Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Wilderness Notes

Over the past few months, Vicky Langan and I have been dropping hints and leaking the occasional image of an upcoming Western we made together. I'm now delighted to reveal the full context of the exciting project our film is part of...

Kirkos Ensemble and the Experimental Film Society are proud to present Wilderness Notes, an exciting collaboration bringing together two of Ireland’s most innovative contemporary arts groups from the fields of music and film.

Wilderness Notes will feature premieres of 3 new films by EFS filmmakers Rouzbeh Rashidi, Maximilian Le Cain and Vicky Langan, and Atoosa Pour Hosseini, created in tandem with new compositions by young Irish composers Barry O’Halpin, Seán Ó Dálaigh, and Robert Coleman which will be performed live by the Kirkos Ensemble.

The three films that comprise Wilderness Notes all explore psychic, territorial and technological margins. Isolated characters, all somehow locked into masks or fixed personae, navigate desolate zones between dimensions where a sense of being physically adrift and at risk is mapped onto a corresponding inner state. But they are not only adrift in space, they are equally adrift in time. Making experimental use of several outdated moving image formats, notably Super-8 and VHS, Wilderness Notes summons up ghosts from an abandoned future, taking its cues from the western, the nightmare of nuclear holocaust and the masks of ancient theatre.

All three of Wilderness Notes’ musical compositions were written to complement EFS’s filmmaking approach. Barry O’Halpin’s is derived from the electromagnetic spectra of 5 chemical elements, resulting in an ethereal and almost alien set of harmonies and moving parts, while Seán Ó Dálaigh pits the ensemble against undulating sine waves and introduces an element of choice into structural repetitions to create a vibrant microtonal universe. In contrast, Kirkos co-director Robert Coleman’s contribution is a song cycle, setting poetry by American poet Morri Creech for voice, ensemble and electronics, examining the states of consciousness that flash beneath the waking mind.

For Wilderness Notes the Kirkos Ensemble will be Miriam Kaczor[flute], Leonie Bluett [clarinet], Máire Carroll [piano], Jane Hackett, Cillian O Breacháin [violins], Nathan Sherman [viola], Yseult Cooper Stockdale [cello], Barry O’Halpin [electric guitar] and Sarah Thursfield[voice].

The collaboration marks a new frontier in the experimental filmmaking and contemporary music scenes in Ireland, combining both groups’ radical approach to presenting their art and engaging with audiences in challenging and refreshing ways.

September 1st & 2nd, Filmbase, Dublin

Wilderness Notes is presented by Kirkos Ensemble and the Experimental Film Society, with support from Ensemble Music and Filmbase, and is funded by Arts Council Ireland.

Book tickets here.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Big News from EFS

Rouzbeh Rashidi has posted the following:

I’m very happy to announce that my long brewing project, the documentary Luminous Void, has received funding under the Arts Council Open Call programme.

Luminous Void will be a poetic examination of experimental filmmaking viewed both through the personal prism of my experience of emigration and through the collaborative consciousness of the Experimental Film Society (EFS) collective, which I founded in 2000. My relocation from Iran to Ireland fourteen years ago gave this project a specific multicultural background that has at least as much to do with the culture of creating cinema on the margins as with either country. This film will examine the existential similarities between living as an artist operating outside the mainstream and the condition of being an emigrant.

Luminous Void will be made in collaboration with several members of EFS and will explore their motivations and working methods. Its form will be poetic and meditative, using documentary portraiture but also landscape to great effect – an essential part of so many EFS films. In so doing, it will reveal an art ultimately not tied to traditional notions of nationhood or national culture but adrift in an indeterminate shadow zone on the edge of society, using film history as its only chart to navigate the increasingly slippery reality of the 21st century.

I’m particularly thrilled that the announcement of this film comes in the run-up to the launch of the book Luminous Void: Experimental Film Society Documents, which will be published later this year. Together, the book and the documentary will provide a comprehensive account of a very specific strand of experimental filmmaking in Ireland which is receiving ever increasing exposure and recognition. EFS has been active for almost two decades now and has produced over fifty feature films and five hundred shorts. Throughout this time, I have carved a unique niche for our cinematic endeavors. Thanks to the tremendous support of the Arts Council, we can now consolidate this legacy and move forward to ever more ambitious projects. Onwards!

To find out more about this and other awarded projects, check out this video:

Friday, June 30, 2017


Now available on VOD!


Self Decapitation (2017, 65 mins) is a Janus-headed self-portrait by Rouzbeh Rashidi and Maximilian Le Cain in which death and desire each take possession of this film in two parts. The ambiguities of inhabiting a human body are conjured by way of film technology in its faults, faulty memories and false promises. There is no escape from its haunting – except perhaps to haunt it in turn…

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

EFS @ GOMA, Waterford

Experimental Film Society (EFS) is pleased to be the subject of a weekend-long event at GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art Waterford) curated by Mick Fortune. Taking place over June 3rd/4th, this will feature the looped projection of three films as well as an artist talk exploring the ideas and history behind EFS.

