"Focus" (Simon Welch, 2014, FR, full HD 16/9 format, colour, stereo, 7'37")
Screening history : 10th Cologne Off Artvideo Festival 2014; 9th Urban Explorers Festival in Dordrecht, Holland, June 2014. Will be screened at Kitchen Space, Chicago, USA and the "Breaking the Fourth Wall" exhibition at the Byron Cinema, Hucknall, UK in September 2014.
A film about the narratives we tell ourselves to make sense of the imperfect narrative of our lives. Pierre, a retired French miner, who lives surrounded by birds and various domestic pets, describes how his life has been blighted by supernatural events. References made to ghosts parallel sequences showing industrial remains that have been preserved as memorials in the northern French landscape, thus representing traces of a recent but nonetheless bygone age. The title of the film relates both to cinematic technique and poltergeist activity. Images of St Barbara, the patron saint of miners, refer to the religious and superstitious beliefs of men employed in dangerous conditions. The presence of caged birds recalls the use of canaries as warning systems in mines and corresponds to the fact that, wherever he goes, Pierre cannot escape forces (whether real or imaginary, psychological or socio-economic) that are not bound by geographical and physical constraints.
"Prelude" (Simon Welch, 2014, FR, full HD 16/9 format, colour, stereo, 7'07")
Screening history : Down to Earth exhibition at W3 Gallery, London, UK, 2014, Toride City Video Projection Competition, Japan, 2014. Will be screened at Kitchen Space, Chicago, USA and the "Breaking the Fourth Wall" exhibition at the Byron Cinema, Hucknall, UK in September 2014.
Sequences of a contemporary Cinderella practising a Bach prelude and struggling to keep up with the tyrannical precision of metronomic rhythm are juxtaposed with images of her daily life, thereby generating the soundtrack for her own “film”. The metronome precisely beats time in a mechanical rather than a “musical” manner and may be a help or hindrance to development. The repetitious nature of piano practice suggests that the girl’s existence is also repetitive and that negative aspects of her relationship with her mother are a prelude for future relationships.