GIVE BIRTH TO ME TOMORROW – Artists’ Moving Image Festival
Thu 21 –Sun 24 Jan 2021
GIVE BIRTH TO ME TOMORROW, this year’s Artists’ Moving Image Festival, has been co-programmed by artists and writers Tako Taal and Adam Benmakhlouf. It begins this month with a series of screenings available to watch online from 21–24 January 2021, via LUX Scotland’s website, delivered in partnership with Tramway. The festival will continue with a series of screenings and events scheduled to follow the lunar calendar across the rest of 2021.
Works by Isabel Barfod, De’Anne Crooks, Sharon Hayes, Kyuri Jeon, Sherisse Mohammed and Camille Turner will be available to watch on the LUX Scotland website across the January festival dates. Captions for GIVE BIRTH TO ME TOMORROW by Collective Text: Sarya Wu and Emilia Beatriz in consultation with Amy Helena and Ciaran Stewart and in conversation with the filmmakers.
The programme lies in between the folds of artists’ moving image, performance documentation, protest documentary and animation, considering their strategies for interruption, to undo the formal and psychological trappings of a neo-colonial, white supremacist, capitalist, patriarchal cinema system.
“The films are joined by their questioning of what it is to announce, or articulate, individual and collective presence – demands of the voice, what it means to be heard clearly in public, and how the performance of the voice forms and shapes our body or bodies” – Tako Taal
“The title, “GIVE BIRTH TO ME TOMORROW’, relates directly to one of the films in the programme, a quote from Kyuri Jeon’s film ‘Born, Unborn, and Born Again’. The title came about organically from watching films together and it speaks to so many things that feel relevant in the current moment. The idea of looking ahead, looking forwards, which I think is an important state of mind. It brought me to thinking about longer span timelines, particularly in relation to an article called ‘everything worthwhile is done with other people’ by Mariame Kaba, which talks about meeting the problems and challenges we face not as yours alone to solve but collectively, looking out, forward and beyond even your own lifespan.” – Adam Benmakhlouf
“We wanted to move slowly. We want the programme to allow for breathing room. We wanted to avoid the fatigue that often comes with overwhelming sensation that a festival can leave you with. And so that ‘gave birth’, as it were, to the form and expanding the festival over the course of a year. We are asking you to take responsibility as an audience, to watch these works energetically, to expand your energy and to think of new ways to be with the screen. We recognise that this can be tiring, as these things often are, but we hope that it will be a rewarding experience as it was for us to programme the festival and bring this thinking to you.” – Tako Taal & Adam Benmakhlouf
Introduction by LUX Scotland Director, Kitty Anderson. 1 min, 37 sec (CC) [read transcript]
Introductions by programmers Tako Taal and Adam Benmakhlouf. 8 min, 51 sec (CC) [read transcript]
British Sign Language Interpreted Introductions by EJ Raymond.
Sharon Hayes, Fingernails on a blackboard: Bella, 2014. Analogue video transferred to digital; colour, silent, 16 mins (CC)
Sherisse Mohammed and Camille Turner, Miss Canadiana, 2005. SD video, 3:4, 7 min 47 sec (CC)
Isabel Barfod, Hear Me Out, 2018. Animation, 4 min 45 sec (CC)
De’Anne Crooks, LIEF, 2019. HD video, 5 min 41 sec (CC)
Kyuri Jeon, Born, Unborn, and Born Again, 2020. Colour, 16:9, Stereo, 12 min 38 sec (CC)
Full running time: 56 min, 32 sec.
Access information: all films and introductions are captioned. The introductions are British Sign Language (BSL) interpreted by EJ Raymond.
Sherisse Mohammed and Camille Turner, Miss Canadiana, 2005. Flashing images near the end of the work.
Isabel Barfod, Hear Me Out, 2018. Discussion of religious belief and mental health.
De’Anne Crooks, LIEF, 2019. References to illness and abuse.
Kyuri Jeon, Born, Unborn, and Born Again, 2020. References to femicide, abortion and rape.
Tickets are now available to book for the online exhibition, which launches the festival. Dates for online events across 2021 are as follows, with a programme to be announced in the coming months:
Saturday 13 March – new moon
Tuesday 20 April – first quarter moon
Wednesday 2 June – last quarter moon
Saturday 17 July – first quarter moon
Sunday 22 August – full moon
Wednesday 6 October – new moon
Friday 19 November – full moon
How to view
Please follow the booking link to book your free ticket via Eventbrite. You will then be sent a link to a dedicated webpage where you can view the online exhibition from Thursday 21 January, 10am – Sunday 24 January, midnight.
Once you enter the online exhibition, scroll down to watch the introductions and films individually. Enter the password provided in your ticketing email to watch the films. BSL interpretation of the introductions is available beneath the captioned introduction videos. To turn on captions, click the ‘CC’ logo in the bottom right hand corner of the viewing window.
