Enjoy FREE access to art film at Firstsite

17 - 30 June 2017 10am - 12:30am


In a new partnership, we are presenting a series of artist-created films commissioned and produced by Film and Video Umbrella, an organisation dedicated to giving the fullest possible expression to the creative voice of the artist.

First up we have:

And If In A Thousand Years by artist Patrick Hough.

Shot on location on the abandoned set of Cecil B DeMille’s epic The Ten Commandments, Patrick Hough’s film uses the re-emergence of DeMille’s abandoned props from the desert sands to question our understanding of originality and authenticity. And If In A Thousand Years was commissioned for the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2017: Neither One Thing or Another, a collaboration between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and FVU.

Daily screenings 10am– 12.30pm 17 June to end of July
Please note the film will not run on 2 or 14 July.

And If In A Thousand Years, Patrick Hough (2017)
When the film-set for Cecil B DeMille’s The Ten Commandments had had its day, it was, like the biblical civilisation it evoked, lost to the sands of time – in its case, deliberately buried, in an act of money-saving expediency, under the dunes of the Southern California desert where the movie was shot. Over the years, though, those shifting sands have gradually exposed this piece of epic landfill, bringing souvenir hunters to gather where archaeologists (or Egyptologists) used to tread.

In Patrick Hough’s video, shot on location at the site, it is not just fake fragments of the past that are disinterred. What hovers over the place is a spirit of uncertainty; one that questions bedrock values like ‘originality’ and ‘authenticity’ and dusts them with other layers of meaning: the extraordinary ease of reproducibility, the spray-on glamour of cinematic semi-celebrity. This spirit of uncertainty is encapsulated by the figure of a sphinx – once part of the décor of the majestic film-set, now wandering in ghostly limbo; haunting the nearby town like a wildcat on the prowl. The sphinx’s hybrid form and cryptic, enigmatic presence is also a symbol of a blurring between the material and the virtual that Hough’s video not only proposes but visibly enacts, using sophisticated digital scanning techniques to suggest the outline of a new technological horizon that is, even as we look back nostalgically at the remnants of earlier eras, writing its own name upon the sand.

About The Artist
Patrick Hough works with moving image, photography, sculpture and installation. His recent work questions the relationship between humans and objects; exploring links between cinema, technology and museology through archives of historical film props.

Hough is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and the Royal College of Art, London. Recent solo exhibitions include; Hierophanies at The Swiss Church, London; Unobservables at Narrative Projects, London; An Archeology of Cinema at Dagestan Museum of Fine Arts, Russia; Once More, with Feeling! at MOT International Project Space, London and Ouarzazate at PhotoIreland Festival, Dublin. Group shows include; Crab Walk at NGCA, Sunderland; Levitate at Museums Quartier, Q21 INTERNATIONAL, Vienna; Verto at Studiocur/art, Paris; H Y P E R C O N N E C T E D at Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Moscow and Above The Black Line at ArtPort Gallery, Tel Aviv, amongst others.

Film and Video Umbrella commissions, curates, produces and presents artists’ moving-image works that are staged in collaboration with galleries and other cultural partners. Since the late 1980s, FVU has been at the forefront of this vibrant and expanding area of practice, promoting innovation through its support of some of the most exciting figures on the contemporary scene. During this time, the organisation has commissioned and produced nearly 200 different artists’ projects, ranging from ambitious multi-screen installations to shorter film and video pieces, as well as numerous online commissions. fvu.co.uk

Jerwood Charitable Foundation is dedicated to imaginative and responsible revenue funding of the arts, supporting artists to develop and grow at important stages in their careers. It works with artists across art forms, from dance and theatre to literature, music and the visual arts. jerwoodcharitablefoundation.org

University of East London, School of Arts and Digital Industries’ Moving Image Research Centre is a flagship research and production facility with large black box studio, which provides a platform for developing, making, presenting and discussing the work of UK-based artists, filmmakers, scholars and partner organisations. The Centre offers state of the art production facilities and a vibrant context for research. uel.ac.uk/mirc