02/05/2016 § Leave a comment
Some images from my installation in the déchets at La Brousse, Sers. So wonderful to be amongst such an amazing bunch of avant guard artists.
I mentioned this in a previous post but would like to update and reiterate it again. Traditional methods of viewing art focused mainly on artists and their style. In contemporary thinking there is a move away from this cartesian model to a wider remit which encompasses many methodologies; how art is made; art as process; art theory, visual theory and cross disciplinary innovation. The result of this recalibration continues the discussion around ‘what is art’. There is a full scrutiny of the materiality of visual objects, of the corporeal effect, an architectural and spatial awareness, political and ecological considerations and most importantly the theory around its cultural reception.
This weekend the artists at ZOU#7 were part of this new contemporary thinking raising these issues through their work. By paring back materials, ideas and form to essentials the artists spark memories allowing the viewer in to complete the piece. For me the resonance of these works lingers after the exhibition is over and call on the ancient ancestors in the valley of the Eschelle where the exhibition was held. There was a huge sense of community in this edition of ZOU where performance and music were the stars. Some highlights were; the intensity of walking spatially in the dark as a group towards the spot light performance deep in the cave, the group dance outside in the grounds, the fun urinals with swimming fish and flying birds, the earth dye textile workshops, the creative musical concerts and chatting happy faces in the café. The grand themes of life and love were everywhere; in the gestural drawings on the walls to the stunning performance of movement and spoken word in the caves, all calling on the poetics and energy of the space. ZOU artists revitalises and stimulate our engagement and aesthetic experience and create new collective democratic kinds of cultural identification.
10/04/2016 § Leave a comment
One of my heros is Agnes Varda and it is such an honour to be screening along side her work at the Emporium Brighton 10th April 2016 at 6:30 pm
‘WOFFF are delighted to be preceding The Beaches of Agnès with a short film selected for show in last year’s WOFFF festival, Ban an Farriage (Woman of the Sea), by filmmaker Trisha McCrae.
THE BEACHES OF AGNÈS (2008)
(LES PLAGES D’AGNÈS)
CERT 18 / 110 MINS / FRANCE / DIR: AGNÈS VARDA
The film is a memoir documentary from Agnès Varda, one of French cinema’s most enduring directors. Originally part of the Rive Gauche contingent of the French New Wave, she made her name with Cléo de 5 à 7 (1962). Over half a century later, Varda has countless feature films, documentaries, and art installations to her name, many of which are revisited in this autobiographical portrait, which she made aged 80.
Join Agnès on this fluid, dreamlike, naughty and nostalgic stroll down the beaches of her memory.
Dreamland is excited to be joining forces with the Women Over Fifty Film Festival this month to bring you The Beaches of Agnès. WOFFF aims to put women over fifty on screen, or behind the camera, starting with monthly one-off screenings throughout 2016, leading up to their annual short film festival in October.
Before the screening Nuala O’ Sullivan from WOFFF asked me a few questions.
1. How would you describe your film work?
My work is often raw, immediate and provocative. I use film and the editing process to tell stories which carry powerful personal meaning. I experiment with creating visual streams of consciousness that further enrich our experience of time.
My films have narratives but not in the scripted sense, instead they are fragments or sequences which possess a mood. They have an ‘internal logic’ in the Focillion sense. They have underlying signs that link to a thematic content or harmony.
I am particularly interested in making films that relate to sounds and texts, to the ways people see; to the theory of the visual and the minds eye. The idea is to promote different types of viewing that will transfer our attention from what we look at, to us as the subject.
I love the immediacy of film and how it allows us to examine, extend and shift reality, even to the extent of abstraction. Through the editing process and increasingly the expanded space, I investigate theatrical experiences that lure the viewer into a perceptual and intimate world where they can participate in the act of seeing, so that they can move from a conscious level of looking to a more unconscious level and project elements of their own memories, desires and fears onto what they see.
2.Why did you make Ban an Farraige? What was your inspiration, your motivation?
