Film Screening: Ink on Film
8 December 2023, 5–6.45pm, Frankopan Lecture Theatre, Jesus College
Join us at Jesus College for Ink on Film, a programme of films celebrating the work of Madelon Hooykaas, including pieces made with her collaborator Elsa Stansfield. The screening will be followed by an in-conversation and Q&A with Hooykaas and the curators of Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends, introduced by Jonathan Tenny.
Films include Horizontal Flow (1977), Point in Time (1987), No Self (2019) and In the Footsteps of Li Yuan-chia and Delia Derbyshire (2020).
This event presents the work of pioneering video artist, photographer and film maker, Madelon Hooykaas.
Hooykaas will introduce each film and join the curators of the Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends exhibition to reflect on her friendship and creative working relationships with Li Yuan-chia, as well as others connected with the LYC Museum, such as the composer and electronic music pioneer Delia Derbyshire and video and installation artist Elsa Stansfield. Hooykaas will screen film works originally shown at the LYC Museum in the 1970s as well as premiere in the UK some recent work.
About Madelon Hooykaas
Madelon Hooykaas, one of the most important video pioneers in Europe. From 1972, she worked intensively with the Scottish artist Elsa Stansfield (1945-2004) as the internationally renowned partnership Stansfield/Hooykaas. She has developed a comprehensive artistic practice related to her art and research through photography, film, video, installation and interactive and performance art. Recurring themes are physical and human landscapes, water and light, memory and presence, loss and abstraction, and minimalism and formalism. Hooykaas’ works are in included in many important international art collections.
Point in Time (1987) 12 ‘ 13” by Stansfield/Hooykaas
The images and sounds by which this video is composed refer to the ‘eastern’ image of harmony, ‘ten chi jin’, which can be translated as heaven, earth and person. The compass that is shown at the beginning of the work indicates – apart from the magnetic nature of the earth and the video material – the reference points of a journey. When a compass needle turns 360 degrees in a magnetic field, the centre becomes the point of orientation.
Horizontal Flow (1977) 15’ (work was shown at LYC in 1977, first video work there)
The horizon is a visual paradox, defined as the circular line formed by the apparent meeting of earth and sky or sea and sky. If one could see this line it would be constantly renewing itself on an ever elusive infinity. Is it then a line? ‘Horizontal Flow’ actually revolves around a location on the South Gare Breakwater near Tees-mouth, North East England. With the camera on a fixed point, Hooykaas/Stansfield made the basis tape of a 360 degree pan, lasting for 15 minutes. They then used this tape to examine on a visual level where the video image structure of lines met and meshed with the lines of the horizon. At this stage, they worked with the tape in the studio, retaping optically from the monitors. The sound of this piece is music and the voice of a local fisherman.
No Self (2019) 1’
This video shows different parts of the artist, the filmmaker, the writer and the shaman and the Buddhist belief that there is No Self.
As above so below (2019) 4’ 47” (premiere UK)
This film is a poetic interpretation of the well know philosophical saying ‘as above so below’. These two are connected according to the age-old Hermetic principle ‘as above, so below’.
The principle also refers to the interconnection of the macrocosm, the universe, with the microcosm, the earth.
In the Footsteps of Li Yuan-chia and Delia Derbyshire (2020) 8’43”
A meditation honouring the friendship and creative working relationships Madelon Hooykaas had with the late Chinese artist Li Yuan-chia (1929–1994) and composer Delia Derbyshire (1937–2001). Drawing from images, text and sound by Li and Delia including footage from Madelons’ own archival collection and footage from The Hubble Telescope. Caro C’s sensitive soundtrack uses piano, prepared piano (including ping pong ball in piano), found sounds, voice and electronics.
Rhizome (2023) 3’ 09” (premiere UK)
In this multi-layered work the artist is discovering the connection between the roots of trees and underground networks humans have created.
Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends
Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia & Friends retraces Li’s commitment to fostering creativity, his interest in play and his investment in new ways of being in the world. Through the LYC, Li showcased Roman artefacts, works by major figures of British modernism, local artists and contemporary practices including kineticism, land art and video. The LYC’s children’s room provided a place for young people to experiment with art making, while craft workshops played host to communities of making. Much like Kettle’s Yard, the LYC also had a library, a garden, and spaces to socialise, transforming how we encounter art.
The exhibition puts the LYC into conversation with Kettle’s Yard. Both projects evolved over time, with collections (in the case of Kettle’s Yard) and exhibitions (in the case of the LYC) being shaped through friendships and personal affiliations, including with the artist Winifred Nicholson, who was an important presence at both the LYC and Kettle’s Yard.
Li’s practice – as both artist and organiser – is at the centre of the exhibition, along with those artists he exhibited at the LYC and those who were part of the cosmopolitan networks he enabled and enriched. Making New Worlds will also include works by contemporary artists reflecting on the afterlives of Li’s work in the present.
Making New Worlds: Li Yuan-chia and Friends has developed in partnership between Kettle’s Yard, University of Cambridge and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art as part of its ‘London, Asia’ project, and is accompanied by a new publication produced by Kettle’s Yard and supported by Paul Mellon Centre.
It is co-curated by Hammad Nasar (Curator, Strategic advisor and Senior Research Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre), Sarah Victoria Turner (Director of the Paul Mellon Centre) and Amy Tobin (Curator, contemporary programmes, Kettle’s Yard).
The Frankopan Lecture Theatre at Jesus College is wheelchair accessible via the West Court pedestrian entrance. There are also wheelchair accessible facilities close to the Lecture Theatre. Please visit the Jesus College website for contact details and further information about the venue.