Online Exhibition

During this unforseen period of exhibition closures, we'll be bringing you a curated selection of artists' moving image work from the Arts Council Collection with an online programme of single screen works, selected by the Collection team and our partners around the UK.

Each week while galleries and museums remain closed, we'll be uploading a new film to the website for you to enjoy.

Follow us on Instagram and Twitter for weekly programme updates and to enjoy other digital highlights from the Collection.

Week 5:

Fancy Pictures

Mark Neville

2008

17 minutes 16 seconds

Selected by Jill Constantine, Director of the Arts Council Collection

This week, Director of the Arts Council Collection, Jill Constantine, selects Mark Neville’s Fancy Pictures, 2008:

"I chose Mark’s work because of his clear observational ability. Immersing himself in the communities he works with his practice reveals his strong desire to give something back to them. From The Isle of Bute, to Port Glasgow, Helmand Province and rural Brittany he enables us to see and understand better the lives of people across the globe."

"Fancy Pictures is just one part of a project by the artist based around the farming community, and the Mount Stuart Trust, Isle of Bute. The work, shot in ultra-slow motion places farm animals in front of a number of 18th and 19th century portraits belonging to the house. The paintings, acquired by the original owners of Mount Stuart stately home appear as a rich vibrant background against the farmyard animals and serve as a contrast to the lives of their owners."

Artist's website

Week 4:

The Girl Chewing Gum

John Smith

1976

12 minutes

Selected by Rob Hill, Digital Manager

This week, Arts Council Collection Digital Manager, Rob Hill, selects John Smith’s The Girl Chewing Gum, 1976:

"The Girl Chewing Gum is a touchstone of experimental film and a long time favourite of mine. The film’s subtle absurdist humour and illusion of control seem a good fit for these strange times of social distancing when the use of public space is under such massive scrutiny."

Week 3:

The Gender Song

Evan Ifekoya

2014

2 minutes 32 seconds

Selected by Beth Hughes, Curator

The Gender Song (2014) is a defiant call to end limiting gender categorization spun over a dancehall riddim. It is one of four in a series of works that seek to queer the music video format.

Evan Ifekoya’s moving image, sound and performance practices speak to, and with, the many intersecting forces that constitute their works.

Using tools such as speculative fiction, polyvocality, co-operative making and personal ritual, Ifekoya questions and reconstitutes black queer knowledge production.

Artist’s website

 

 

Week 2:

FF Gaiden: Delete

Larry Achiampong and David Blandy

2016

33 minutes 9 seconds

Selected by Beth Hughes, Curator

This week, Arts Council Collection Curator, Beth Hughes, selects Larry Achiampong and David Blandy’s FF Gaiden: Delete, 2016:

“I’m interested in hearing the stories of others, learning what other people’s lives are like and what they have to contend with. The accounts given in FF Gaiden: Delete stayed with me long after the film ended as these people have lived through and continue to live through horrendous oppression that is so far outside my realm of experience. There is something in the way the work presents these stories that really lasts; the synthetic, monotone voice devoid of emotion is matter-of-fact instructing us that this is what happened and we need to hear it. They are individual accounts but I imagine there are too many other people who have similar truths to tell.”

Week 1:

Arts Council GB Scratch

George Barber

1988

1 minute, 31 seconds

Selected by Josh Dowson, Collections and Operations Manager

This week, ACC Collections and Operations Manager,  Josh Dowson, selects George Barber’s Arts Council GB Scratch, 1988:

The ‘Scratch!’ show at the Thamesmeade Arts and Culture Office (Taco) was one of my favourite exhibitions last year. I cycled there, along the Thames path, from my home in East London on a sunny day. Watching ‘Arts Council Scratch GB’ reminds me of a time when we were able to leave our homes to enjoy such things!"

 

George Barber’s low-tech ‘cut up’ video works, which helped define the ‘slacker’ aesthetic of the early 1990s, make use of found footage from news reports, adverts and music videos. The short film Arts Council GB Scratch samples a number of different people – from politicians, TV presenters and artists – pronouncing on the visual arts.

While some of the people in the film are familiar – most notably David Hockney and Bridget Riley – others seem to have been pulled from, or have since fallen into, obscurity. During the film abstract sculptural work by artists such as Carl Andre and Anthony Caro are juxtaposed with animated geometric shapes borrowed from the visual language of contemporary video games.

>> Artist's website

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The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With more than 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyond. This website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.