Tate Modern Film

Emilija Škarnulytė: Sirenomelia & New Mineral Collective: Pleasure Prospects

a big satellite dish with a grey cloudy sky behind it

Emilija Škarnulytė Sirenomelia 2017

Two short video works explore natural environments that are critical to the planet's existence

On the occasion of Power to Change, a programme of art and events that considers the artistic, museum and cultural sectors’, emotional and practical responses to climate and ecological emergency, Tate film highlights the practice of Lithuanian artist, Emilija Škarnulytė.

While a new video-installation by Škarnulytė, Eternal Return, is presented in the South Tank, two previous works by the artist and New Mineral Collective are screened throughout the weekend in the Starr auditorium.

Programme

  • New Mineral Collective, Pleasure Prospects, 2019, HD video, sound, approx. 16 minutes, with subtitles
  • Emilija Škarnulytė, Sirenomelia, 2017, HD video, sound, approx. 11 minutes, with subtitles

Pleasure Prospects

New Mineral Collective is an artist duo formed in 2012 by Tanya Busse and Emilija Škarnulytė. Their work questions geography, landscape, ecology, and human relations with nature. The collective defines their activities as 'counter-prospecting', in opposition to the practice of excavating mineral deposits to mine raw materials.

Pleasure Prospects reflects on the nature of prospecting in a speculative way. Following the artists as they acquire prospecting licenses, the video explores both topographical landscapes and earthly interiors, including Toronto's annual mineral-mining convention. Their headquarters, a sci-fi geodesic dome, is the site where various “geo-trauma healing therapies” are performed, in hopes of finding counter prospects and alternative forces.

Commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art with generous support from the Office of Contemporary Art Norway.

Sirenomelia

Alongside her collaborative practice, Emilija Škarnulytė has developed her own adjacent research for the past ten years, incorporating film and video as an enquiry of the shifting boundaries between ecological and cosmic forces.

Sirenomelia was shot in two locations above the Arctic Circle, which the artist measures with her own body: an abandoned Cold-war submarine base in Olavsvern, Norway, 217 miles north of the Arctic Circle, and the Geodetic Observatory at Ny-Ålesund, Spitsbergen, the most northern permanently inhabited settlement in the world. The work invites us on an audio-visual journey, following the mythical creature of the mermaid which the artist performs by swimming through the decrepit facility, and alludes to the entirety of space beyond human impact.

About Emilija Škarnulytė

Emilija Škarnulytė (born Lithuania, 1987) is an artist and filmmaker. Winner of the 2019 Future Generation Art Prize, her solo exhibition ‘Chambers of Radiance’ opened at the Pinchuk Art Centre in Kiev in 2020. Škarnulytė represented Lithuania at the XXII Triennale di Milano and was included in the Baltic Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Biennial of Architecture. She has had solo exhibitions at CAC, Vilnius and Kunstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, and has participated in group presentations at Ballroom Marfa, Seoul Museum of Art, Kadist Foundation, and the First Riga Biennial. Her films have been screened at the Serpentine Gallery, UK, the Centre Pompidou, France and at film festivals in Rotterdam, Busan, and Oberhausen. She also founded and currently co-directs Polar Film Lab, a collective for analogue film practice located in Tromsø, Norway.

About New Mineral Collective

New Mineral Collective describes itself as ‘the largest and least productive mining company in the world’ and is operated by Emilija Škarnulytė and Tanya Busse. Born in Canada in 1982, Tanya Busse works across the mediums of moving image, installation, and photography. Recent exhibitions include Stone Witness, Nanaimo Art Gallery, Canada; Sacrifice, Röda Sten Konstall, Gothenburg, Sweden; Let The River Flow, Office of Contemporary Art Norway, amongst others. She is also the director of Mondo Books, an independent book platform that publishes and distributes printed materials across the circumpolar north.

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Starr Cinema

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Dates

30 October 2021 at 11.00, 14.00 and 16.00

31 October 2021 at 11.00, 14.00 and 16.00

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