Neuromantics: Cosmic Play screening


“A human being is hardly more cut off from its surroundings than is a naked fire.”

Jacquetta Hawkes, A Land, 1950

The second Neuromantics programme Cosmic Play includes films by Lena Bergendahl, Gabrielle Le Bayon and Margaret Tait along with a selection of documentary excerpts. The works themselves and the processes involved in making them are informed and shaped by the land and the sea – the living environment around us – with acknowledgement to just how porous the divide is between ourselves and our surroundings.

Artists and works:

Lena Bergendahl

The Celestial Equator: Diffractions, HD video, 2012, 11:39 min

The Celestial Equator: Formations, HD video, 2012, 6:02 min

In a modification of the Swedish poet and researcher Samuel von Triewald’s attempt in 1739 to find the origin of the northern lights, Diffractions sets the experiment at a quarter-globe remove from its usual arctic location, on the equator in Kenya. Formations sees the experimentors make, and dive in, seaborne colour clouds. Lena Bergendahl works with video, photography and light installations, often with modified scientific methods as a starting point. She has an MFA from the Royal Institute of Art in Stockholm. 


Margaret Tait

Colour Poems, 16mm, Digibeta tape, DVD, SD Digital file, 1974, 11 min
Nine linked short films: Numen of the Boughs ~ Old Boots ~ Speed Bonny Boat ~ Lapping Water ~ Incense ~ Aha ~ Brave New World ~ Objects Found ~ Terra Firma

Born in 1918 in Kirkwall on Orkney, Scotland, Margaret Tait qualified in medicine at Edinburgh University and a decade later took up film studies at the Centro Sperimentale di Photographia in Rome. Returning to Scotland, she established Ancona Films in Edinburgh’s Rose Street and, in the 1960’s moved back to Orkney where she made a series of films inspired by the Orcadian landscape and culture. All but three of her 32 films were self-financed. She wrote poetry and stories and produced several books including three books of poetry. (Lux presentation)


Gabrielle Le Bayon

A Geometric Space to Fill Up, HD video, 2011, 10:47 min

An observation of the painter Balthus’ home and work place at the end of his life – the Swiss village Rossinière and its surroundings – forms a dialogue with Antonin Artaud’s text about Balthus’ approach to painting. Gabrielle Le Bayon’s films, texts and photographs are centred upon the relationships between political identity, mythology, and landscape as History. She graduated with a BA in Film and Video from the London College of Communication and with a MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art.


Excerpts from John Read’s BBC documentary on Barbara Hepworth from 1961. See the entire film (33 min) in the iplayer archive:


Primitive Technology: Cord drill and pump drill from “Making stuff from scratch in the wild.”


Neuromantics are a screening collective presenting work with an immersive relationship to local and distant places and processes. Each programme is a freestanding session in a series that explores different states of consciousness in space and time; physical and cognitive aspects of artistic- and other types of work; memories and sensations that have been generated through engagement with materials and other beings; and the traces and impressions left by those on the world around us.

27/7/2016, 7.30pm, Lubomirov/Angus-Hughes Gallery, 26 Lower Clapton Rd, London, E5 0PD

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