Laura Mulvey & Peter Wollen

Beyond the Scorched Earth of Counter-Cinema

  • Laura Mulvey and Peter Woolen, Riddles of the Sphinx, 1977, 91 Minutes

    Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen, Riddles of the Sphinx, 1977, 91 Minutes

Past Event

Film Season
Laura Mulvey & Peter Wollen:
Beyond the Scorched Earth of Counter-Cinema

12 May – 22 May 2016

The Whitechapel Gallery presents a season of film and discussion exploring the individual and collaborative films of film theorists Laura Mulvey (b. 1941) and Peter Wollen (b. 1938).

After writing their early influential texts – Wollen’s Signs and Meaning in the Cinema and Mulvey’s ‘Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema’ – they made six films together between 1974 and 1983.

Their varied output might be said to move across – and, in some cases, combine – the genres of documentary, narrative and avant-garde film. This season, which will screen a range of works made for both film and television, marks a return to the Whitechapel Gallery for Mulvey and Wollen, 34 years since their important co-curation of Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti’s work.

Curated by Oliver Fuke.

Events Programme

Screening
Mulvey, Wollen and Art. With introduction by Mark Francis
Thu 12 May, 7–9pm
£9.50 / £7.50 concs
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Screening + Lecture
Beyond the Scorched Earth of Counter-Cinema. With lecture by Volker Pantenburg
Sat 14 May, 11.30am–6pm
£15.00 / £12.50 concs
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Screening
AMY!
and Crystal Gazing. Introduced by Esther Leslie

Sun 15 May, 3–5.30pm
£9.50 / £7.50 concs
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Screening + In Conversation
The Bad Sister. With Laura Mulvey and Diane Tammes
Thu 19 May, 7–9pm
£9.50 / £7.50 concs
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Screening + In Conversation
Laura Mulvey’s Collaborations / The Many Lives of Peter Wollen: Part 1. With Faysal Abdullah, Mark Lewis, Rebecca O’Brien and Witold Stok
Sat 21 May, 11.30am–6pm
£15.00 / £12.50 concs
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Screening
The Many Lives of Peter Wollen: Part 2. With Kodwo Eshun
Sun 22 May, 2–4pm
£9.50 / £7.50 concs
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Offsite Screening
The Many Lives of Peter Wollen: Part 3 – The Passenger
Sun 22 May, 8–10.30pm
Close Up Film Centre, 97 Sclater St, E1
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About Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen

Laura Mulvey is Professor of Film and Media Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. She was Director of Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) from 2012 to 2015. She is the author of: Visual and Other Pleasures (Macmillan 1989; second edition 2009); Fetishism and Curiosity (British Film Institute 1996; second edition 2013); Citizen Kane (BFI Classics series 1992; second edition 2012); and Death Twenty- four Times a Second: Stillness and the Moving Image (Reaktion Books 2006). She has edited: British Experimental Television (co-edited with Jamie Sexton), (Manchester University Press 2007); Feminisms (co-edited with Anna Backman Rogers) (Amsterdam University Press 2015); and Other Cinemas: Politics, Culture and British Experimental Film in the 1970s (co-edited with Sue Clayton), (I.B. Taurus 2017). She made six films in collaboration with Peter Wollen, including Riddles of the Sphinx (British Film Institute 1977; DVD publication 2013), and two films with artist/filmmaker Mark Lewis.

Peter Wollen was a radical filmmaker, film theorist, and screenwriter, whose crucial book, Signs and Meaning in the Cinema (1969/72/98), continues to challenge and provoke. He co-wrote the screenplay for Michelangelo Antonioni’s The Passenger (1975) and subsequently worked outside mainstream cinema, collaborating on six films with Laura Mulvey. His only solo feature, Friendship’s Death (1987) stars Tilda Swinton as an extraterrestrial. He wrote a BFI Classic on Singin’ in the Rain, and his book, Raiding the Icebox (1993), is an alternative history of 20th century art. His expansive interests included organizing paradigm-shifting art exhibitions, such as Frida Kahlo and Tina Modotti (1982) and On the Passage of a Few People Through a Brief Moment in Time: The Situationist International (1989). 

About Oliver Fuke

Oliver Fuke is an independent researcher and curator. He co-runs [Again] – an organisation seeking to foster an independent intellectual community in London – and is the Gallery Manager for Jerwood Visual Arts. He previously studied Visual Cultures and Modern European Philosophy.

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