Artist James Richards convened an evening of experimental film and music exploring overlapping times and states of hypnosis through loops, repetitions and feedbacks across multiple formats and platforms.
Works included films by Gunvor Nelson, Charlemagne Palestine and Jim Shaw, as well as music by Steve Reich.
Gunvor Nelson was born in 1931 in Stockholm. A pioneering experimental film-maker, Nelson became a key figure in the avant-garde film movement in California in the 1960s. She was a professor at the San Francisco Art Institute until 1992, following which she returned to live in Sweden. Her dream-like films, which address ideas around childhood, identity, gender, ageing and the symbolic forces of nature, include Schmeerguntz (1965), My Name is Oona (1969), Take Off (1972) and Red Shift (1984).
Charlemagne Palestine, born in 1945 or 1947 in Brooklyn, New York, is an experimental composer, visual artist and performer. An influential figure in avant-garde music, Palestine creates intense, ritualistic music, which he calls ‘resonant music’. Palestine’s early tape pieces worked with layered overtones and electronic drones. He is the composer of Strumming Music (1974, reissued on CD in 1991). Palestine has released over 20 solo records and has performed internationally.
Steve Reich, born in New York in 1936, is one of the most influential figures in minimalist music. Reich’s 1988 piece, Different Trains, marked a new compositional method, rooted in It’s Gonna Rain and Come Out, in which speech recordings generate the musical material for musical instruments. His instantly recognisable musical language combines rigorous structures with propulsive rhythms and seductive instrumental colour. Works by Steve Reich include Music for Eighteen Musicians (1974-76); City Life (1995); and Triple Quartet (1998).
Jim Shaw was born in Midland, Michigan in 1952 and lives and works in Los Angeles. Recent solo exhibitions have been presented at CAPAC Musée d’art Contemporain, Bordeaux (2010); P.S.1 MoMA, New York (2007) and the Swiss Institute, New York (2002). His work & performances has been included in group shows such as Artissima: Blinding the Ears, Teatro Carignano, Turin, Italy (2009); Le Printemps de Septembre, Les Abattoirs, Toulouse, France (2009); Disparities & Deformations, SITE Santa Fe Biennial, Santa Fe, New Mexico (2004); (The World May Be) Fantastic, Biennale of Sydney, Australia (2002); and the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York (1991, 2002).
Park Nights is an annual series of music, theatre, performances, talks and film screenings staged on Friday nights in the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion, designed in 2010 by Jean Nouvel. Park Nights culminated on the weekend of 16th and 17th October with Map Marathon, the latest in the Serpentine Gallery’s series of Marathon events, conceived by Hans Ulrich Obrist.