A Trilogy of Films by Charlie Prodger at TIFF Wavelengths, Toronto

Part of International Collaborations

7 February 2024

TIFF Lightbox Cinema, Cinema 4 Paul & Leah Atkinson Family Cinema
350 King St W, Toronto, ON M6K 1H7, Canada
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Tickets available through TIFF.

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Charlie Prodger, ‘SaF05’, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and LUX.

This programme presents Charlie Prodger’s experimental essayistic trilogy, which weaves together intimate histories and mythologies of queer subjectivity through the lens of desire and transformation. The trilogy was made between 2015 and 2019, and this is the first time the films are being screened together in North America.

Working across a range of formats and imaging technologies, Prodger has developed a distinctive authorial voice that is introspective without revealing itself as subject, perceptive without adhering to definition. She builds on traditions of structural film and essay film, combining navigational narratives and observational visuals – – shot or assumed from her perspective – – in attempts to locate the self. If Prodger’s films seem to operate within ellipses, it is because the self is a mutable force, whose relations and reference points are in constant states of becoming.

Prodger was the recipient of LUX Scotland’s Margaret Tait Commission in 2014, for which she made the first film in this trilogy, Stoneymollan Trail (2015). Prodger went on to win the prestigious Turner Prize in 2018 for the second film, BRIDGIT (2016); and the following year developed the final work, SaF05 (2019) with which she represented Scotland at the 2019 Venice Biennale, with support from Mercer Union, Toronto, among other international partners.

A Trilogy of Films by Charlie Prodger is co-presented by TIFF Wavelengths and LUX Scotland and Mercer Union, Toronto, with support from the British Council and Creative Scotland.

Introduction by Wavelengths guest curators Theresa Wang, Mercer Union, and Kitty Anderson, LUX Scotland.

Stoneymollan Trail

Charlie Prodger, Stoneymollan Trail’, 2015. Courtesy of the artist and LUX.

Stoneymollan Trail is Prodger’s first single screen video. Stoneymollan trail is an ancient coffin road’ in Scotland linking the Firth of Clyde with Loch Lomond. Prodger’s video of the same name traces a history of recent video formats as well as the artist’s personal history. It comprises material from multiple formats: a personal archive of miniDV tapes shot between 1999 and 2013; high definition camera footage; iPhone videos; screen printed graphic forms and recorded voiceover.


Charlie Prodger, BRIDGIT’, 2016. Courtesy of the artist and LUX.

BRIDGIT (2016) takes its title from the eponymous Neolithic deity, whose name has numerous iterations depending on life stage, locality and point in history. BRIDGIT explores the shifting temporal interrelations of name, body, and landscape through the work’s narratives where “… the force of time is not just a contingent characteristic of living, but is the dynamic impetus that enables life to become, to always be in the process of becoming, something other than it was” (Time Travels: Feminism, Nature, Power by Elizabeth Grosz).


Charlie Prodger, SaF05’, 2019. Courtesy of the artist and LUX.

SaF05 (2019) is the last in this trilogy of videos. This autobiographical cycle traces the accumulation of affinities, desires and losses that form a self as it moves forward in time. SaF05’ draws upon multiple sources — archival, scientific and diaristic — and combines footage from a number of geographical locations (the Scottish Highlands, the Great Basin Desert, the Okavango Delta and the Ionian Islands). SaF05’ is named after a maned lioness that figures in the work as a cipher for queer attachment and desire. This animal was the last of several maned lionesses documented in the Okavango Delta, known only to Prodger through a database of behaviours and camera-trap footage logged by conservationists.

Charlie Prodger

Charlie Prodger, 2020, by Matthew Arthur Williams.

Charlie Prodger (b. 1974, United Kingdom) is a Glasgow-based artist working with moving image, writing, sculpture and drawing. She was the winner of the 2018 Turner Prize and represented Scotland at the 2019 Venice Biennale. She received the 2017 Paul Hamlyn Award and 2014 Margaret Tait Award. Prodger is a 2023 – 2024 Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University.

