Jarman Now!

The Film London Jarman Award’s new pioneers


    Composite of film stills from Jarman Award touring programme. Featuring works by (top left to bottom right): Julianknxx, Sophie Koko Gate, Karen Russo, Rehana Zaman, Ayo Akingbade and Andrew Black

Past Event

This event was on Sat 11 Nov, 11:30am - 6pm

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Jarman Now! The Film London Jarman Award’s new pioneers

Celebrating the work of the artists shortlisted for Film London’s Jarman Award 2023, we present a day of encounters across the gallery with the shortlisted artists – Ayo Akingbade, Andrew Black, Julianknxx, Sophie Koko Gate, Karen Russo and Rehana Zaman. 

Throughout the day, experience discussions with the featured artists, alongside drop-in screenings of their short films. Films in the programme use animation, analogue film, poetry and choral song to explore narratives around air pollution and inequality, cryptocurrency, the queering of the British countryside and gentrification.    

The winner of the Film London Jarman Award will be announced on the 21 November at the Barbican Centre. The award is presented in partnership with the Whitechapel Gallery and Barbican. 

Talks (Zilkha Auditorium)

11:20 – 11:30 Welcome and Introduction

11:30 – 12:15 Karen Russo in conversation with JJ Charlesworth
Russo and art critic JJ Charlesworth discuss the political themes in her recent work, which delves into the legacies of German Romanticism and the Third Reich. With extracts from Russo’s films including Tet Stadt and Haus Atlantis, they will consider how mysticism and irrationality might be resurfacing in politics today.

12:15 – 13:00 Sophie Koko Gate screening and conversation with Rachel Sale
Koko Gate will present a preview of her 3D animated film Milk Bath 1: Poltergeist in Orange Grove – showing the unworlding of two strangers and their search for intimacy in the abyss. Koko Gate will be in conversation with artist, designer and F.A.T. Studio founder Rachel Sale following the screening.

13:00 – 14:00 Lunch Break

14:00 – 14:45 Julianknxx in conversation with Carine Harmand
Julianknxx will be joined by Tate Liverpool curator Carine Harmand, to discuss his current solo exhibition ‘Chorus in Rememory of Flight’ at London’s Barbican Centre (continues until 11 February 2024), alongside his multidisciplinary practice spanning film, performance, music and poetry.

14:45 – 15:30 Andrew Black artist talk
In this illustrated talk, Black will explore the role of collaboration and experimentation in his moving image work, delving into research into radical rural politics in Scotland and the North of England which have informed his recent films Revenge Fantasy (2019), On Clogger Lane (2023) and Dàn Fianais (2021).

15:30 – 16:15 Break

16:15 – 17:00 Rehana Zaman in conversation with Rasheeqa Ahmad 
Zaman will be joined by herbalist Rasheeqa Ahmad (Hedge Herbs) to discuss their collaboration on the film Alternative Economies (2021), delving further into the possibilities of herbalism and cryptocurrencies to offer alternative networks of exchange and subsistence. Alternative Economies will screen in Gallery 2 at approximately 12:35pm, 2:10pm, 3:45pm and 5:20pm. The speakers encourage you to watch the film in advance to experience their conversation fully.

17:00 – 17:45 Ayo Akingbade in conversation with Simeon Barclay
Akingbade will discuss the themes and interests of her work with artist Simeon Barclay. The talk coincides with the launch of Akingbade’s new book ‘Show Me the World Mister’ co-published by Chisenhale Gallery and Book Works, which will be available in the Whitechapel Gallery bookshop.

Screening Programme (Gallery 2)

Films by the shortlisted artists will be available to view throughout the day in Gallery 2. The programme will loop four times throughout the day:

11:30 – 13:05
13:05 – 14:40 
14:40 – 16:15 
16:15 – 17:50 

Short interviews with the shortlisted artists will be viewable on the monitor in the Whitechapel Gallery foyer throughout the day.

All films in the touring programme are subtitled.

Ayo Akingbade, Jitterbug (2022), 24 mins

Jitterbug chronicles a day in the life of eighteen-year-old student Afeni Omolade, who lives with her parents and younger brother in a Hackney council block. An imaginative departure from the stylistic conventions of kitchen-sink realism, the film is a loving portrait of East London life, moving between familiar streets, homes and classrooms. While Afeni prepares to leave this world behind to study, the family receives news that will change their lives.

Andrew Black, Revenge Fantasy (2019), 13 mins

Revenge Fantasy was filmed around Coulport and the Sound of Raasay, two locations on the West Coast of Scotland where the UK’s Trident nuclear programme is housed. Narrated by dancer/ choreographer Malik Nashad Sharpe (marikiscrycrycry), the film explores exhibitionism, secrecy and shame through a series of abject bodily interactions with the landscape. Travelling through chasms, sinkholes and precipices, animal bodies feature in the film as figures for queer states of excess and duress. Responding to a paranoid anxiety around privacy and surveillance in the specific context of this militarised landscape, the film confronts the dark underbelly of subterfuge and violence explicit in the names of the submarines hidden in the landscape: Revenge, Repulse, Vanguard and Vengeance.

