Jeff Keen: From Raydayfilm to Artwar

Date: 1 May 2002 | Season: Infinite Projection | Tags:

Wednesday 1 May 2002, at 7:30pm
London The Photographers’ Gallery

A special Mayday Rayday expanded cinema performance to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the first Rayday broadsheet. Using 8mm, 16mm and video, Jeff Keen bridges the gap between 1969’s Raydayfilm and his recent Artwar: The Last Frontier. A unique and spontaneous mixed-media collage from Britain’s first and most productive independent filmmaker.

Jeff Keen, From Raydayfilm to Artwar, UK, 1969-2002, colours, sounds, c.70 min (multi-media performance)

“Keen is indebted to the Surrealist tradition for many of his central concerns: his passion for instability, his sense of le merveilleux, his fondness for analogies and puns, his preference for ‘lowbrow’ art over aestheticism of any kind, his dedication to collage and le hazard objectif. But this ‘continental’ facet of his work – virtually unique in this country – co-exists with various typically English characteristics, which betray other roots. The tacky glamour/true beauty of his Family Star productions is at least as close to the end of Brighton pier as it is to Hollywood B-movies… The heroic absurdity and adult infantilism that are the mainsprings of his comedy draw on a long tradition of post-Victorian humour: not the ‘innocent’ vulgarity of music hall, but the anarchicness of The Goons and the self-lacerating ironies of the 30s clowns, complete with their undertow of melancholia.” (Tony Rayns, “Born to Kill: Mr. Soft Eliminator”, Afterimage No. 6, 1976)

This event is related to the Shoot Shoot Shoot season at Tate Modern throughout May 2002.

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