HEART OF HAWICK
FRIDAY 28 APRIL
16:30 – 18:00 / 68′ + Q&A
Samantha Dick, Elina Bry, Mariella Driskell and Maxime Jean-Baptiste will be present for the Q&A.
The films in this programme have descriptive captions.
Walking to Connect is also available to enjoy with Audio Description online throughout the Festival (27 – 30 April).
Content warning: contains flashing imagery and sustained intense sound; discussion of slavery, colonialism, mental health issues, classism.
by Jonathan Ali
Exploring the bricks and mortar of encounter, eight films unlock new memories, sensory environments and modes of being in Up, Down And Side To Side.
Shot in a thirteenth-century Southampton gatehouse, Gardez L’Eau sees artist Enam Gbewonyo, in collaboration with filmmaker Freddie Leyden, engage in an electrifying performance where the artist’s body becomes a conduit through which the ghosts of the space, and the nearby seas activate hidden histories of colonialism, enslavement and more.
In Abril Iberico Mevius’s Barbed Song, the recitation of a fractured poem combines with decontextualised images of objects in a striking audiovisual response to the filmmaker’s progressive binaural hearing loss. A similarly poetic voiceover in Samantha Dick’s The Light Show overlays images of Edinburgh tower blocks, reframing them in a pointed challenge to received perceptions of their inhabitants.
In a more rural Scottish context, the joyously self-reflexive Walking to Connect sees Elina Bry work with people with lived experience of substance dependency to engage with nature through walking, and the attentive recording of the images and sounds encountered.
Encounters of a more unsettling kind are meditated upon in Peng Zuqiang’s Sight Leak, in which observations by Roland Barthes on a historical visit to China form the point of departure for a local tourist’s stark black-and-white travelogue, a response that provocatively complicates a homoerotic and voyeuristic gaze.
In contrast, Mariella Driskell and Percy Walker-Smith’s Gold or Mist or Memory is a sun-soaked Euro-holiday film, a playful 8mm ode to the pleasures of carefree youthful travel. And in Yannick Mosimann’s Sunspots, separate 16mm shots of the sun are layered upon one another, accompanied by a similarly layered ambient soundscape, the result an otherworldly experience.
The programme concludes with Maxime Jean-Baptiste’s Moune Ô, an exacting deconstruction of the colonial gaze through the manipulation of archive footage seemingly showing a celebratory event: the premiere in Paris of a French-made historical drama set in French Guiana, in which the filmmaker’s father had a small role. ‘I close my eyes. The crowd makes me smile, breaks my body, and that’s the end.’
Enam Gbewonyo, Freddie Leyden
3’34 – UK – 2022
Abril Iberico Mevius
4’33 – Peru – 2021
THE LIGHT SHOW
4’21 – Scotland – 2022
WALKING TO CONNECT
14’47 – Scotland – 2022
12’15 – China – 2022
GOLD OR MIST OR MEMORY
Mariella Driskell, Percy Walker-Smith
2’22 – UK – 2022
8’45 – Switzerland – 2022
16’52 – Belgium – 2022