I was brought up by the sea and spent most of my childhood on the beach. Elements of the sea feature in most of my films. I am also a huge Samuel Beckett fan and when I came across the stone sequence in Molloy, I wanted to explore this theme from a philosophical and feminist point of view. I asked my sister Catherine, who adores the sea, to be involved as the performance artist and she agreed.
I wanted to make a film that shows the viewer that the only reality we have is the reality that we create ourselves. Seeing this woman talking to herself and endlessly sweeping the sand is a metaphor for her life. We, the viewer, can see the strange activity of sucking stones is not normal but to her is it completely normal, it’s her reality that she has created herself.
3. How do you work with other artists in your film/s? Is the work scripted, improvised, devised collaboratively or created in another way?
My work is enriched by collaboration. When I work with others it brings a new energy. Whether its a residency involving performers, or a silent movie with live musicians, or an installation of several films in a domestic setting. Each encounter brings with it a new flavour to my work. As an experimental film maker I use non-diegetic sounds and rarely use the sound associated with the visual. Instead of scripting the dialogue word for word, I orchestrate an overall mood for each film. I choose each performance artist for each particular film and sometime make the piece around them.
At the moment I am working with a french sculptor on an film installation that will tour gallery spaces. This project is a 50-50 collaboration. We both have the ideas and we both discuss each step in detail. He brings with him a priority of using music as the inspirational source for each element of the film and I prioritise visuals so from the beginning it has been a really interesting venture. We are sourcing our locations and performers locally from the artist community on our doorstep. It involves dancers, musicians and performance artists. As an example we recently directed an experienced performer from Budapest. We gave her the idea of what we were looking for and let her unlock, feel and articulate the movement herself. What she came up with was amazing, totally original and exciting. My films are all created with these types of moments.
3. What language is the film title? (I think it’s Gaelic. Is that right?) Why did you choose that title in that language?
Ban an Farriage is Irish for Woman of the Sea. When you live abroad you suddenly get this urge to connect with your roots. I identify with EE.Cummings when he said ‘Its always yourself you find by the sea.” For me the sea has been and still is a place where I can find myself. This is why I am so honoured to be paired with Agnes Varde who is also an aquatic soul.
4. What connections do you see between The Beaches of Agnes & Ban an Farraige?
There are many connections between The Beaches of Agnes and my film. Apart from the obvious connection of the beach both Varda and I enjoy exploring form and spacing and rhythm in our films; we both use family as collaborators and combine techniques of stop motion, stills and live action together; we both love to find creative combinations to startle and excite our viewer and use the waves to draw attention; we both blur the boundaries between our own life and memories from our past and lastly we both roam the beach with the camera to glean its wonders for our audience.
Thank you Nuala for giving me this opportunity to screen beside this wonderful poetical piece.
Trisha McCrae. 2016.
06/04/2016 § Leave a comment
I am pleased to be installing The Struggle at ZOU this month. The work is an installation piece where I will be screening a film on a sculptural form.
I have been very lucky to work with performance artist Barry Andrews and voiced by French artist Michel Gayout.
Samedi 30 avril de 14h à 21h30
Dimanche 1 mai de 11h à 19 h
au Hameau de la Brousse à Sers
05 45 24 95 72
21/11/2015 § Leave a comment
Saturday 28 novembre de 14 à 19 h
Sunday 29 novembre de 11 à 18 h
au Hameau de la Brousse à Sers
05 45 24 95 72
17/09/2015 § Leave a comment
Your art, our walls: the best artworks by Guardian readers
Giant crabs taking over the world, women morphing into crows and young stars wrapped in baby blankets … we knew Guardian readers’ artworks would be inspired, which is why we started a Readers’ Art project three years ago. Since then, thousands of submissions have been shared every month. Now, we are launching our inaugural exhibition. Here are your artworks handpicked by our judges, Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones and British Art Show 8 curator Gilly Fox.
