Open City Documentary Festival

Opening Night: Icarus (after Amelia) + Inner Outer Space

Date
Event has passed
 
Location
Curzon Soho
 

Icarus (after Amelia)
Margaret Salmon | 2021 | UK | 58’ | digital

Filmed during the extended lockdown period – between March 2020 and May 2021 – in and around Govan, Glasgow, Icarus (after Amelia) is a quasi-anthropological study of female labour in contemporary Britain. Against the backdrop of a pandemic which has exacerbated gender inequality, Margaret Salmon uses feminist economic theory to draw attention to gender disparities in waged and unpaid labour – and more broadly to the gendered bias of traditional economic principles. Salmon’s 35mm film portraits of a range of settings including a dentist’s practice, a food bank, a hairdresser’s, a playground, and homes combine the rigour of sociological observation and the intimacy of a closeness to her subjects and subject matter. Inhabited by the spirit of Amelia Earhart, the film is punctuated with images of flight. On its dreamy soundtrack we hear Tracyanne Campbell and Donna Maciocia sing “We are going to make it in a man’s world,” almost like a mantra.

 

Inner Outer Space
Laida Lertxundi | 2021 | Spain | 16’ | 35mm

Laida Lertxundi’s first film since relocating to Spain from California in 2019 is a triptych composed of three independent and yet interrelated pieces – Teatrillo, Inner Outer Space and Under the Nothing Night. A new setting for the filmmaker but the same sun-drenched blue sky and sea. Like all of Lertxundi’s work, Inner Outer Space is a film about relationships – between characters, between characters and landscape, between image and sound – but also, and ultimately, a deconstruction of the production process that highlights materiality and artifice. Just like the blindfolded woman in the film who attempts to orientate herself in a new geography, Lertxundi is learning – through the making of a film – to reacquaint herself with the landscape of her native Basque Country. The concluding chapter – in which two young women perform a mysterious choreography to the projected images of waves – is an outburst of pure feeling.

In partnership with Instituto Cervantes London

Followed by a conversation with Margaret Salmon and Laida Lertxundi


Laida Lertxundi is an artist living and working between Los Angeles, California and the Basque Country. Her work brings together ideas from conceptual art and structural film with a radical, embodied, feminist perspective. Her work has been featured in exhibitions and solo screenings at the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art (2012), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016); the Bienal de La Habana, Cuba (2015);   LIAF, Biennial, Norway (2013); the Lyon Biennale (2013); RedCat, Los Angeles (2018); Walker Art Center (2017); MoMa, New York (2017); Tate Modern (2016); ICA, London (2016); Angela Mewes, Berlin (2020);   National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. (2015); Museo de Arte Moderno, Medellin, Colombia (2015);  Kunstverein, Hamburg (2014), amongst many others. She has had solo exhibitions at Matadero Madrid (2019), LUX, London (2018), Tramway Glasgow (2018), Tabakalera, San Sebastian (2017); fluent, Santander, (2017); DA2, Salamanca (2015); Vdrome (2014); La Alhondiga, Bilbao (2014); and Marta Cervera (2013). Her films have shown in Festivals such as Locarno (2018), Toronto IFF (2016), as New York film Festival (2007, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018); IFFRotterdam (2019, 2017, 2016, 2014, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009); Edinburgh International Film Festival (2014); BAM, Brooklyn (2014); FilMadrid, (2014, 2015, 2016).

Born in 1975 in Suffern, New York, Margaret Salmon lives and works in Glasgow, Scotland. She creates filmic portraits that weave together poetry and ethnography. Focusing on individuals in their everyday activities, her films capture the minutiae of daily life and infuse them with gentle grandeur, touching upon universal human themes. Adapting techniques drawn from various cinematic movements, such as Cinema Vérité, the European Avant Garde and Italian Neo-Realism, Salmon’s orchestrations of sound and image introduce a formal abstraction into the tradition of realist film. Margaret Salmon won the first Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2006. Her work was shown at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and the Berlin Biennale in 2010 and was featured in individual exhibitions at Witte de With in Rotterdam and Whitechapel Gallery in London among others.