The Epic Flight: Mare’s Tail

Date: 28 May 2002 | Season: Shoot Shoot Shoot 2002 | Tags:

Tuesday 28 May 2002, at 6:30pm
London Tate Modern

“From one flick of the mare’s tail came an unending stream of images out of which was crystalised the milky way. Primitive, picaresque cinema.” (David Larcher)

An extended personal odyssey which, through an accumulation of visual information, builds into a treatise on the experience of seeing. Its loose, indefinable structure explores new possibilities for perception and narrative.

David Larcher, Mare’s Tail, 1969, colour, sound, 143 min

Reinforcing the idea of the mythopoeic discourse and the historically romantic view of the artist-filmmaker, Mare’s Tail is a legend, consisting of layers of sounds and images that reveal each other over an extended period. It’s a personal vision, an aggregation of experience, memories and moments overlaid with indecipherable intonations and altered musics. The collected footage is extensively manipulated, through refilming, superimposition or direct chemical treatment. The observer may slip in and out of the film as it runs its course; it does not demand constant attention, though persistence is rewarded by experience after the full projection has been endured.

While studying at the Royal College of Art, David Larcher made a first film KO (1964-65, with soundtrack composed by Philip Glass), which was subsequently disassembled and small sections incorporated in Mare’s Tail (a recurrent practise that continues through his later works). Encouraged by contact with true independent filmmakers like Peter Whitehead and Conrad Rooks, Larcher set out on to document his own life in a quasi-autobiographical manner.

Though financed by wealthy patron Alan Power, Mare’s Tail was, in its technical fabrication, a self-sufficient project made before the Co-op had any significant workshop equipment. At times, Larcher was living in a truck, and stories of films processed in public lavatories in the Scottish Highlands do not seem far from the truth.  His relationship to the Co-op has always been slightly distanced, though his lifestyle impressed and influenced many of the younger, more marginal figures.

His next film, Monkey’s Birthday (1975, six hours long), was shot over several years’ travels across the world with his entourage, and this time made full use of the Co-op processor to achieve its psychedelic effect.

Screening introduced by David Larcher.


8mm Films from the London Co-op

Date: 29 May 2002 | Season: Infinite Projection, Shoot Shoot Shoot 2002 | Tags:

Wednesday 29 May 2002, at 7:30pm
London The Photographers’ Gallery

The home movie format of 8mm can empower artists to make extremely personal and direct film observations. Spontaneity and intimacy are inherent to this pocket sized system. This special evening of single and multi-screen small gauge wonders concludes Shoot Shoot Shoot, a major retrospective of British avant-garde film, which screens at Tate Modern throughout May. Many of the makers will be on hand to introduce their work.

David Crosswaite, Puddle, UK, 1968, b/w, silent, 4 min
Mike Dunford, Four Short Films, UK, 1969, b/w & colour, silent, 10 min
Mike Dunford, One Million Unemployed in Winter 1971, UK, 1971, colour, sound-on-tape, 4 min
Jeff Keen, Wail, UK, 1960, colour, silent, 5 min
Jeff Keen, Like the Time is Now, UK, 1961, colour, silent, 6 min
Malcolm Le Grice, China Tea, UK, 1965, colour, silent, 10 min
Annabel Nicolson, Black Gate, UK, 1976, colour, silent, 4 min
Sally Potter, Jerk, UK, 1969, b/w, silent, 3 min (two screen)
William Raban, Sky, UK, 1969, colour, silent, 5 min (four screen)
John Smith, Out the Back, UK, 1974, colour, silent, 4 min

David Crosswaite, Mike Dunford, Malcolm Le Grice, Sally Potter, William Raban and John Smith in attendence.



Date: 1 June 2002 | Season: Shoot Shoot Shoot 2002 | Tags:

June 2002–August 2002

International touring exhibition consisting of eight programmes of single-screen, double screen films and expanded cinema 

May 2002 – London, UK – Tate Modern
June 2002 – Paris, France – Scratch Projections at Centre Wallonie Bruxelles / EOF Gallery
July 2002 – Brisbane, Australia – Brisbane International Film Festival / Institute for Modern Art
July 2002 – Melbourne, Australia – Melbourne International Film Festival / Experimenta / Gamma Space
September 2002 – Berlin, Germany – Arsenal / Deutsche Kinemathek
September 2002 – Karlsruhe, Germany – Kinemathek / Kamera Kunstverein
September 2002 – Frankfurt, Germany – Deutsches Filmmuseum
September 2002 – Bremen, Germany – Kino 46 / Hochschule für Künste
October 2002 – Hamburg, Germany – Metropolis Kino / Lichtmeß
November 2002 – Basel, Switzerland – Kunsthalle Basel / Stadtkino Basel
November 2002 – Barcelona, Spain – Fundació Antoni Tàpies / Hangar
November 2002 – Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain – ARTIUM
March 2003 – New York. USA – Anthology Film Archives / Galapagos Art Space
May 2003 – Manchester, UK – Cornerhouse
May 2003 – Gateshead, UK – BALTIC / Side Cinema
March 2004 – Athens, Greece – Deste Foundation
April 2004 –Tokyo, Japan – Image Forum Festival / Hillside Gallery
May 2004 – Kyoto, Japan – Goethe Institut Kyoto
August 2004 –Seoul, Korea – 1st Seoul Experimental Film Festival