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Moisander, J., Zeyen, S., Wong, M., Macrae, S., McAlpine, E., Rossi, F., Claerbout, D., 2010.

UnSpooling - Artists and Cinema

Output Type:Exhibition
Number of Works:20

To celebrate 25 years of Cornerhouse, UnSpooling - Artists and Cinema features a gallery exhibition, new production residencies, performances and commissions, expanded cinema event, roundtable discussion, screenings, artists' clinic, critical writing, publication and blog competition.

This major exhibition seeks to re-imagine Cornerhouse Galleries as a fourth cinema space in which to review the relationship and concerns of art and cinema, presenting contemporary artists' current reflections and interpretations of its form. In spite of the inclusion of room-based video installation, an early intention was to establish a critique of this ubiquitous display convention. The black-box/white-cube ideal, in which bite-sized video is commonly framed, assumes a mentally and physically itinerant spectator, superior to the supposed collective passivity in the conventional movie auditorium. Through narrative themes and display strategies, UnSpooling - Artists & Cinema plays with issues of mobility, anxiety and instability in the observer.

Several works feature subversive interpellation of iconic scenes that illustrate the continuing project of contemporary artists to critically recycle and re-present cinema language and history.Our digitally enabled ability to slow, freeze and pore over the image is reflected by artists working in the vast field of appropriated-footage works, with their forensic dissections and stuttering collage. Other works refer to the mechanics, perceptual tricks and inherent physical insecurity of celluloid media.

As part of Abandon Normal Devices, and to mark 25 years of Cornerhouse, it seemed apt to bring artists and spectators together in the act of navigating and constructing cinema to unspool the fundamental illusory nature of celluloid, whilst also challenging the dominant model of digital cinema. Senses of departure and arrival pervade the show; along with a simplicity and dark energy that belies insecurity about the unknown path of future cinema. The acceleration and mutation of cinematic form sampled in the kinds of artistic practice featured in the show, could signal the beginnings of Cinema 4.0.

The exhibition is supported by: Austrian Cultural Forum, Flemish Authorities, Embassy of Finland, FRAME, The Finnish Institute, University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Lincoln School of Art and Design, City Inn, 52 Princess Street