Curated by James Harding as part of FACT’s experimental and adventurous film programme SEEN – ‘Half Life’ brings together a selection of artists film & video which reflect the production of energy and its expenditure within city spaces.
Mark Aerial Waller’s Glowboys (1999) is a surreal take on nuclear power production and its effect on workers and the surrounding environment. The title refers to the nickname given to the contract employees who would willingly risk greater exposure to radiation.
Uranium Hex (1988) by Sandra Lahire examines uranium mining in Canada with a particular focus on the women who work there and the debilitating effects on health.
Siegfried A. Fruhauf’s La Sortie (1998) takes inspiration from the pioneering Lumière Brothers film – Workers Leaving a Factory first shown in 1894. Through abstract montage the film creates an accelerating pace of visual energy culminating in an evitable breakdown. In stark black and white and colour super 8 film,
Matt Hulse’s elaborate animation Half Life (2004) portrays an imaginary dystopian office environment in which workers are subjected to gruelling routines amidst an atmosphere of arbitrary surges of energy.
Nightwork (1998) by Miranda Pennell contrasts the hyper-real surface appearance of life in the office with the dark interior voices of the people who work there.
In the Vasulka’s video – In the Land of the Elevator Girls (1981) Japanese elevator girls take the viewer on a ride to the various floors of a department store. On arrival the doors open to reveal an assortment of digitally manipulated landscapes on the other side.
Carola Dertnig made A Room with a View in the Financial District (2002) whilst on an artist’s residency at the World Trade Centre in New York in June 2001. Working in abandoned offices high up in both towers she discovered the debris of dot.com failure, the remains of meetings ,lunches and coffee breaks.
‘Half Life’ – SEEN at FACT Wednesday October 4th 2006 starting at 18.30 in the Box
Supported by a grant from Arts Council England.