Games can be played in front of the camera, to provide the viewer with an engaging spectacle. More ambitiously, games can form the structure of a film, and even involve the participation of the viewer. 

Films showing in this section: 

11:04 Sally Potter Play 1971
11:10 Marilyn Halford Footsteps 1974
11:17 Jo Millett and Rob Gawthrop The Miller and the Sweep 1984
11:22 John Wood and Paul Harrison Device 1996
11:26 John Wood and Paul Harrison Three-Legged 1996

Sally Potter Play 1971

7 minutes. Collection: Artist 

Sally Potter films six children - three pairs of twins - playing in the street. She records the scene from an upper window, using two cameras simultaneously. Play reflects Potter’s lifelong interest in choreography, and, particularly in this early work, the exploration of cinematic space. 

Biography:

Sally Potter was born in 1949, and studied at London School of Contemporary Dance. Potter was a founder of dance groups Strider and Limited Dance Company (with Jacky Lansley) and simultaneously began Super8 filmmaking, initially with Mike Dunford. Performance and dance have been central to her short films such as Thriller 1979, and feature films such as Orlando 1992. 

Marilyn Halford Footsteps 1974

6 minutes. Collection: Lux 

Marilyn Halford takes the children’s game Grandmother’s Footsteps as a means of dramatising the usually hidden relationship between film camera and its subject. ‘Footsteps is in the manner of a game re-enacted. The game in making was between the camera and actor, the actor and cameraman, and one hundred feet of film’. Marilyn Halford 1977 

Biography:

Marilyn Halford was born in 1951. She studied at Epsom School of Art and St Martins School of Art. Initially a painter, her films of the mid-1970s often involved a performance element, some of it involving the artist interacting with the projected image. She also worked collaboratively with her then partner, William Raban, notably on the installation Pink Trousers (Acme Gallery) 1977 and the feature length Black and Silver 1981. Since the late 1980s she has returned to painting. 

Jo Millett and Rob Gawthrop The Miller and the Sweep 1984

5 minutes. Collection: Lux

Jo Millett and Rob Gawthrop’s film is a re-make of a British film of 1898 by George Albert Smith in which the miller and the sweep fight each other with soot and flour. In their modern version, the artists show the film in negative and backwards, adding a further reversal to the tonal transformations of the original. 

Biographies:

Jo Millett was born in 1955; Rob Gawthrop in 1953. Both studied at Maidstone College of Art and the Royal College of Art, London. Both are founder members of Hull Time Based Arts. Gawthrop is currently Head of Art at the Hull School of Art and Design. Millett works on WAM! (the Women and New Media project) for Hull Time Based Arts. Much of Millett’s work is installation based, Gawthrop’s involves sound and performance. 

John Wood and Paul Harrison Device 1996

3 minutes. Collection: Lux 

The videos of John Wood and Paul Harrison are actions performed to camera (games), sometimes assisted by the use of some physical apparatus (devices). These sculptural works often come in series, each piece a variation upon, or development of, the initial idea. Rare in games, the participants clearly trust each other. 

Biographies:

John Wood was born in Hong Kong in 1969. Paul Harrison was born in 1966. They studied at Bath College, and have been working together since 1993. Their works are built around performed actions. They are almost invariably short, often serial or episodic, and are usually shown as installations, but have included commissions from television. Harrison lives in Shropshire, Wood in Bristol. 

John Wood and Paul Harrison Three-Legged 1996

3 minutes. Collection: Lux 

Biographies:

John Wood was born in Hong Kong in 1969. Paul Harrison was born in 1966. They studied at Bath College, and have been working together since 1993. Their works are built around performed actions. They are almost invariably short, often serial or episodic, and are usually shown as installations, but have included commissions from television. Harrison lives in Shropshire, Wood in Bristol.