IDIOT BOX: A TV wall curated by Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard
George Barber, Matt Calderwood, Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, Lasse Gjertsen, Jeff Keen, Rob Kennedy / Martin Parker / Sue Tompkins, Wendy Kirkup & Pat Naldi, David Shrigley, John Smith
Last year Iain Forsyth and Jane Pollard made their first feature film, 20,000 Days on Earth, a fictitious documentary about the musician Nick Cave. In the ensuing interviews, they repeatedly returned to talking about their early cinematographic influences. For their fourth exhibition at Kate MacGarry, they have curated a TV wall of short films, which have inspired their practice since they started working together at Goldsmiths in 1992. The exhibition includes their very first film and self-portrait, Chain Smoker Tap Dancer. As a new double-act at art college, they wanted to bring something of their lives before they met in front of the camera. ‘At the time it was a deliberately stupid idea, an idiotic gesture’ say Forsyth and Pollard, ‘but seeing it again now, we’re surprised by how much it looks like ‘art’.’
The films included in the exhibition range from stop animations to static single takes, performances to found footage. Some reference the noise and nature of television, others simply invite enquiry. All of them however, resonate in today’s contemporary YouTube-obsessed culture. They are short, pithy and hard-hitting and are reminders to Forsyth and Pollard of why they first picked up a video camera. ‘We want to pause for a moment’, they say, ‘and build a big, black monument to the Idiot Box in the corner.’
IAIN FORSYTH born 1973 in Manchester, JANE POLLARD born 1972 in Newcastle. Both live and work in London. Their film 20,000 Days on Earth was nominated for Best Documentary at the 2015 BAFTA awards, for the 2014 JARMAN award and won the World Documentary Directing Award and Editing Award at Sundance Film Festival in 2014. Solo exhibitions include Publicsfear, South London Gallery, 2011; Silent Sound, AV Festival, Middlesbrough Town Hall, 2010; An Abandoned Work, BFI Southbank Gallery, London and Performer. Audience. Fuck Off. Site Gallery, Sheffield, 2009.