Film as Material

Storm de Hirsch & Jennifer West

The figure with their back to the camera sits and looks out to the sea on clear, calm evening around sunset.
Still from 'Dawn Surf Jellybowl Film' (2011), image courtesy of the artist

These films will be captioned for d/Deaf and Hard of Hearing viewers in-house
Optional SDH captions available when watching online

On Sat 7 and Sun 8 August, we will screen a selection of short films at Cample exploring the theme of ‘film as material’, by two key experimental filmmakers that have inspired Laura Aldridge in her own work – Storm de Hirsch and Jennifer West. The films will play on a loop within our building, and will also be available to watch online for one week, Sun 8 – Sat 14 August.

Storm de Hirsch (1912–2000) was an American poet and filmmaker. She was a key figure in the New York avant-garde film scene of the 1960s, and one of the founding members of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative. Clearly influenced by her poetic background, de Hirsch’s films are abstract in style and employ a number of experimental techniques, such as frame-by-frame etching and painting.  In an interview with Jonas Mekas on the making of one of her first films, Divinations, she said, “I wanted badly to make an animated short and had no camera available. I did have some old, unused film stock and several rolls of 16mm sound tape. So I used that — plus a variety of discarded surgical instruments and the sharp edge of a screwdriver — by cutting, etching, and painting directly on both film and [sound] tape.”

Jennifer West is an American artist who lives and works in Los Angeles, and has gained international recognition for the last ten years for her unique explorations of materialism in film. Subjecting the celluloid in her films to a series of unorthodox – and at times bizarre – procedures, West has sprayed them with perfume, skateboarded over them, doused them with makeup, pepper spray, household chemicals and even dragged them through tar pits. Through this physical manipulation of her film negatives, the artist underlines the performative aspect to her work—simultaneously highlighting the unintentional visual results of her interventions.She has produced over 70 films since she started working this way in 2004.

2019, Brazil, 57 mins
Directed by Jonathas de Andrade
English & SDH subtitles available

Tickets available on a pay-what-you-can sliding scale:
£5 / £3.50 / £2 / Free

Watch at Cample: SAT 7 - SUN 8 AUGUST

Films available to watch on a loop in our screening space, starting at quarter past each hour

Watch Online:

Sun 8 - Sat 14 AUGUST

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