Sophie Koko Gate, Hotel Kalura (2021), 5 mins

An older woman vacations alone on the romantic island of Sicily. She walks into a hotel bar, waiting to be lit. A holiday love story made in the dark hours of lockdown, Hotel Kalura weaves a fantasy romance of cosmic proportions, offering an escape from the banal disappointments of everyday life. Merging the tropes of classic cinema with Koko Gate’s trademark dayglo surrealism, the film sees isolation and longing give way to an ecstatic experience of (n)ever-lasting love.

Julianknxx, Black Corporeal (Breathing By Numbers) (2022), 16 mins

Black Corporeal (Breathing by Numbers) layers poetry, essay, documentary and music to expose the multiple realities of Black life in London and our relationships with the built environment. The film is anchored by the voice of Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, who advocated to have air pollution listed as a cause of death of her nine-year-old daughter, Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah – the first officially acknowledged case in UK history. While honouring a culture of resilience and perseverance, the film highlights the realities of social and environmental poverty in inner cities, which has a disproportionate impact on melanated bodies and working class communities.

Karen Russo, Junkerhaus (2021), 7 mins

Junkerhaus is shot in the former residence of architect Karl Junker (1850-1912) who dedicated his life to building his house in Lemgo, Germany. Junker made his house his life’s work, cocooning himself within a maze of elaborate wood carvings which extended over all floors, furniture and into all corners like a spider’s web. Conjuring a mirage of imagined forms with the physical space, the film plays with reflected and projected light to animate, warp and dissolve the heavy wooden surfaces and structures, to produce a fluid environment that offers a new appreciation of Junker’s architecture as mystical and visionary experience.

Rehana Zaman, Alternative Economies (2021), 28 mins

Made in conversation with herbalist Rasheeqa Ahmad and financial services regulator Rachel Bardiger, Alternative Economies reads the imperialist exploits of the Disney character Scrooge McDuck alongside the apparently radical yet deeply compromised promises of cryptocurrency. Between these strands, the practice of foraging and the production of herbal medicine reveal possibilities for an alternative network of exchange and subsistence. Combining observational documentary footage, fragments from ‘DuckTales: The Land of Trala La’ (1987) and direct animation (created by painting on celluloid), the film draws together an unlikely constellation of processes and ideas to find new ways of thinking through our relationship to finite resources.

About the Artists

Ayo Akingbade is an artist, writer and director. She works predominantly with film and installation addressing themes of power, urbanism and stance. Her work has been shown at the Whitechapel Gallery, London; ICA, London and Towner Gallery, Eastbourne. Recent screenings include; New Directors/New Films; MoMA and Directors’ Fortnight; Cannes Film Festival. Her first major solo institutional exhibition, ‘Show Me The World Mister’, opened at Chisenhale Gallery in November 2022 and is touring until 2024, venues include Spike Island, Bristol and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead.

Andrew Black is an artist and filmmaker. He studied at Leeds College of Art and the Glasgow School of Art. His films are portraits of places to which he has a biographical attachment and look at how capitalism, militarism and nationalist ideologies intrude into and shape the land and its inhabitants, and how communities imagine themselves in relation or opposition to this. He was the 2021 recipient of the Margaret Tait Award, and his commissioned film On Clogger Lane premiered at Glasgow Film Theatre, showed at The Tetley, Leeds in 2023, and will show at LUX, London in 2024. His work has shown at CCA Glasgow, Dundee Contemporary Arts and Centre Clark, Montreal.

Julianknxx’s practice merges his poetic work with performance, film and music, seeking to express the ineffable realities of human experiences while examining the structures through which we live. Julianknxx draws on West African oral traditions to reframe how we construct both local and global perspectives. Julianknxx has exhibited and performed in the UK and internationally at Whitechapel Gallery, London; Gulbenkian, Lisbon and Stedelijk Museum, Netherlands. Upcoming exhibitions and performances will take place at Art Basel, Basel; Barbican Centre, London and Tate Modern, London.

Sophie Koko Gate studied at Central St Martins and the RCA, London. She is an artist and filmmaker who specialises in experimental narrative. She hosts her ideas through a recurring set of characters in a parallel universe that runs alongside our own. Her films have been screened at Tate Modern, London; Edinburgh Film Festival; Sundance Film Festival, Utah, USA; BFI London Film Festival; Tel Aviv Festival, Israel; Sydney Film Festival; London International Animation Festival and SXSW Austin Texas, USA. She has won awards at Ottawa Animation Festival, SXSW, GLAS Animation Festival and Indie Lisboa.

