February has been a varied month that has seen our team shift focus from weekly filmmaking workshops at John Taylor Hospice to planning the exhibition at St Barnabas, tentatively set for the 28-29th April. Briony has continued to provide individual support to our film-makers, but otherwise we have been preoccupied with planning the exhibition.
For one, there are a number of questions around the ethics of exhibiting these works, and we are striving to do justice to the content we have. First of all however there is the matter of what content we have available to us – as noted last month, one participant has opted to withdraw from the project (so far the first and only one). There are also a few other participants who have not been regular attendees of the workshops and we are only now seeing footage from them.
There has been some anxiety about how many films we would have, with three films seeming too few to fill an exhibition. The answer in that instance, we decided, would be to provide materials and insights from the development of the three films, a kind of making-of or “behind the scenes” access as it were.
While it may seem that a solution could be to not put on the exhibition (and this has been an acknowledged possibility from the very beginning of Life: Moving) the three films we do have confirmed are strong and powerful pieces, made with passion and dedication, whose directors are eager to publically exhibit their work. In this instance we have an ethical obligation, it seems, to screen these films.
Another interesting question that has come up in February is around the form in which we present each film. One film is several hours long in total, while others are under 10 minutes in length. We have had to think creatively as a team – drawing, for example, on Lisa’s expertise in curating art and gallery spaces – about how we might exhibit such a diverse range of work. Multiple screens displaying footage simultaneously, for instance might be a solution to exhibiting a three hour long work. If we want to do justice to the fantastic films created on the project, these are the kinds of challenges we need to overcome.