A screening of films by the artists Rachel Garfield, Margareta Kern and Anne Robinson, followed by a discussion.
Thursday 7th November 2019, 19:30
Star and Shadow Cinema, Warwick St, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE2 1BB.
Tickets are free, but please reserve a seat here.
Examining the persistent and pervasive presence of war in all of our lives: each artist engages with the complexities of militarism and conflict: Robinson ‘listening to the past’ through fragmented intergenerational memory, Garfield asking questions about 20th century certainties through subjective experiences in military outposts and Kern interrogating the presence of ships and war games too close to home. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Rachel Garfield, Margareta Kern and Anne Robinson in conversation with Professor Rachel Woodward (Newcastle University)
Wakeful (2018) is a new artists’ moving image work by Anne Robinson. ‘If I Sleep, I May be Caught’: motto of HMS Wakeful a WW1 destroyer, built on ‘Red’ Clydeside in 1917 on which the artist’s father was ship’s cook. Drawing on a fragmented childhood memory and a ‘hidden history’ from a century ago, Wakeful is a project about listening to the past: a new film work with percussive sound, constructed with international collaborators and considering the ‘peace’ one hundred years on. Wakeful uses film technologies to record the passing of time strangely as performers re-inhabit the past, the landscapes of war give up their dead and soundscapes of the past seep into the present. More information about Anne Robinson’s work is available here.
Opening Up (Rachel Garfield, 2016) is the second film in a trilogy that reflects on the historical shifts in subjectivity through interviews with people who grew up in specific backgrounds such as politics, the military and religion. Opening Up merges shot footage from Catterick Garrison in Yorskshire and Otterburn, Northumberland with internet sourced combat footage. Garfield asks questions about the destabilization of 20th Century certainties through the people who grew up on various military outposts, stragglers to historical forces such as Northern Ireland and Germany. More information about Opening Up is available here.
“A sense of watching and of being watched, of being the agent and object of surveillance, permeates the film. We are invited to consider what should and should not be seen, to wonder about the legitimacy of looking at the spaces of military domesticity and to ponder techniques of watching and observation used by Garfield, military forces, and of course ourselves as viewers. Where do we look, and what do we see, when we consider the domesticity of Army life?“ Rachel Woodward, Newcastle University and Matthew Rech, University of Plymouth.
Thursday War (2019) is a work-in-progress by artist Margareta Kern, through which she documents the almost continual presence of warships and submarines outside her kitchen window. ‘Thursday War’ is a colloquial name within the Royal Navy for the weekly exercises of war-fighting and damage control, as they are a culmination of the training period, usually held on a Thursday. During an exercise, forces are asked to respond to a fictitious scenario that resembles what might occur in real life. Exercises can last from a day to several weeks involving aircraft, navy ships, artillery pieces, armoured vehicles and thousands of troops. Kern relocated to Cornwall from London, which has been her home since she fled the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the early 1990s, only to find herself witnessing a simulation of war from her new home. More information about Margareta Kern’s work is available here.