Conflict

These films from different decades reflect artists’ responses to the threat of War and aggression. 

Films showing in this section: 

10:30 Joan and Peter Foldes A Short Vision 1956
10:37 Gorilla Tapes The Commander in Chief 1985
10:41 Rose Finn-Kelcey with Steve Hawley and Harry Walton Glory 1983
11:01 Ann Course with Paul Clark Recruitment Video 2000

Joan and Peter Foldes A Short Vision 1956

10 minutes. Collection: BFI National Film & Television Archive 

Peter and Joan Foldes trained as painters, and this, their second and last film together, is literally an animated painting. Its bleak subject reflects the widespread preoccupation in the 1950s with nuclear annihilation, which in Britain led to the rise of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND). After a decade spent painting in Paris, Peter Foldes returned to film and was one of the first artists to make figurative computer-drawn animation. 

Biography:

Peter Foldes was born in Budapest in 1924. He studied at the Courtauld Institute where he met Joan (born 1924) and the Slade School of Art, London. John Halas encouraged their filmmaking, but after the two London films Peter Foldes returned to painting, and moved to Paris in 1956. He returned to film in the mid-1960s, gaining an international reputation as one of the first artists to make figurative computer-drawn animation. He died in Paris in 1977. Joan has made other animated and live action films and writes poetry. She lives in Paris. 

Gorilla Tapes The Commander in Chief 1985

4 minutes. Collection: Lux 

Gorilla Tapes was the collective name of Scratch Video artists Jon Dovey, Gavin Hodge and Tim Morrison. ‘Scratch’ is the art of ‘sampling’ and repeating found images and sounds, thereby making a new work. With simple video editing equipment and images recorded from television, Gorilla Tapes made sharp satirical and political videos in the early 1980s. ‘Commander in Chief reveals the true message behind the manufactured mediation of news and politics’. Group statement 1996 

Biography:

Gorilla Tapes was formed by three artists who met at a video workshop in Luton, Jon Dovey (born 1955), Gavin Hodge (born 1954) and Tim Morrison, (born 1955). They made an immediate impact with their sharp political tapes, collaged from old film footage and the TV news imagery of the mid-Thatcher years. They are currently working separately in academia and documentary filmmaking. 

Rose Finn-Kelcey with Steve Hawley and Harry Walton Glory 1983

20 minutes. Collection: Lux 

Glory had its origins in a performance Rose Finn-Kelcey gave at the Serpentine Gallery in May 1983, using cut-out clichéd images of war and conflict. She wrote ‘the tape recycles the performance material, returning the displaced cut-outs to the filmic conventions from which they were drawn, but which they now re-inhabit with an uneasy irony and loss of contextual innocence’. 

Biography:

Rose Finn-Kelcey was born in 1945. She studied at Northampton School of Art, Ravensbourne College of Art and Chelsea School of Art, London. A maker of objects, installations and performances, she produced many of her videos as collaborations with other artists, and develop ideas first explored as performances or installations. 

Ann Course with Paul Clark Recruitment Video 2000

3 minutes. Collection: Lux 

Ann Course and Paul Clark’s animations are noted for their graphic and emotional directness. Recruitment Video is their response to the idea of signing up to legalised aggression; in Ann’s words ‘hate-it-all head-stomping for the good-of-all’. 

Biographies:

Ann Course and Paul Clark were both born in 1965. They studied at the Royal College of Art, and live and work in London.