8 October - 27 November 2011
Gathering was an exhibition of two film works by London-based artist Melanie Manchot.
Celebration (Cyprus Street) is inspired by the tradition of street parties in London’s East End and was developed over a period of six months with the involvement of residents of Cyprus Street in Bethnal Green. Reminiscent of newsreel footage and Edwardian event photography, Celebration (Cyprus Street) is filmed as a single tracking shot, culminating in a group portrait that captures the current rich diversity of East End residents following four centuries of immigration.
In Walk (Square) children are shown leaving their schools and heading purposefully toward a civic square in the heart of the city, where they become part of a vast choreographed crowd. Filmed as a live performance in front of the Deichtorhallen Museum in Hamburg, it eloquently captures the power of human action when directed toward a common goal. Walk (Square) is the result of an event constructed by Manchot, but inspired by real situations that involve walking as a form of expression: processions, parades, pilgrimages or protest marches, such as in the recent wave of mass demonstrations across North Africa, the Middle East, mainland Europe and the UK. Both works seek to examine our collective identities, how we behave in public space, and reflect Melanie Manchot’s continued interest in portraiture as a performative event.
Celebration (Cyprus Street) was commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and supported by Arts Council England. Funded by Film London and the UK Film Council Digital Archive Film Fund and supported by the National Lottery.
Walk (Square) was commissioned by Museum Deichtorhallen und Kulturforum21, Hamburg for the exhibition ‘Wunder/Wonder’, Deichtorhallen. Walk (Square) received additional funding from Film and Video Umbrella.
Both works seek to examine our collective identities and how we behave in public space, and reflect Melanie Manchot’s continued interest in portraiture as a performative event.
Melanie Manchot’s work has been exhibited internationally with solo presentations at Haus am Waldsee, Berlin; The Photographer’s Gallery and Whitechapel Gallery, London; Cornerhouse, Manchester. She is represented by Galerie m, Bochum, Germany
Film and Video Umbrella is the UK’s leading agency for the commissioning and production of artists’ film and video work. For over twenty years the organisation has presented a consistently ambitious and engaging programme of contemporary moving image commissions. Delivered in collaboration with galleries and venues across England, Film and Video Umbrella projects bring the most exciting new artists’ moving image work to audiences across the country.
Collective joy and the power of the crowd
Fabrica commissioned John Drury and David Novelli from the School of Psychology at the University of Sussex to write a piece on the current thinking on crowd psychology and how it relates to the two film pieces in Gathering.