free-Writers to: Films selected by Andrew Pierre Hart

  • All Rights Reserved; © Elizar Veerman

    Kirtis Clarke, production photograph from I can hear you, but there’s an echo, 2024, film, 23:04 mins. Image courtesy the artist / photographed by Elizar Veerman.


    Faye Craig, still from Sour Days, 2023, film, 5:30 mins. Image courtesy the artist.

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    Serena Huang (黄鹄欣), still from Once Upon A Time, 2024, moving image with sound, 16:51 mins. Image courtesy the artist.

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    Uyota (Francis Onabanjo), still from Under the Hood, 2024, digital cinema, 11:04 mins. Image courtesy the artist.

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    Opper Zaman, still from Undone (Phases in transcendence) – Last Breath/Remembrance, 2020, Moving image and audio, 06:09 mins. Image courtesy the artist.

Past Event

This event was on Sat 27 Apr, 11am - 6pm

Access Information

free-Writers to: Films selected by Andrew Pierre Hart

This free drop-in screening accompanies artist Andrew Pierre Hart’s new commission ‘Bio-Data Flows and Other Rhythms – A Local Story’, on view at Whitechapel Gallery. Hart invites five local and international filmmakers to contribute works which, in different ways, explore varied experiences of contemporary city living.

Among the five films are examples of animation, documentary, storytelling, ‘visual rumination’ and documentation of durational performance. Hart explains: ‘as an artist, I am drawn to the visual approaches that each of these interdisciplinary artists and filmmakers present in their work, which each give a varying perspective on the ideas of “existence” from the point of view of the city dweller. All of the makers consider sound and experiment with strong visual presence in their productions.’

Alongside recent moving image works by Faye Craig and Opper Zaman are films screened here for the first time by Kirtis Clarke, Serena Huang (黄鹄欣), and Uyota (Francis Onabanjo).


Kirtis Clarke

Kirtis Clarke, I can hear you, but there’s an echo, 2024. Film (Direction & Production: SIDE PATTERN; Musical Score: PHANTOM WIZARD; DOP: GIJS DE RANITZ; Sound: TOMEK GÜNZEL; Colour: NAJIM JANSEN; Creative Direction: NISK), 23:04 mins.

A new film based on a site-specific durational performance devised and narrated by Kirtis Clarke. I can hear you but there’s an echo illuminates the issue of the oral tradition – the things that go unsaid – half said, made cryptic. In a state of chaos and disorder, the film depicts a return to the land as a source of knowledge. The work is an extension of the artist’s inquiry into the utterances, gestures and codes identified as performative constituents of a global and ever-present black vernacular. It draws on the artist’s attempts to unearth and make connections between the guiding principles that exist buried beneath the expressions offered to him throughout his life; a tapestry of patois, age-old sayings, bible verses, parental guidance, words from his grandmother, stories about life back-a-yard, London slang, and other-such phrases picked up along the way.

Woven into an open dialogue between him and whoever is listening back, the film acts as a narration for his escape and a guide towards black nomadism. Depicting the felt experience of looking through all of these words; turning the sand, and the literal act of listening – for anything. The performance lands an allegory for the toil of trying to fill in the gaps. I can hear you but there’s an echo is a journey of looking for that which evades detection. It’s an attempt to decipher the static dividing the past and present, and an exploration into the cracks, the clicks, the hums we listen out for in our day to day.

Kirtis Clarke (b.1996, South London) is a visual artist, designer and cultural practitioner living and working in Amsterdam. He works across performance, sculpture and film, where encounters with other artists, friends, family and members of the black diaspora aid in developing new methodologies for creating work rooted in a collective sense of identity. His previous work, Lifetimes Lived Apart, is a visual essay that takes a narrative-driven approach to develop a constellation of reference material, abstract forms, films and audio into a means by which fragmented diasporic knowledge can re-exist in tandem. His work has been shown at Black Cultural Archives (London) following presentations at Dutch Design Week (Eindhoven), HOME x Saint Ogun 1 Year Anniversary Exhibition (London), and the ICF Diaspora Pavilion 2 at Block 336 (London). In addition, he has had performances at Motomond, Amsterdam and Black Wall Street Gallery, New York.

Faye Craig

Sour Days, 2023, Film, 5:30 mins.

Sour Days follows the character of Mirah and her pursuit of a normal day. Exploring the relationship between anguished Mirah, the crumbling city that she lives in and a personification of her mental struggle – an entity called The Others. As she goes about her day, The Others follow, only pushing her anxieties further as she continues to try to ignore them.

