The works in this sequence were all shaped by a single idea. Their execution involved the recording of a simple action or actions; sometimes this is performed by the camera alone, sometimes with visible human participation. 

Films showing in this section: 

2.48 Yoko Ono and John Lennon Apotheosis 1970
3.08 David Dye Two Cameras 1971
3.12 John Hilliard From and To 1971
3.16 John Blake Untitled (Juggler) 1970
3.21 Mark Neville Jump Film 1996

Yoko Ono and John Lennon Apotheosis 1970

18 minutes. Collection: Yoko Ono 

The idea of filming the ‘release from earthly life’ that is an apotheosis was apparently John Lennon’s. But the simple structure - one idea, one action – is consistent with Yoko Ono’s many other films. The camera rises from the ground in the Market Square in Lavenham, Suffolk, passes John and Yoko, and continues to ascend until the film runs out. 

Biographies:

Yoko Ono was born in Japan in 1933. Ono had already contributed a number of films to Fluxus events in New York, before travelling to London in 1966 to take part in the Destruction in Art Symposium. Remaining in London, she made her celebrated feature No.4 1966 (a longer remake of an earlier Fluxus work), before embarking on even more ambitious films with her new partner John Lennon. John Lennon was born in 1940 and died in New York in 1980. 

David Dye Two Cameras 1971

3 minutes. Collection: Artist 

The Two Cameras which give David Dye’s work its title perform alternate leapfrogging actions as they pursue the same course across a floor. Despite the simplicity of this idea, the image which results as the films are projected side by side presents a complex spatial experience. 

Biography:

David Dye was born on the Isle of White in 1945. He studied sculpture at St Martins School of Art. He showed Super-8mm film sculptures in The New Art at the Hayward Gallery 1972, and was one of the first filmmakers to have work purchased by a national collection - the Arts Council. He teaches at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle. 

John Hilliard From and To 1971

4 minutes. Collection: Artist 

John Hilliard provided detailed instructions to his two camera operators for From and To. One operator was to stand in the middle of a circle and rotate slowly, filming outwards. The other was to film inwards from points on the perimeter of the circle, recording the first. The resulting two films were projected, and each cameraman gave a verbal account of their actions. The work consists of these three divergent records of the same event. 

Biography:

John Hilliard was born in 1945. He studied at Lancaster College of Art and St Martins School of Art, London. Hilliard’s film projects extend the photographic work he was engaged with in the early 1970s, providing ‘evidence of work’ and a ‘primary information source’. Some remained at the stage of text and diagrammatic instructions. Hilliard is currently Head of Fine Art Media at the Slade School of Art, London.

John Blake Untitled (Juggler) 1970

3 minutes. Collection: Artist 

Many of John Blake’s films were originally presented as installations. The projected film and a linear printout of its entire length would be presented in the same space, with a detailed written description. They were ‘works to occupy given spaces for certain limited periods of time’. Untitled (Juggler) shows his interest in film space, created in this case by projecting two images on top of each other. 

Biography:

John Blake was born in Rhode Island, USA in 1945. He studied at Carnegie-Mellon University, Yale University and the Royal College of Art, London. Since the mid-1960s he has exhibited mixed-media work including site specific installations, photo-constructions, films and permanently-sited works. He lives and works in Holland. 

Mark Neville Jump Film 1996

5 minutes. Collection: Artist 

Thirty years after the four preceding films, conceptual film is very much alive. Mark Neville writes of his work: ‘An almost scientific investigation of speed and light allows me to explore more ambiguous subjects. In the case of Jump Film, the subtext was the mythology of the heroic performance artist. My intention was to analyse a subject that could not be quantified scientifically - using scientific equipment.’ 2003 

Biography:

Mark Neville was born in 1966. He studied at Reading University, Goldsmiths College, London, and the Rijksakademie, Amsterdam. He lived in Antwerp from 1996-2002, and now lives in Glasgow. He has worked with many media, including lasers and film.