The Artist's thoughts on film
Recording media (photography, film and sound recording) have always fascinated me, and as an artist are such a more direct line of communication between the subject and the observer- than the 'representational arts' that rely on language with its codes and conventions. It has no codified grammar, it has no enumerated vocabulary, it does not have very specific rules, but it does have a the same communicative functions that language does.
I am always trying to find' the abstracted reality' of an idea, to portray it simply, formally, and to be still in thrall to 'representation' of the physical manifestations of what is shown. The work of mimesis today is left to the recording arts, and that is why I am drawn to them. No matter how apolitical the producer of the work might be, every work has a political relevance of some sort.
Experimenting out in the city, filming by chance, the political is out there and the camera is there too. For me realism is to let the world around have its say, and film does not completely eliminate the intervention of a third party-between the subject and the observer, but it does significantly reduce the presence of an artist it inevitably introduces.
Realism for me is as Jean Genet has said- ''Ideas don't interest me so much as the shape of ideas''. Film can have a different meaning to any viewer - like poetry, it is using well known signifiers, the English word, the panning of a camera, but the meaning can be otherwise, in the shape of the work.
May Day 2003
The cameraman, (an actor friend), said he would find it difficult to go out and film as I had no purpose, no story no script. It was my idea that the day itself would become a narrative with the two of us out in Soho on 1st of May 2003 with no knowledge of what might happen. My feelings were that we were prisoners to time and place and that would mould us into nature's script whatever we did. I did compromise a little to make him feel more purposeful and said it could be an artist in Soho and what he or she did during one day, buying materials, selling work, meeting other artists and friends. But really I knew that my nature and reality would take over the filming.
From the rushes we made a short film we called 'Mayday 2003'. It was before the Iraq war and there was a big march along Shaftesbury Avenue, 'Not in Our Name'. We were in Dean Street and the 'Sex Workers Union' were dancing. We went to the Colony Room Club and met the poet Oliver Bernard. We were then 'kettled' into Gerry's Club.
This experiment made me realise that I wanted to be behind the camera myself and make my own art films.
We are set in our time, and that is what defines my art, the excitement of exploring the fleeting day and and letting it decide the course of events.