of filmic subversion.

At Zoo 2009, five artists will offer responses to the idea of subversion and the moving image: Rosa Barba, Ellen Cantor, James Richards & Steve Reinke, and Francisco Valdés. Each day one of the artists will present an event, screening or performance, which will leave some residue in the space. Before, during and after the fair, the LUX website will include information about all the artists’ projects, reflections on Vogel’s book and debate around the contemporary character of subversion.

Film As A Subversive Art has been developed in collaboration with six students from the Curating Programme of the Department of Art, Goldsmiths: Catherine Borra, Soledad Garcia, Elea Himmelsbach, Jenine McGaughran, Valentina Ravaglia and Nina Trivedi.

With thanks to Amos Vogel, Steve Vogel & Paul Cronin.