FÜNF FRAGEN AN CLARE LANGAN
What´s the topic of your art? How do you approach this topic?
I use film as a poetic means to explore concepts of the fragility of the human race, the power of nature, and our interaction and responsibility towards both. For instance, The Floating World comprises of a film in three parts, shot in three distinctly different places, geographically, symbolically and historically. The first section explores the conquering of extreme landscapes driven by a spiritual quest, while the second explores the side tracking of humanity towards things that are more temporal, leading to mankind’s eventual free-fall towards instability. The locations and their symbolism are key to the narrative; the Skellig Islands off the coast of Ireland which was once inhabited by monks; the top of the tallest building in the world, the Burj Kalifa, Dubai; and the destroyed town of Plymouth in Montserrat, Western Caribbean. More recently in Flight from the City, I’ve turned the focus more directly on humanity, and in this case the microcosm of family. Starkly shot in ‘black’ water, this portrait of a mother and child, explores love, loss and transition, resonating with the times we live in.
KINODERKUNST shows fiction, new forms of narration–how is this reflected in your work?
My film and artistic practice spans a number of traditions, cinema, video art, multi-screen installation, painting and land art. Most recently it has expanded to working with performers. For me the ‘narrative’ emerges through the processes of the shoot and very much so in the edit. With my roots in fine art sculpture, I approach film making in a very malleable way, starting with a core concept, which then emerges and develops through the processes I employ. My approach to camera is very experimental and site specific. In this I mean the stylistic format emerges through experimental in-camera techniques, and onsite experimentation. Over the last number of years I have started working with the multiscreen / split- screen. As well as an expanded approach to the cinema space, it lends itself to a different approach to narrative where the formation and content of the screens informs the work. So the narrative emerges through this very open approach to filmmaking.
What movie, director or genre would you name as an exceptional inspiration for you?
Tarkovsky was the first filmmaker that inspired me to want to make films. There are certain scenes in his films that stay with me and no matter how often I watch them, they still inspire me. David Lynch is also an influence. But I’d expand my influences out to video artists like Bill Viola, Isaac Julien, among others. So my films are somewhere between sci-fi and poetic meditations on the human condition.
What's the state of the medium„ film “in the world of art according to you? Where do you think it is heading?
There seems to be a big gap between film artists at the top of their game and how they wish to exhibit their work, and those who are on the margins so to speak. You need the backing of a museum or other financial support, if you wish to exhibit work that is expanding out beyond the boundaries of traditional ways of exhibiting film. Therefore it’s a difficult medium in that respect to achieve what you may wish for. There’s been an emphasis on documentary in the art world for sometime, and I think this will perhaps shift at some point in the future to alternative forms of narrative and ways of dealing with the political and the present.
In 2017 KINO DER KUNST will focus on the present. As an artist working in film, how do you perceive the rapidly changing present?
In my recent works I react quite viscerally to the present and to what is currently taking place in the world. My work doesn’t approach the subject matter in an overtly political way – but in a more poetic, subconscious, experiential way. I consciously avoid a journalistic / documentary or traditional approach to narrative. It is a time of chaos, fear, anxiety and media overload, so for me it’s about finding ways to reflect on the human condition, and essence of who we are, and how to survive in this world, in a non-linear abstract way without mirroring what we see everyday.
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