Into Frame, Alex Culshaw, Sun Park, Barry Doupé, Rhea Storr
20.04 — 17.05

Programme 4
11.05 - 17.05 | Now Showing
Rhea Storr

Programme 3
04.05 - 10.05 | Complete
Distracted Blueberry;
Barry Doupé

Programme 2
27.04 - 03.05 | Complete
Now and There, Here and Then;
Sun Park

Programme 1
20.04 - 26.04 | Complete
The Ripple;
Alex Culshaw

The film examines a portrait, which was painted from a photograph after the man himself had died. Henry was made to look a little older. The film describes the portrait to the man, asking how we might approach reanimated images when they are passed again through the film body and projected digitally on the screen.

Some notes on Henry, Rhea Storr, 10 May 2020:

Henry was made with unanswered questions. He is a false apparition I conjured with care and partial truths. He resides in Yorkshire, at least his portrait does, a place that, to my knowledge he never visited. He is for all intents and purposes, the product of my liberties.

Henry is a film, made about a portrait, made from a photograph of my Grandfather, who had died before I was born.  His portrait was aged when it was painted, as if Henry had aged too.

I am interested in practices which re-inscribe what is missing through the image. Saidiya Hartman’s Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments, is a prime example. I spent time photographing and re-photographing Henry’s portrait expecting answers, expecting to understand the man by his image. In that sense, the film is process driven, an excuse to spend time alongside Henry. There is an early experiment of Henry made in black and white on expired film. During processing, the film was inadvertently exposed to light and became solarised, part negative, part positive. The image was too close, unnerving and ghostly, not a form that I wanted to memorialise. I kept the physical frames, as somehow the material presence was less potent, more concrete.

The purpose of the film then, is not to recreate what is lost. Of course, Henry was never mine really. An homage to someone I never knew but wished I did. What does the imaginative, the making of myth contribute in the weaving through these many media-bodies? To me, re-photographing his image does hold power, if only to mark an absence. A marker which conveys more about its creators than its subject. In the manner of Glissant’s opacity, we are often incredibly close to the painterly surface in Henry, so close that the body becomes elusive.

I wanted to use analogue film in particular because it considers surface in a way which digital images often do not. Instead of hiding the means of making and maintaining the illusory nature of world rendered-as-is, the way in which I use 16mm is with an exaggerated grain or surface and an awareness of the other bodies through which the image has passed in order to reach the film. There is also a politics of care to Henry. Using analogue film as an individual artist often requires working under a number of constraints. All the more reason then, to show Henry his value to me, through this imagined reciprocal relationship with the image.

Here’s to you Henry.