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Our next exhibition

Art at the Frontier of Film Theory

Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen (22 March-24 May 2019)

Our next exhibition

Curated by Oliver Fuke and Nicolas Helm-Grovas in collaboration with Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image and the Essay Film Festival.

This exhibition uses the gallery space to refract the work of Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen through the prism of art. Primarily known as film theorists and filmmakers, engagement with art and artists has always been a central dimension of Mulvey and Wollen's activities. Their numerous documentaries and 'theory films' about or featuring artists are evidence of this, as well as their role as important interlocutors for artists, together with their critical writings, teaching, artwork, and their curating of path-breaking exhibitions like 'Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti' (Mulvey/Wollen, 1982) and 'On the Passage of a Few People Through A Brief Moment in Time: The Situationist International' (Wollen, 1989).

Art at the Frontier of Film Theory presents moving image works, audio recordings, drawings, diagrams, photographs and archival materials in order to map the co-ordinates of two transdisciplinary, overlapping practices. It includes collaborations, conversations and interactions with figures such as Kathy Acker, Victor Burgin, Emma Hedditch, Mary Kelly, Mark Lewis and Kerry Tribe.

As well as proposing that Mulvey and Wollen can be understood within the broader frame of artists or art theorists influenced by feminism and socialism, the exhibition utilises the university context to suggest their important role as teachers of younger artists and the mutual influence between academic and artistic work.

The exhibition is accompanied by a film retrospective, discussion events and gallery workshops, including:

  • 30 April 2019, 6-10pm: Art at the Frontier of Film Theory: Double Screening of AMY! (dir. Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, 1980) and Journeys from Berlin (dir. Yvonne Rainer, 1980) Find out more and book your ticket.
    The idea of this double bill is to emphasise the collaborative nature of Mulvey and Wollen’s relationship with certain key artists, a feature that is illustrated and explored in the current exhibition in the Peltz gallery. 
  • 4 May 2019, 2-5pm: Art at the Frontier of Film Theory: Gallery Workshop with Laura Mulvey (Birkbeck) and Lucy Reynolds (Westminster). Find out more and register your interest, we will contact you one week before the event to confirm your place.
    This small group workshop (maximum 15 participants) will use the materials on display in the gallery as a starting point for asking questions and exploring the themes of the exhibition. 

  • 7 May 2019, 6.30-8.30pm: Art at the Frontier of Film Theory: Curators’ Talk, with Oliver Fuke and Nick Helm-Grovas. Book your place.
    The curators of “Art at the Frontier of Film Theory: the Work of Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen” will give an illustrated talk outlining the rationale and organisation of this exhibition, explaining the kind of curatorial intervention that they were seeking to make, the archive research that went into its planning and realisation, and the nature of their dialogue and collaboration with Laura Mulvey. 

  • 14 May 2019, 6.30-8.30: Laura Mulvey In Conversation: Feminist Film Curating. Book your place
    This conversation will focus on the intervention and activism of feminist film curators seeking to challenge and rethink the canon, from a feminist and later queer feminist perspective, starting with some of Laura Mulvey’s interventions in this area back in the 1970s, and bringing the debate up to date via the work of B. Ruby Rich and contemporary initiatives such as Club des Femmes.

  • 18 May 2019, 2-5.00pm: Art at the Frontier of Film Theory: Gallery Workshop with Catherine Grant (Goldsmiths) and Charlotte Procter (Cinenova/LUX). Find out more and register your interest, we will contact you one week before the event to confirm your place.
    This small group workshop (maximum 15 participants) will use the materials on display in the gallery as a starting point for asking questions and exploring the themes of the exhibition. It will begin in the Peltz Gallery, and then move to a seminar room for further discussion of the points raised by the close examination of the exhibition materials. Led by two eminent archivists and researchers, the workshop is intended to be active, hands-on and participatory, yet with a pedagogical emphasis that is an important part of the exhibition concept as a whole.

  • 23 May 2019, 6.30-8:30pm: Laura Mulvey In Conversation: Film as Theory. Book your place.
    This conversation will explore the idea of “film as theory” or the “theory film”, both specifically in the context of Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen’s work of the 1970s-1980s, and more broadly in other contexts such as the work of Jean-Luc Godard or Harun Farocki, or in some of its contemporary manifestations, sometimes known as the “essay film” or more generally “audiovisual thinking”. 

Past events:
  • 22 March 2019, 2:30-5:00pmRiddles of the Sphinx screening (dir. Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, 1977) Find out more and book your ticket.
  • 22 March 2019, 6-8pm: Exhibition launch and private view. All Welcome. Booking details to follow.
  • 23 March 2019, 2:30-5pm: Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons screening (dir. Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, 1974) Find out more and book your ticket.
  • 25 March 2019, 6-9pm: Crystal Gazing screening (Dir. Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen 1982) Find out more and book your ticket.

Our supporters

The programme as a whole is supported by CHASE, Consortium for the Humanities and the Arts South-East England.