When galleries show film & video by Angela Kingston
Moving House Movies
9 March 2011
We launched APEngine with the Kubrick Archive inspired films made by Animation students at the London College of Communication as a ‘live brief’ project. As part of their latest project, LCC ...
Seeing things as we are…
3 February 2011
Image by Jeremy James with original Photography by Hugo Glendinning Courtesy of Steve Jackman Michael Carlson and Michael Atavar reflect on recent experiences of the intersection between artist ...
Arts Council England axes Animate Projects
28 January 2011
We are very sorry to announce that Animate is likely to close down at the end of March 2011, following Arts Council England’s decision not to fund our 2011 programme. Animate ...
Len Lye at Ikon by Edwin Rostron
26 January 2011
Len Lye - Free Radicals, 1958 The Body Electric runs until 13th February 2011 at Ikon. “Some nights I’d have a dream that my five senses were taken out of my skull, ...
A structure for possible films by Ajay RS Hothi
20 January 2011
Scherzo, Joe Diebes Ryan Tre-who?  Oh, him?  He’s so oh-ten and that was, like, a decade ago or whatever? I think we can take it as read that we are now living ...
When galleries show film & video by Angela Kingston
Long Film for Four Projectors, Anthony McCall, photo by Henry Graber, courte

Long Film for Four Projectors, Anthony McCall, photo by Henry Graber, courtesy of Sean Kelly Gallery

Angela Kingston (with a lot of help from Jennet Thomas and Paul Tarragó) runs through the bad and the good.


The video’s not working.

It’s not working and you’ve told the invigilator, and they say they can’t do anything about it and can you come back and you can’t because you live miles away and you came specially to see it.

The video’s been chosen to boost the number of ‘names’ (especially international ones) at low cost, and it’s using up very little space on a tiny monitor on a stupid little plinth, with a single pair of dangling headphones.

The video’s been projected very, very large to use up a lot of space, because otherwise there wouldn’t be enough work.

It’s sited where if you watch it you’re ‘in the way’ of a flow of people.

There’s nowhere to sit.

You can’t hear it because it’s somewhere noisy — next to another video, or in a corridor, or by the gallery café.

You can’t hear it because it’s been turned down because it’s driving the invigilators crazy.

You can’t hear it because there’s an incredible echo, because (i) the floor is stone or concrete (ii) the walls are stone or concrete (iii) there’s nothing like a carpet, or fabric on the walls, to dampen everything (iv) the speakers are on the floor.

You can’t hear it because there are other films/videos right next to it and everything is bleeding like mad.

At intervals, the invigilator’s radio goes off.

At intervals, the invigilator’s radio goes off and they answer it. (Hayward, you are the worst offender.)

You’ve been on your own looking at something for ages, and at intervals an invigilator comes in to check you’re not doing something weird in there.

It’s a cinema piece and it’s on a monitor.

It’s on a monitor, and it’s opposite a window, and all you can see are reflections.

It’s a projection and the blackout’s rubbish.

It’s a projection and there’s a door that opens all the time and lets in light.

The curator’s totally over-designed it and the videos/films are part of a strange, plastic-looking, revolving display.

It’s an hour-long piece but you’ve got no way of telling this.

It’s an hour-long piece but you don’t know what point it’s at.

It’s an hour-long piece and you arrive halfway through and there’s no one else around but there’s no button to press to start it at the beginning, because of the whole aura of the artwork thing.

It’s an hour-long piece and it suddenly stops after 45 minutes because the gallery is closing.


We’ve never seen a film or video displayed badly at the Serpentine. Anthony McCall’s show was a triumph of technicianing and curating.

We’ve never seen a Bill Viola video badly displayed. His people send out exacting instructions and make sure they’re followed.

We really approve of countdowns. Jordan Baseman, we take our hats off to you.

And a proposal

An annual prize for the best gallery for film and video.

An annual booby prize for the worst.

About the Author: Angela Kingston is a curator and writer.

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