Faye Craig is a 2D animator and director. Born in 2001 and brought up in East London, Faye graduated from Leeds Arts University in 2022 and the Royal College of Art in 2023, both with degrees in animation. Faye specialises in dynamic and lively animation that has a soft spot for sweeping transitions. Her work takes inspiration from jungle raves, graffiti observation, songs by the likes of The Specials and Little Simz, as well as Black British culture. Her work often acts as a vessel of speech, enabling conversations surrounding marginalisation, power and the false truths of socio-economic disparity and political pressure. Faye’s practice shares the light and the dark. With a crafted visual style that drips at the edges, and ‘dustlflies’ that follow you to every corner, Faye’s work empowers, embodies and liberates the life of the Black, Beautiful and British.


Serena Huang (黄鹄欣)

Once Upon A Time, 2024, Moving image with sound, 16:51 mins.

Set in a submerged village in Huizhou, China, known as Upper Granary Village, the film draws from a villager’s story about a magician who, between the 1920s-1950s, allegedly turned a fish into a slipper. This act of magic whisks characters into a realm where memories of a specific building diverge, challenging their grasp of reality. It delves into the malleability of truth and storytelling, proposing a world where the past or future is not fixed but is instead a tapestry of individual perceptions, inviting viewers to question the nature of reality itself.

Serena Huang 黄鹄欣 (b.1995)  is a multidisciplinary Chinese artist based in London. She gained an MA degree on Contemporary Art Practice from Royal College of Art, and a BA degree in Fine Art at Chelsea College of Arts and Design. She was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2021, and a recipient of New Contemporaries Digital fellowship 2021. Recent exhibitions include solo exhibition I Saw A Sun And A Moon As I Entered Between The 7th And 8th Rib, Mandy Zhang Art, London; Indoor Weather, CaoChangDi International Art Village, Beijing, and Bloomberg New Contemporaries, Firstsite, Colchester and South London Gallery, London

Uyota (Francis Onabanjo)

Under the Hood, 2024, Digital cinema, 11:04 mins.

Lagos Mechanics: A Portrait of Pride

Under the Hood is a short documentary exploring the bustling mechanic work culture in Lagos, Nigeria. Through interviews and footage from workshops, it unveils the challenges and triumphs of these skilled workers. The film showcases the resourcefulness and ingenuity of Lagos mechanics, who overcome obstacles with limited resources. It also highlights the importance of mechanic workshops as community hubs, fostering camaraderie among locals. Under the Hood celebrates the pride mechanics take in their work, inviting viewers to appreciate their resilience and expertise. It is a heartfelt tribute to the unsung heroes who keep Lagos moving.

Born 15 November 1999, Francis Onabanjo has always been a being of imagination and wonder. Uyota embodies a realm dedicated to creative direction, photography, and, above all, the art of filmmaking. His core ethos centres on elevating the creative process above all else, valuing ideation as the springboard for realizing concepts in their most technically refined form. Rooted in Nigeria’s rich tapestry of colours and experiences, we infuse a touch of surrealism into our projects, paying homage to the innate surrealism intrinsic to our homeland.

Opper Zaman

Opper Zaman, Undone (Phases in transcendence) – Last Breath/Remembrance, 2020, Moving Image and Audio, 6:09 mins.

Undone was made at a time of stillness, as a way to discern these oscillating pendulums of the world that fissions. At the very teardrop centre of the covid pandemic, I searched over with a lens to look for familiar things that are in pursuit of the light when the world was submerged in darkness. Through collecting the various footage and sounds I was in search for a feeling of transcendence.

The film explores certain themes of death, loss and rebirth. The light that traps these flying souls in discordance gazes at a symbiotic relationship between our consciousness being trapped in the RGB of blackness. While the circulating rose is a call for those who have risen to see through the black mirror to find ascension. The film was a gateway process for me to be in a dialogue and to explore the nature of reality in the unseen other, which expands into the works that I am exploring since and yet to discover in the eternal now.

Opper Zaman graduated from an MA in sculpture at the Royal College of Art in 2020. Prior to this, he obtained a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Hertfordshire in 2018. Zaman is working as an interdisciplinary artist and an independent curator between London and Dhaka. His recent Solo took place at a disused tannery complex titled ‘Ascension (Phase III)’, Hazaribagh, Dhaka in 2021. Group exhibitions include ‘Silent Beauty of Bangladesh’, Gallery Sugino, Ginza, Tokyo in 2023, ‘Fantasy of having a trailer wagon all to myself’, Gallery 46, London in 2021, ‘Dirty Hands and Revelations – the great oxygenation event’, Standpoint Gallery, London in 2020.

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