La Nuit de l’Instant
Friday 11th May
La Nuit de l’Instant invites the viewer to look at varied contemporary practices involving the photographic image in order to question the place and status of photography today.
Works by about 40 artists from around the world will be displayed in over twenty locations, allowing the viewer to move freely and creating colourful and surprising encounters in the oldest neighborhood of Marseille.
Programmed as part of Le Printemps de l’Art Contemporain (Spring of Contemporary Art), La Nuit de l’Instant in Marseille is produced by Le Centre Photographique Marseille, Street Level Photoworks, l’Institut francais, (Ville de Marseille), Mp2018 Quel Amour and the city of Glasgow.
The event will include ‘Love Letters’ a collaboration project between Street Level Photoworks and Le Centre Photographique Marseille which marks Glasgow’s links with its twin-town of Marseille. The event features new works by Glasgow based artists being premiered or created for this event by Ann Vance, Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte, James Pfaff, Alan Knox, Frank McElhinney, Karen Vaughan and Hanna Tuulikki, alongsideMarseille artists Marie Chéné and Didier Nadeau, Sylvia Donis, Camille Fallet, Valérie Horwitz, Lisa Lucciardi, Flavie Pinatel, and Valentine Vermeil.
Information on the Scottish Work - ‘The Cradle’ by Kotryna Ula Kiliulyte, is a work in progress made from a residency in Marseille which looks at plant migrations through botanical gardens, herbariums and plant science in the age of the Anthropocene. The work engages with the plant kingdom through amateur means: observing, recording, mimicking. It is a consciously non-scientific meditation on migration, climate change, extinction and a search for new ways of coexisting in potential new ecologies.
James Pfaff’s ‘One Day?’ references both camerawork, paintwork and gesture in a performative final love letter on his opus autobiographical project ‘Alex & Me’, a complex journey of emotion referencing an intense encounter and road trip made 20 years ago. The work augments and provides a counterpoint to the exhibition which is currently taking place at Street Level.
‘Living the Dream’ by Ann Vance is a filmic encounter with the abandoned and decaying design studio of Bernat Klein in the Scottish Borders, which – for Vance - stands as a metaphor for the inadequacy of individualism, the artist ‘genius’ and the failure of capitalism to deliver beyond enriching one man. Klein worked a lot with Chanel and had a theory that he could match any woman's most flattering colour by the colour of her eyes.
Hanna Tuulikki’s ‘cloud-cuckoo-island’ is a solo performance-to-camera vocal improvisation, exploring madness and mythology, trauma and psychology, in relation to ‘wildness’ and ‘wilderness’. It references Buile Sweeney, an Irish king who, cursed by a saint, became deranged in battle and levitated, bearing his trauma off to the wilds, wandering bird-like, leaping from place to place, sleeping in thorn trees on the Island of Eigg in the Scottish Highlands.
'Postcards from Scotland in a Time of Crisis' by Frank McElhinney includes digital images by the photographer presented in faux vintage style mimicking the plate cameras of the late nineteenth century when commercial studio photographers in Scotland ran incredibly successful businesses selling prints and postcards that helped shape the world's visual and cultural image of Scotland. A narrative to these states a fact about the place that offers a small jolt of realisation. The work dwells on Scotland’s self-image, and also leads us to question what kind of Scotland we want post-Brexit and potentially post-Independence.
‘Film Stopped’ by Karen Vaughan is presented as a work in progress and takes as its starting point her landscape work, exploring the coastal legacies of Scotland’s north east coast. Marrying and overlaying still with moving images, an intangible blend of colour and monochrome formulates a fusion of emotion, nostalgia and irony.
Alan Knox’s ‘Man in the Moon’ focuses on large format black and white negatives in his family archive, which he has held to the sky so to be backlit with the full Moon’s reflection, with the faces of his ancestor filtering the motion of the lunar orbit. The work seeks to reflect on the lost aura of the work of art caused by mechanical reproduction. In his practice, Knox states that ‘one may become receptive to the loss of the other by investing the lunar satellite with the ability to gaze back at the viewer through the mediation of photography, tracing the timeline of my Grandfather's life.’
The first event took place in Glasgow on Thursday 26th April as a contribution to Glasgow International's Across the City programme, details of that event can be found here: La Nuit de l'Instant
Banner Image: © Ann Vance
Left Image: © Frank McElhinney