Karen Russo’s work uses documentary and narrative in an exploration of how knowledge, perception, and culture intertwine the rational with the obscure. She has exhibited widely including Barbican Centre; Hayward Gallery Project Space; Tate Modern; Delfina; Towner Eastbourne; Athens Biennial; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem and CCA Tel-Aviv. Her films have been screened in international film festivals such as Oberhausen, EMAF, Kasseler Dokfest and Alchemy Film Festival, and her work is included in collections such as the Arts Council and the Tel-Aviv Museum. Recent awards include Swedenborg Festival (2021) and Special Mention Award, Oberhausen Film Festival (2020).

Rehana Zaman is artist an whose work speaks to notions of kinship and sociality, seeking out possibilities of intimacy and transgression within hostile contexts. Conversation and cooperative methods sit at the heart of her films which extend into texts, performances and group work. She has exhibited widely in the UK and internationally. Recent presentations include Serpentine Projects, London (forthcoming); Tromsø Kunstforening; BEK – Bergen Centre for Electronic Arts; British Art Show 9 (touring); ICA Miami; Trinity Square Video, Toronto; Hammer Museum, LA; Borås International Sculpture Biennial, Sweden and Artist Film International Whitechapel (worldwide touring).

About the Event Contributors

JJ Charlesworth is a writer and art critic. He studied art at London’s Goldsmiths College and his reviews, articles and commentaries have appeared in publications including Art Monthly, Time OutArtNet News, the Telegraph and the Spectator. Since 2006, he has worked on the editorial staff of the art magazine ArtReview, where he is currently editor. He has a PhD in art history from the Royal College of Art, and his book on British art criticism in the 1970s will be published by Routledge in 2024.

Rachel Sale is an artist, designer and organiser based in South East London. She has an MA in Visual Communication from the Royal College of Art and currently teaches Illustration at UAL Camberwell. Rachel is also the founder and co-director of F.A.T. Studio CIC, a not-for-profit creative studio based in an old shop on Old Kent Road in London. Sophie Koko Gate is her long-term friend, collaborator and studio companion.

Carine Harmand is a curator focusing on transnational discourses in art history and mainly exploring the work of modern and contemporary artists from Africa and its diaspora. Currently working as The John Ellerman Foundation Curator at Tate Liverpool, Harmand is developing an art project across Tate and the International Slavery Museum on historical and contemporary connections between Liverpool and West Africa. She is also curating the solo exhibition of South African artist Zanele Muholi to open at Tate Modern in June 2024. Another part of her practice focuses on sustainability and climate justice, and she is currently curating a project with RESOLVE Collective at Tate Liverpool about redistribution of resources in the creative sector. Harmand has worked previously as Assistant Curator of International Art at Tate Modern in London, and in a curatorial capacity in Cameroon, Mozambique and South Africa. She holds an MA in Archaeology and Curatorial Studies from the School of the Louvre, Paris and an MA in Modern and Contemporary Art History and Theory from the University of Essex.

Simeon Barclay (b. Huddersfield, 1975) is an artist living and working in West Yorkshire. He studied at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK and Goldsmiths College, UK. Barclay draws on a diverse visual language, activating objects in installations that with humorous undertones come to express the paradoxes and ambiguities of situating and defining ourselves within culture and tradition. He received the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Visual Artists and a Henry Moore Foundation award in 2020. In 2021, Barclay was appointed to the Arts Council Collection Acquisitions Committee, and awarded an Art Fund Commission as part of his inclusion in British Art Show 9. He is currently working on a major commission for Deutsche Bank Art & Culture, and this year his work will be included in the 12th edition of Sculpture in the City and the inaugural Chester Contemporary.

Rasheeqa Ahmad (Hedge Herbs) is a medical herbalist in her community in Walthamstow in North London. She has been practicing since 2012, offering treatment with herbal medicine and teaching about its many aspects, alongside a wider mix of work whose aim is connecting us as communities with the potential of this knowledge and craft as a way to develop healthier living systems and relationships, and address imbalances and inequalities in our care dynamics. Rasheeqa is an instigator of the Community Apothecary in her locality, a project that brings community members together around a patchwork of medicinal herb gardens where we can learn about growing, wildcrafting and making medicines together, which are then available to the community. The vision is to co-create thriving mutual healthcare systems, sharing knowledge, peer support and the model so that we can create landscapes of healing everywhere.

About The Jarman Award

The Film London Jarman Award 2023 | Film London 

Inspired by visionary British filmmaker Derek Jarman, the Award recognises and supports artists working with the moving image. The shortlisted artists illustrate the spirit of inventiveness within moving image, highlighting the breadth of creativity and craftsmanship the medium has to offer, as well as its powerful ability to engage and provoke audiences. The Award comes with a £10,000 prize. 

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