London’s ICA Announces Artists’ Film Biennial Opening in May

There will be premieres, rarities, and curated programs.

Seasons of Migration of the North Photo: courtesy the ICA

Lars Laumann, Still from Seasons of Migration of the North (2015)
Photo: courtesy the ICA

The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London is hosting a five-day Biennial of artists’ films opening this May.

The ICA Artists’ Film Biennial 2016, now in its second edition, will explore themes of social and political identity through their program, which will include both new and recent works as well as rare and hard-to-find classics.

“The ICA has a long history of Moving Image events and festivals, there is a historical lineage and commitment; we have the ongoing Artists’ Film Club and this is an extension of it,” Steven Cairns, associate curator of Artists’ Film and Moving Image at ICA, explained to artnet News in an email.

“But we want to respond to the ways moving image has changed and is used in the 21st century,” he added. “We all engage with moving image on a daily basis, more so than any other medium and we want to harness the possibilities that arise from these interactions.”

Ellen CantorPinochet Porn Photo: courtesy the ICA

Ellen Cantor Pinochet Porn
Photo: courtesy the ICA

Although the biennial is centered around artists’ films, there is no restriction on the genre shown. This mean that the programs may also contain everything from music videos to documentaries.

The biennial will include programs selected by Turkish artist Ahmet Öğüt, British installation artist Charlotte Prodger, American Martine Syms, and Ming Wong, whose work is currently on view at the 20th Biennial of Sydney. Another stream of programs will be selected by an international range of curators such as Saim Demircan, Hanne Mugaas, and the collective Radclyffe Hall.

Seasons of Migration of the North Photo: courtesy the ICA

Lars Laumann, Still from Seasons of Migration of the North (2015)
Photo: courtesy the ICA

There will also be profile screenings of work by American artist Ellen Cantor and Norwegian artist Lars Laumann, whose best known work Berlinmuren (2008) depicts the love affair between a woman who goes by the name Eija-Riita Berliner-Mauer and the Berlin wall.

The ICA has also put together three programs through an open call: one to international curators, one to artist-filmmakers, and another which will be the result of an open call to artists of all disciplines who have graduated in the last five years.

“The open call is an opportunity for anyone—not necessarily an exhibition or film curator—to propose a programme,” Cairns elaborated. “It’s quite possible that the most exciting programme may come from a writer or a choreographer for example, and we don’t want to shut out those voices.”

As part of the five-day biennial there will also be two talks on the political and social identities and the moving image on May 27 and 28.

The ICA Artists’ Film Biennial 2016 will be on view at the Institue of Contemporary Arts in London from May 25-29 2016.

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