If you require any support, please do not hesitate to be in touch with Annie Crabtree, Project Manager, and David Upton, Programme Manager, on scotland[at]lux.org.uk.
LUX Scotland and Tramway’s annual Artists’ Moving Image Festival (AMIF) was established in 2012 to provide a platform for the discussion and presentation of artists’ moving image, showcasing forms of production and research alongside screenings and discursive events. AMIF is presented and produced as a collaboration between Tramway and LUX Scotland, funded by Screen Scotland’s Film Festivals Fund and Film Hub Scotland’s Access Fund.
Design by Maeve Redmond
About the programmers, artists, and partners
Adam Benmakhlouf works as an artist, educator, writer and programmer. Committedly manifold, Adam’s practice includes experimental sound production, installation, painting, community organising and critical writing. Their work sensitively counters the underrepresentation and undervaluing of queer and anti-colonial lifestyles, labour, communities and knowledges.
Their work was acquired in 2018 by the Glasgow Museum collections and in 2019 they were commissioned to create a major new work for the Edinburgh Art Festival. Their writing has been included in Art Monthly, Frieze and The Skinny – where Benmakhlouf has served as the Art Editor for five years. In 2021, they will present a new solo exhibition in Glasgow’s CCA Intermedia Gallery.
Tako Taal is an artist and programmer. She was a 2019 RAW Academy fellow at RAW Material Company, Dakar and a Committee Member at Market Gallery, Glasgow, 2016-18.
At stake in her artistic practice are the psychic structures of colonial relations, and the question of how vivid they remain in the present. Her work has been presented at Tramway, Glasgow [online] Glasgow Short Film Festival, Glasgow Women’s Library, Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival, LUX Moving Image, London and Grand Union, Birmingham.
Isabel Barfod Hear Me Out
Isabel Barfod is an illustrator and animator based in Glasgow. Her animation practice uses experimental and traditional 2D and 3D animation to create alternate and imagined realities, centring and exaggerating the limitations of the body in space and time.
Her work is currently concerned with the exported western notion of safety & security, electromagnetism and unseen forces that push and hinder Black bodies.
Upcoming work includes a reimagined version of her animation ‘Sidesteps’, originally commissioned for Africa in Motion Film Festival (2019), for Tramway TV (2021).
Hear Me Out is a hand-drawn, scratched and printed animation attempting to capture glimpses of the role prayer plays in personal relationships with God. Based on a series of one-to-one interviews, the imagery and sound interpret and reshape the conversations carried out with young people of different faith backgrounds.
De’Anne Crooks LIEF
As an artist-educator, much of De’Anne Crooks’ practice considers the collaborative and collective experiences of others. Considering their practice as a form of activism and an investigation into cultural pedagogy, De’Anne is intent on using contemporary art as a space to play with the politics of identity. De’Anne’s recent writings and commissions has allowed them to test the praxis of contemporary art adjacent to and in harmony with Blackness. Using video, performative and fine art, De’Anne continues to focus on the oracy of marginalised persons.
LIEF: Using found footage relative to the 2000’s and home videos spanning 3 decades, this emotive collage of moving image challenges the distance between the artist’s former and present self. Wrestling with the consequences of self-doubt, loss and lies, this work takes a retrospective look at who we truly are before the cynicism of life and lies possess us. It is only in birth and death that we are most true and at both points, we are seen so vividly through the eyes of those around us. The artist described their experience of producing Lief as “accidentally making (their) own eulogy”. The nostalgic tone, collected voices, ripped poetry and chopped visuals play significant roles in this video exploration about youth, self-acceptance and truth. The 5-minute piece is divided into 5 stages of emotions: rejection, loneliness, suffering, joy and healing and the title of the work plays with how interchangeable and simultaneously invisible the effect of lies are on our overall experience of life.
Sharon Hayes Fingernails on a blackboard: Bella
Sharon Hayes uses photography, film, video, sound, and performance to examine the intersection between the personal and the political. An established line of enquiry throughout her multi-disciplinary practice is the transformative power of language. Hayes pays particular attention to the language of twentieth-century protest groups, investigating the history and construction of collective subject formation. She invites viewers and participants to re-experience moments of political and cultural oppression by staging protests, delivering speeches, and re-performing demonstrations. Through these methods of enactment Hayes is engaging in what she calls “oral translation”. Her work highlights the friction between common activities and personal actions examining how the collective imaginary is built.
Hayes has been the subject of retrospectives at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid; and Moderna Museet, Stockholm. Hayes’ work is part of the public collections of Tate, London; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Dallas Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Kunstmuseum St. Gallen; Museum of Modern Art Warsaw, Warsaw; among many others.