At the Guardian, Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 9GU until 8 October, admission free
See the full selection here Guardian
30/08/2015 § Leave a comment
Lucy Lippard, once said that we can generally understand the history of modern art as a series of ‘escape attempts’ where the desire of the artist is to short-circuit and outwit the established modes of institutional display that sustain the bourgeois art system. These ‘escape attempts’ are employed to try and recapture a lost immediacy of experience and transcend materialisation which strangles our modern life with its various forms of distraction and deception. By circumventing the gallery or market, the work of art would be able to free itself of the corrupting influences of commodified reification and various ideological preconceptions and provide viewers with an unadulterated vision of the world otherwise unavailable in everyday life. LN Le Cheviller and Michel Gayout seeking this latitude set up the Hammeau de La Brousse in 1993 in the valley of the Échelle river, Sers. The perfect setting to bridge what Robert Rauschenberg called ‘the gap between art and life’.
Three times a year LN and Michel host ZOU an exhibition which celebrates art in all its forms. This year a talented group of artists came together to exhibit interventions, installations, land art, music, film, drawing, embroidery, painting, photography, sculpture and performance.
Now in its fifth iteration ZOU works like a collective with democratic governance. Every artist shares skills to make the exhibition come to fruition; from designing the artwork and creating a web site, to installing the works and the running of the bio cafe. There is a friendly welcome from everyone exhibiting in the gallery/cafe space, park and gardens.
The first exhibit is a work by LN Le Cheviller entitled Déchets (Waste) A large expertly clad building made from recycled bark. It is the ideal opening piece as it immediately tackles head on the tie between artistic creation and environmental issues. A sui generis eco-gesture which echoes through out the whole exhibition for those artists concerned with sustainability.
Zou installed a pop up cinema in a cave. Four diverse respected animators; Emma Vakarelova, Cécilia Pepper, Marie Bouchet and MIKA entertained audiences with engaging and compelling stop motion shorts the whole weekend. Screening the moving images in the cave was a nice nod to the valleys ancient ancestral past where images of horses and boars were discovered carved into the stone walls nearby.
Before her performance Brigitta Horváth prepared herself by meditating in a wooden shelter by the stream. She then signalled viewers to come in. She was lying on her shoulders with her legs overhead and arms resting on her ankles. She lay there quietly for more than five minutes. Then moving extremely slowly in organic evolving contortions she allowed her body to take different forms as she moved around the space. She occasionally twitched like an insect. Thoughts of birth and growth went through my mind as she nestled her face against the soil. Above all the artistic mediums the body is the best at portraying the immediacy of the emotional state. The performance which lasted 1/2 hour was a breathing space for the viewer and a comment on the peace to be had by really looking and being absorbed in the moment. Brigitte exited the shelter arms raised and spine arched as her body lead her to the stream. She slowly lowered herself down and crept amongst the foliage. The water flowed over her body as she sang. It was a stunning and intimate performance.
Traditional methods of viewing art focused mainly on artists and their style. In contemporary thinking there is a move away from this cartesian model to a wider remit which encompasses many methodologies; how art is made; art as process; art theory, visual theory and cross disciplinary innovation. The result of this recalibration continues the discussion around ‘what is art’. There is a full scrutiny of the materiality of visual objects, of the corporeal effect, an architectural and spatial awareness, political and ecological considerations and most importantly the theory around its cultural reception.
The artists at ZOU are part of this new contemporary thinking raising these issues through their work. By paring back materials, ideas and form to essentials the artists spark memories allowing the viewer in to complete the piece. For me the resonance of these works lingers long after the exhibition is over and speak of canonical themes: the embroidery treasures connotes the feminine; the glass circle of formalist gestures connotes ancient ceremonial stones; the hanging stars, the cosmos; the pool of coloured glass, the elements; an animated dissolving woman, transformation; the musical improvisation, the energy of the space. ZOU artists revitalises and stimulate our engagement and aesthetic experience and create new collective democratic kinds of cultural identification.
I was very happy to be amongst the exhibitors.
Amandine Arlot, Michel Bastian, Catherine Vagnat, Coline Gaulot, Michel Gayout, Mickaël Gréco, Brigitta Horvath, LN Le Cheviller, Trisha McCrae, Cécilia Pepper, Thomas Petit, Caroline Shmidt, Emma Vakarelova, Web Age, les miels Emile…
by Trisha McCrae