Sense of Place

Katya Chitova, Keira Greene, Ellie Kyungran Heo, Irene Sola, Tereza Stehlikova and Anita Wolska-Kaslow

  • Film still from Grain, 2016 by Keira Greene

    Keira Greene, Grain, 2016, Courtesy of Artist

Past Event

This event was on Thu 1 Dec 2016, 7pm

This event presents poetry by Irene Solà from Catalunya alongside screenings of new work by women artist film-makers from around the world. Each explores the idea of a personal sense of place in relation to often overlooked cultural and social sites – from California and Poland, to Trieste, Russia and East Asia.
Screenings include I Am a Stone by Katya Chitova; Grain by Keira Greene; Island by Ellie Kyungran Heo; Trieste: In-between states by Tereza Stehlikova; and There’s No More Singing by Anita Wolska-Kaslow alongside discussions with the artists.


Poetry / Irene Solà

Solà’s poetry does not think of words merely as a tool of communication, but as a ductile and transformable material. Her poems carry the listener into an unexplored terrain, full of striking and often oppositional images, ironic, naïve, violent and playful, rich in unpredictable consequences and strongly imbued by the landscape and the imaginary of her personal sense of place.

I Am a Stone (2 mins) / Katya Chitova

The words of a stone which, from its perspective, describes its life and doubts, how and from what it became the stone, its view of the surroundings and the impossibility of comprehending its place in it, along with its yearning for a more concrete and larger purpose to its existence. The film premiered in October at the 8th biannual One Take Film Festival in Zagreb.

Totally on Fire (7 mins) / Keira Greene

A conversation across time that restages and exercise from the Esalen Institute, California, in the grounds of the secular community Braziers Park, Oxfordshire. The film pivots around a search for something immaterial. The tension lies in the fact that the actors communicate through a silent game of volleyball, with no net and no ball. Their game is of shared perception. There is a sense of collapsed time in which they lose themselves in a group expression, underpinned by the original Esalen game.

Grain (9.5 mins) / Keira Greene

A filmic portrait of Anna Halprin’s Mountain Home Studio. The studio was built by environmental architect Lawrence Halprin (1916-2009) for his wife, dancer and choreographer Anna Halprin in 1952. The studio is located deep within the enduring redwood and oak trees, on the flank of Mount Tamalpais, Marin, California. The narration is provided by Anna and Lawrence’s daughter, Daria Halprin, an actress, dancer and teacher herself. Grain aligns the historic dance deck to the context of the Californian counterculture movement, through specifically tracing its community, the philosophy taught there and the pedagogy of movement itself.

Island (28.5 mins) / Ellie Kyungran Heo

This film features an island at the southern-most point of South Korea, which requires less than an hour to cover its terrain. On the island, there are two extremely contrasting atmospheres, from crowded hordes to hours of emptiness. These emphasise its position geographically and psychologically as an island.

In a filmic relationship, gazing at some residents on the island, the questions “Where are you now?”, “Why are you here?” and “What happened to you?” would be asked to the film’s subjects, audience, and the director herself.

Trieste: In-between states (18 mins) / Tereza Stehlikova

An impressionistic documentary about Trieste, a city in the north east of Italy. The fascination to visit Trieste came from a conversation the film-maker had with the writer John Berger, on a train from Geneva to Milan, one summer day in 2007. Since that day the desire to visit the city, whose name evokes “tristesse” (the French word for sadness), grew and grew. In 2014, Stehlikova, accompanied by the writer Deborah Levy, finally embarked on a journey to Trieste. The city they encountered was just like Jan Morris describes it in her book, Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere: a liminal place, “a hallucinatory city, where fantasy easily brushes with fact”.

There’s No More Singing (14 mins) / Anita Wolska-Kaslow

An intimate portrait of people living in a Psychiatric Institution in Poland, located 30km from the Russian border. This film explores the subjects of mental illness, their distorted image of selfhood, their sense of place and belonging, deprivation of freedom and longing for acceptance.


About the Artists

Katya Chitova was born in Moscow in 1989, where, after graduating from the study of Architecture, she studied acting at Vakhtangov Drama School. In 2011, she moved to London for an MA at Central Saint Martins. Chitova recently established the first International Experimental Film Festival in Moscow. Contemporary Russian playwright and theatre / film director Ivan Vyrypaev has strongly influenced her creativity in all fields.

Keira Greene works with video, photography, sculpture and live events. Her films often focus on the subjective experience of shared space. In the summer of 2016 she presented a solo show in the Jerwood Project Space and additionally an evening in collaboration with Siobhan Davies for the Jerwood Staging Series. Other recent solo exhibitions include: Show Home; London, STORE; London, and recent screenings at Bolinas Commons, San Francisco, Supernormal Festival, Oxfordshire, Whitechapel Gallery and South London Gallery. Greene holds an MA in Moving Image from the Royal College of Art and a BA in Fine Art from Chelsea College of Art. She is on the board of trustees for the Stuart Croft Foundation, committed to the research of contemporary moving image practice.

Ellie Kyungran Heo is an artist-filmmaker. She makes experimental films by collaging performance with documentary footage of her subject, tracking how her relationship with the subject changes over time, with respect to conflict, intimacy and sensitivity. In so doing, she tries to create a space in which questions relating to the ethical relationship between the subject, the audience and the artist herself can be examined.

Irene Solà is a poet and artist. She studied Fine Arts at the University of Barcelona and at Listaháskóli Íslands, Reykjavik, and an MA in Literature, Film and Visual Culture at the University of Sussex. In 2012 she won the 48th Amadeu Oller Poetry Prize – one of the most relevant poetry prizes in Catalan literature for poets under 30- and published Bèstia (Beast). Solà has also received the Generalitat Grant for Creative Writing 2016, and she is currently finishing her second poetry book, as well as working on an experimental novel and preparing a bilingual anthology (Catalan and Spanish) that will be launched in Spring 2017. She lives and works in London.

Tereza Stehlikova is an artist working primarily in the medium of moving image. Her work is concerned with exploring how our experience is defined by our senses, and how inner states can be communicated via tangible means. She works as a senior lecturer at the University of Westminster, and as a research coordinator at the Royal College of Art, animation department.

Anita Wolska-Kaslow is a debuting filmmaker, and graduated in 2016  from Central Saint Martins. In her films, she is persistent in exploring different ways of creating a narrative through a story and a sound and how can they intertwine in order to achieve complete and insightful representation of the subject.