The films being screened are:

Self Decapitation (2017, 65 mins), a Janus-headed self-portrait by EFS founder Rouzbeh Rashidi and Maximilian Le Cain in which death and desire each in turn take possession of this film in two parts. The ambiguities of inhabiting a human body are conjured by way of film technology in its faults, faulty memories and false promises.

Gleanings (2017, 8 mins) by Atoosa Pour Hosseini in which Super-8 memories emerge and vanish into the imageless texture of scratched celluloid, an object at once very present and channelling long absent moments of ambiguity.

Carcass Programme: Akephalos (2017, 60 mins), the latest in an ongoing series of films edited together from the past work of various EFS members. “Pieced together like cinematic Frankenstein’s monsters, these morbid creations will feed on the flesh of previous EFS films, simultaneously announcing their death and enacting a potentially limitless series of resurrections. Each one will be specifically created for a single venue or event” (Rouzbeh Rashidi). 

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

slips, speaks @ 12 Star Gallery, London

CIT Crawford College of Art & Design, Cork, Ireland
at 12 Star Gallery, Europe House, London

slips, speaks

Jackie Burke, Cat Gambel, Vicky Langan, Max Le Cain
Curated by Pádraig Spillane
Accompanying text by Sarah Hayden

17 – 26 May 2017
Opening Reception with a reading by Sarah Hayden
Tues 16 May, 6:30 – 8:30pm
(RSVP comm-lon-exhibtion@ec.europa.eu)

To mark the 60th anniversary of the founding of what has become the EU, 12 Star Gallery is organizing a season of exhibitions that features students from Europe’s leading art schools.

slips, speaks features four 2017 graduates from the MA in Art & Process at CIT Crawford College of Art and Design in Cork, Ireland. This exhibition explores shifting influences within our contemporary times. It contemplates our present flux with works by Jackie Burke, which give back to us digitally disseminated and mass-consumed images of power, through paint on board. In searching from the present to the past, Cat Gambel’s clay and photographic works interrogate how to represent forgotten individuals from family archives. These works do not provoke reaction but reflection. They want us to take notice of what is hidden in plain sight and for examination to bring understanding and reconciliation.

Vicky Langan and Max Le Cain, working singularly and collaboratively, seek to bring our attention to the passing moments within in our lives. Langan ask us to listen to the sounds of a roof being taken down to be reconstructed, to immerse ourselves in an intimate reorientating of place. Le Cain, with both moving image and stills, creates ambiguous filmic moments disclosing alternatives that reside in every moment. In this respect, the works presented in slips, speaks look beyond the binaries we are fed by seeking ways to connect with others and to ground ourselves beyond the obvious.

Pádraig Spillane is an artist and exhibition-maker based in Cork, Ireland. His work has been exhibited in Kerlin Gallery, Dublin; Treignac Projet, France; and CCA Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland. He has curated exhibitions featuring Viviane Sassen, Dara McGrath, Tom Climent, Miriam O’Connor, Zhang Kechun, and Mariela Sancari. Spillane is a 2012 graduate from the MA in Art & Process at CIT Crawford College of Art & Design.

CIT Crawford College of Art & Design (CCAD) is a vibrant multi-campus College, which has been providing education in the arts for over 200 years. Crawford graduates are among Ireland’s top artists, designers, media designers and communicators, art therapists and art educationalists.

12 Star Gallery, Europe House,
32 Smith Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3EU

10 am – 6pm, Monday – Friday
For private views please contact
+44 (0) 20 7973 1992
or comm-lon-exhibtion@ec.europa.eu

Saturday, April 22, 2017

EFS @ UP Film Institute, Philippines

A programme of Experimental Film Society will be screening at UP Film Institute Film Studio, Quezon City on 27th April 2017 at 17:30. It will be as part the Pelikula Obskura programme organised by Kino Punch Magazine.

Carcass Programme: Relics (2017 / 86 mins / Ireland / 2K)

Created by: Jann Clavadetscher, Michael Higgins, Dean Kavanagh, Vicky Langan & Maximilian Le Cain, Atoosa Pour Hosseini & Rouzbeh Rashidi.

“Pieced together like a cinematic Frankenstein’s monsters, Carcass Programme: Relics is an experimental feature film that has been created from shots and sequences reworked from films from the archive of the Experimental Film Society.”

Address: UP Film Institute Film Studio, Media Center Building, Ylanan Street, University of the Philippines Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

SELF DECAPITATION Premiere @ Guesthouse, Cork

Self Decapitation (2017, 65 mins) is a Janus-headed self-portrait by Rouzbeh Rashidi and Maximilian Le Cain in which death and desire each take possession of this film in two parts. The ambiguities of inhabiting a human body are conjured by way of film technology in its faults, faulty memories and false promises. There is no escape from its haunting – except perhaps to haunt it in turn…

It will premiere at The Guesthouse, 10 Chapel St., Cork on Tuesday 25th at 8 pm.