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Free hanging projection by Adam Kossoff

AVPHD-P3 - the exhibition

To celebrate the work made by practice based doctoral students, in 2008 the exhibition Viva, Viva will end the year and the current stage of AVPhD. The work shown comes from post-viva students who have successfully achieved their doctrates hence the title of the exhibition.Having an exhibition as the culmination of the AVPhD years reflects the developing changes to audiovisual and moving image work, in response to the needs of the audience, to new media and to new markets.

Ideas that were perhaps originally planned as single screen projections have been transformed by the possibilities in the development of the ideas as multi-screen, or as stand-alone sound, or as web-based, or as performance based work. Artists and filmmakers are challenging their audiences to experience their work in fresh ways and the AVPhD P3 show gives a wide range of examples to explore this.

Gathering the projects together and deciding on their position in relation the the rest of the work rarely depends on the piece and its content. The elements which concern us in planning exhibitions are often, or can be, obscure, practical or mundane. Questions about space, wall area, sound penetration, light bleed and darkness became paramount for the Viva, Viva show at P3. Videos and films, installations, soundworks and photographic pieces are all included, all with differing requirements. Clearly, if a work has sound, the maker prefers that sound to be audible, not running concurrently with other sound, nor drowned out by it. If the work is multi screen, a space has to accommodate it, and if there are to be regular screenings intended for a seated audience, a small theatre or equivalent has to be found or created.

In P3’s favour was that it is a huge and versatile space hidden under the Marylebone campus of the University of Westminster. The ceiling heights are varied, there is an overhead walkway, which is ideal for gaining an overview of the layout of the work, therefore including ten varied installations and viewing over six full length films should not cause problems. However, deciding how to position the work and how to accommodate such a long viewing programme did feel ambitious. The AVPhD work would have all the challenges of combining disparate work. How it would be put together so that all the work would be shown to best advantage would require some dedication and enterprise.Fortunately the team involved in making the show happen were both versatile and committed. Michael Maziere is P3’s curator and manager with a wealth of experience in presenting successful shows. Zem Moffat, the administrator for AVPhd, organised the artists and contributors to present their work in a way that makes the most of it. The artists, film-makers and audiovisualists showing work in P3 reflect the diversity of both content and form. The installations include multi-screens (Cahal McLaughlin), sound pieces, (John Eacott, John Wynne), work presented on monitors with headphones (Rachel Garfield) and a free hanging screen to be viewed from both sides (Adam Kossoff). Lawrence Cassidy’s ambitious installation about oral history, using cardboard tubes, Super 8 film and a variety of other media needs and Anita Ponton’s performance and its residue, probably represent the extremes of the requirements. Simon Payne’s explorations of colour bars and Nina Simoes interactive CD Rom reflect concerns ranging from the formalism of art video to experiments with the experience of documentary viewing.

The videos show an equal diversity of direction in documentary, ranging from Joram ten Brink’s The Man Who Couldn’t Feel and Other Tales, Carlo Cubero’s video about island musical identity, Carlo y Flores’ Beneath The Cross set in Guatamala, Rosie Read’s Czech film Domov as well as work by Libia Villazana, John Sealey and others. A ‘market place’ where universities, funding agencies and other interested parties could display their wares was included. Viva, Viva welcomed industry, academia and the public.  


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