FILMNIGHT BY MELVIN MOTI AND JOHN SMITH
25 March 2008, 8pm
STADTKINO BASEL (Klostergasse 5)
Entrance fee: CHF 12.- / 6.- for members of the Basler Kunstverein
In loose association with the current exhibitions of Jan Mancuska and Peter Friedl, Kunsthalle Basel presents a film evening in Stadtkino in which the possibility of representation is scrutinized. In their films, both Dutch artist Melvin Moti and British artist John Smith play with the discrepancy between the visual and aural.
Melvin Moti’s No Show (2004) is a 24-minute film based on a guided tour given at the Hermitage Museum in St.Petersburg during the Second World War. Until 1944, the museum removed its collection of paintings and other artworks for safe-keeping, and its galleries were bare save for empty frames hanging on the walls. In 1943 a guide showed a group of soldiers through the vacant rooms, describing from memory the paintings in the Hermitage’s collection including works by Rembrandt and Fra Angelico. Moti presents this historic tour aurally, while the camera is trained on an empty gallery, a backdrop for the imagined works.
In John Smith’s Lost Sound (1998-2001, made in collaboration with sound artist Graeme Miller) the viewer is taken on a 28-minute long journey through the streets of London, from discarded audiotape to discarded audiotape. The music and voices found on these tapes form the soundtrack, together with ambient sound recorded on location. An interesting, uncommon portrayal of London comes about, which not only raises questions about the origin of the tapes and the people who owned them, but also about the diversity of the city, the lifespan of audiovisual material and passing of time – real and cinematic.
Melvin Moti (b. 1977) is a Rotterdam-based artist who works primarily in film, as well as with sound and book works. His work has been shown widely in Europe, including solo exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam; Galleria T293, Napoli; and De Ateliers, Amsterdam. His work has also been shown at the Wattis Institute, San Francisco; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Baltic Triennial; and Witte de With, Rotterdam, among others and will be included in 5. berlin biennial.
John Smith (b. 1952) is a London-based artist, who studied film at the Royal College of Art. Since 1972 he has made over 40 film, video and installations works. His films have been shown in cinemas, art galleries and on television throughout the world and awarded major prizes at film festivals in Leipzig, Oberhausen, Hamburg, Cork, Geneva, Palermo, Graz, Uppsala, Bangkok, Ann Arbor and Chicago. One-person presentations of his work include exhibitions at Ikon Gallery (Birmingham), Pearl Gallery (London), Open Eye Gallery (Liverpool), Kunstmuseum Magdeburg (Germany) and retrospectives at the Venice Biennale and Oberhausen, Cork, Tampere, Uppsala, Regensburg and Winterthur international film festivals. John Smith is Professor of Fine Art at the University of East London.