Anticipating the Past: Artists : Archive : Film

Anticipating the Past: Artists : Archive : Film

Tate Modern

Joseph Cornell, The Midnight Party, 1969. Courtesy Film Anthology Archives

April 26, 2006

Anticipating the Past: Artists : Archive : Film
An international symposium exploring the work of artists who use archival and found film and video

Friday 12 May 2006, 18.30 – 20.00
Saturday 13 May 2006, 10.00 – 18.30

George Barber, Neil Cummings & Marysia Lewandowska, Alex Farquharson, Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi, Patrick Keiller, Elizabeth McAlpine, Mark Nash, Marcel Odenbach, Pat ONeill, A L Rees, Heather Stewart, Benjamin Weil and Akram Zaatari.

Starr Auditorium
Tate Modern
London SE1 9TG

Book tickets online or call 020 7887 8888


The experience of viewing projected archival or found film and video can have a seductive, even spellbinding effect on the viewer. The moving images material and aesthetic qualities can act as a trigger to memories true or false, sharply evoke a sense of time and nostalgia, or conjure fantasies of history.

This international symposium draws together a collection of voices and perspectives to examine the work of artists and filmmakers who have purposefully manipulated these materials. In doing so, these practitioners have explored the archive and its inherent qualities, dislocated archival material from its original purpose and intention, and thereby revealed new readings, meanings and questions.

On Friday 12 May, A L Rees introduces the imaginative re-cutting of found footage by film artists since the 1920s. Using short works and extracts, this talk reviews some of the ways in which ‘films beget films’ (Jay Leyda) in the

On Saturday 13 May, further ideas on the uses of found footage and archival material will be explored in three different sessions:
Interrogating Archives asks what are archives other than passive repositories that catalogue the past following their own arcane criteria, and freeze it for posterity. Artists and curators will discuss their approaches to the archive, both as a concept and as an institution. In History and Politics discussion will focus on artists who interrogate newsreel and documentary images to reclaim some sense of humanity, or to pursue more fundamental truths, or to invent some missing pieces of a puzzle. Three generations of practitioners, interested in the humorous and disturbing subtexts beneath the polished surface of popular cinema, discuss their different methods and objectives towards moving-image collage in Remaking Hollywood.

Screenings of individual work by Martin Arnold, Joseph Cornell and Malcolm Le Grice accompany extracts of work by the participants.

Symposium tickets can be booked on 44 20 7887 8888 or at Admission includes tea and coffee, a drinks reception and book launch for Ghosting: The Role of the Archive within Contemporary Artists’ Film and Video. This new publication explores the moving image, archive and memory. With essays by Eddie Chambers, Amna Malik, Uriel Orlow, Lucy Reynolds and Erika Tan, it also includes illustrated case studies which examine works by international practitioners such as The Atlas Group, Johan Grimonprez, Marcel Odenbach and Fiona Tan. Published by Picture This with support from Arts Council England.

The symposium is organised by the British Artists Film and Video Study Collection at Central Saint Martins and LUX in association with Arts Council England, the British Film Institute and Tate Modern.
Anticipating the Past: Artists : Archive : Film is funded by MI:LL (Moving Image: Legacy and Learning), an Arts Council England initiative to support projects and develop strategies that promote engagement with the arts through the moving image.

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Tate Modern
April 26, 2006

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