ANDREW KÖTTING’s Buoyed By The Irrelevance Of Their Own Significance pays tribute to the startling incongruity of stuffed animals glimpsed on journeys up and down the Essex Road, “buoys of poetic improbability bobbing up and down in a sea of city-life normality.”ANDREW KOTTING is well-known for his poetic-documentaries such as Gallivant, This Filthy Earth and Swandown.
ANNA LUCAS’s film Opi 21, oopsy daisy, tiger lily is inspired by the gallery1s location between a beauty salon and a taxidermy shop and a number of conversations with residents along the Essex Road. This flickering film of still images creates connections between tropical fish, fur and fingernails. Anna Lucas’s practice engages and develops from observations of social networks and individuals in response to specific geographic and architectural locations.
JENNET THOMAS’s film A Tale I Know Nothing About features themes of resurrection, entertainment and death. Inspired by the fantastical Neo-Egyptian Art Deco cinema on Essex Road, once a bingo hall, Thomas weaves a visual poem of pigeon-gods, roving eyeballs, and a dead policeman through animated verses of a Dada-esque nonsense rhyme – a mysterious folk memory that has passed through generations of London playgrounds. Jennet Thomas’s moving image work conjures delirious parallel universes in everyday Britain’s most mundane corners. She makes films, performances and installations exploring the connections between lived everyday, fantasy and ideology.
JOHN SMITH’s film Fresh Fruit Venerable revolves around the deliberate misuse of Word Lens Translator app for smart phones – mistranslations that offer a comic, irreverent and absurd interpretation of shop signs and notices on Essex Road. Much loved for their wit, formal ingenuity and use of storytelling and often rooted in everyday life, John Smith’s meticulously crafted films re-work and transform reality, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema.
Structured around a narrative poem, ALICE MAY WILLIAMS retraces and invokes a personal story of love lost on the Essex Road in On the 73. Photographic images from popular culture tell a story of lesbian desire. Love is thwarted by the excessively efficient 38 bus service. Anecdotal detail (the pub where the man “Who used to be in Coronation Street, Does the quiz on a Tuesday”) intensifies the mood of bittersweet regret. Alice May Williams was selected for this year’s Jerwood/FVU Award; the work she made was a meditation on the changing face of London’s landmark Battersea Power Station – smokestack energy colossus of yesteryear now rapidly transforming into an upscale lifestyle playground of tomorrow.
Curated by Tony Grisoni courtesy of Teresa Grimes and Tintype