Sharon Hayes lives and works in Philadelphia, where she holds the position of Associate Professor of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania.
‘Fingernails on a blackboard: Bella’ investigates how voice acts as an embodied medium of speech. Hayes takes the 1977 National Women’s Conference in Houston, TX as a historical point of departure. The 1977 conference was a result of an executive order to assess the status of women in light of the United Nations proclaiming 1975 as International Women’s Year. Following the well attended and highly publicised event, an extension was granted for the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. But having only been ratified by 35 states by the 1982 deadline, the amendment never passed.
Hayes’ video work uses the transcript of a meeting between politician Bella Abzug – the New York Congresswoman who was appointed to head the National Women’s Conference – and her vocal coach. During their meeting, the pair work at neutralising Abzug’s regional accent and softening her tone – strategically altering her voice to something more universal and soothing. ‘Fingernails on a blackboard: Bella’ addresses the political consequences of gender and the specific limitations of power, communication and relatability in the spectre of public speech.
Kyuri Jeon Born, Unborn, and Born Again
Kyuri Jeon (b. 1990, KR) is an interdisciplinary artist who lives and works between USA/South Korea. She received her MFA at the University of Pennsylvania, 2020. Jeon’s work has been shown at venues including Vox Populi, LightBox and The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA), Philadelphia; Festival Film Dokumenter (FFD), Indonesia; and DMZ International Documentary Film Festival, Seoul International Women’s Film Festival, Diaspora Film Festival and Seoul Independent Documentary Festival, South Korea.
Born, Unborn, and Born Again: “She is the White Horse. Born in 1930, unborn in 1990, and born again in 2050. She returns, undead, every 60 years.”
The film revolves around Jeon’s struggle to embody the White Horse, a Chinese zodiac sign which occurs every 60-year cycle in South Korea. With the abortion debate’s entanglement with misogynic myths and the introduction of modern technologies, an untold history resurfaces in the present, and re-orients us towards the future. Korean and future perfect tense in English, are weaved together to contemplate ruptures, repetition of time, and violence against women.
Director’s note: What does it mean to be unborn as I am born? Born, Unborn, and Born Again explores the transnational nature of governmental control over reproductive systems, and how this oppression manifests in our bodies and perceptions of self. I called upon the misogynistic myths of the past that were the remains of Japanese colonial history that have become popular, along with several “masculine” zodiac signs, which have implicit and specific gender roles and are thereby considered a bad disposition for women. I use the grammatical structure of the future perfect tense, which does not exist in my mother tongue, as a vehicle to navigate the “(un)born” status of mine.
Sherisse Mohammed & Camille Turner Miss Canadiana
Camille Turner combines Afrofuturism and historical research to explore race, space, home and belonging. Her trans-disciplinary work has been presented throughout Canada and internationally. Camille graduated from Ontario College of Art and Design and York University’s Masters in Environmental Studies program where she is currently a PhD candidate.
Sherisse Mohammed is a Canadian documentary filmmaker and multimedia artist who also works as a Set Production Assistant (Assistant Director) in Toronto’s film and television industry. Miss Canadiana is her first documentary short film, shot with a small crew during her studies in Film and Television production at Humber College in Toronto. Prior to acquiring production skills, she studied Film Theory and Sociology at the University of Western Ontario and graduated with a BA(Hons) in Sociology in 2002.
Her documentary, multimedia and set production work is informed by her background in cinematic and sociological study, with a particular interest in Stanley Milgram’s experiment on Obedience and Authority.
In this early work by Sherisse Mohammed and Camille Turner, the artist’s Miss Canadiana persona is introduced through a video composed of performance documentation, parafictional interviews, and narration by Turner. Miss Canadiana is a persona created and performed by Turner since 2002, and brings to focus contradictions of Canadian mythology through the artist’s use of her body as a representative of Canadian heritage, which produces surprising results only because Blackness is perceived as foreign in Canada. Miss Canadiana has made appearances across Canada and has represented Canada in the UK, Germany, Senegal, Australia, Cuba, Jamaica and Mexico. Documentation of the performances have been included in numerous exhibitions and festivals.
Collective Text is a collaborative working process supporting accessibility in art and film through creative captioning, audio description and interpretation. Recent projects include captions and/or audio description for a so-called archive by Onyeka Igwe, SAF05 by Charlotte Prodger, and Song of the Shirt by Kerstin Schroedinger.
Captions for GIVE BIRTH TO ME TOMORROW by Sarya Wu and Emilia Beatriz in consultation with Amy Helena and Ciaran Stewart and in conversation with the filmmakers.
Tramway is an international art space supporting established and emerging artists, both international and local, who focus on experimental and contemporary dance, visual art and performance. For thirty years Tramway has built a reputation for its unique performance and exhibition spaces and ambitious and inspiring programming.