Recent solo exhibitions include The Offering Formula, Secession, Vienna; BRIDGIT, Cast, Cornwall (2023); Blanks and Preforms, Kunst Museum Winterthur (2021); SaF05, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2021); SaF05, Scottish Pavilion, Venice Biennale (2019); Colon Hyphen Asterix, Hollybush Gardens, London (2018); BRIDGIT/​Stoneymollan Trail, Bergen Kunsthall; Subtotal, SculptureCenter, New York (2017); BRIDGIT, Hollybush Gardens, London; Charlotte Prodger, Kunstverein Düsseldorf (both 2016); 8004 – 8019, Spike Island, Bristol; Stoneymollan Trail, Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin (2015); Markets (with The Block), Chelsea Space, London; Nephatiti, Glasgow International (2014); Percussion Biface 1 – 13, Studio Voltaire, London; Colon Hyphen Asterix, Intermedia CCA, Glasgow (2012) and Handclap/​Punchhole, Kendall Koppe, Glasgow (2011). Group shows include Following Ravilious, Towner Gallery, Eastbourne (2022); An Insular Rococo, Hollybush Gardens, London (2021); Language Is a River, Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne;; Dislocations: Territories, Landscapes and Other Spaces, Hunterian Art Gallery, University of Glasgow; Conflicts, Eugster Belgrade and Drugstore Belgrade (all 2021); Nine Lives, The Renaissance Society, University of Chicago; A Sculpture & Six Videos, Wesleyan University, Connecticut; Freedom is Outside the Skin, Kunsthal 44 Moen, Denmark (2020); Palimpsest, Lismore Castle (2019), Ireland; Turner Prize, Tate Britain, London; Always Different, Always the Same: An Essay on Art and Systems, Bunder Kunstmuseum, Chur; ORGASMIC STREAMING ORGANIC GARDENING ELECTROCULTURE, Chelsea Space, London (2018); British Art Show 8 (2016); Weight of Data, Tate Britain, London; An Interior that Remains an Exterior, Künstlerhaus Graz (2015); Annals of The Twentieth Century, Wysing Arts, Cambridge (2014) Holes In The Wall, Kunsthalle Freiburg, and Frozen Lakes, Artists Space, New York (2013).

Prodger’s work has been screened at various film festivals, including London Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival; International Short Film Festival Oberhausen; Courtisane Festival, Gent; RAI Ethnographic Film Festival, Bristol, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival; Lux Biennial of Moving Images, London; GIFF Festival of New Cinema, Manadaluyong; Seoul International New Media Festival; Bucharest International Experimental Film Festival and Vancouver International Film Festival. Performances include Orange Helvetica Title Sequence, New York Book Art Fair, MOMA PS1 (with Bookworks); Microsphaeric Howard Hughes Heaven Movie, Tramway, Glasgow and Assembly: A Survey of Recent Artists’ Film and Video in Britain, Tate Britain (2014). Fwd: Rock Splits Boys, Cafe Oto, London and Spike Island, Bristol; Re: Re: Re: Homos and Light, Artists Space, New York, (with Mason Leaver-Yap, 2013) and Querido John, Kings Place, London, John Cage Centenary (with Electra and The Wire, 2012).

Charlotte Prodger’s writing has been published in Frieze, F.R. DAVID (De Appel), 2HB (CCA), Victor& Hester, The Happy Hypocrite (Bookworks), Intertitles: An Anthology at the Intersection of Writing and Visual Art (Prototype Publishing) and What Artists Wear by Charlie Porter (Penguin).

Screening Schedule

Curatorial Introduction (Mercer Union and LUX Scotland) – 10mins

Stoneymollan Trail (2015) – 43 minutes

BRIDGIT (2016) – 32 minutes

Comfort break – 15mins

SaF05 (2019) – 39 minutes


Transcripts for each film will be provided.

Please visit the TIFF website for details on venue access.

Mercer Union

Mercer Union is a non-profit, artist-run centre dedicated to commissioning and producing new works of contemporary art, and providing an engaging program that encourages critical inquiry and conversation. Mercer Union champions ambitious exhibitions that empower diverse Canadian and international artists in formative and established stages of their practice. Visit mercerunion​.org to learn more.

Toronto International Film Festival

TIFF is a not-for-profit cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world through film. An international leader in film culture, TIFF projects include the annual Toronto International Film Festival in September; TIFF Bell Lightbox, which features five cinemas, learning and entertainment facilities; and innovative national distribution program Film Circuit. The organization generates an annual economic impact of $200 million CAD. TIFF Bell Lightbox is generously supported by contributors including Founding Sponsor Bell, the Province of Ontario, the Government of Canada, the City of Toronto, the Reitman family (Ivan Reitman, Agi Mandel and Susan Michaels), The Daniels Corporation and RBC. For more information, visit tiff​.net.

Transcripts Custom transcripts are available for all three films.

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Part of International Collaborations

LUX Scotland works with a range of trusted international partners to deliver projects in Scotland and internationally. Our international collaborations aim to expand the expertise, networks and audiences for Scotland-based artists, as well as bring new international moving image work to Scotland.

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