Programmes of artists’ films are often hit-and-miss affairs, and this 75-minute-long assortment by five international artists, loosely themed around notions of community and collaboration, is no exception. First up is ‘Berlin Says’ by Nasan Tur, in which the German artist spray-paints a white wall with hundreds of graffiti slogans collected from around Berlin, the words gradually overlapping and finally culminating in a dense, illegible mass. It’s good but if only Tur hadn’t edited in a couple of dissolves along the way to speed up the procedure – that somehow feels like cheating.
Two other works – Argentinian artist Ana Gallardo’s film of a 93-year-old man dancing in Sao Paolo’s public squares and Serbian artist Katarina Zdjelar’s study of a Ghanaian orchestra, full of close-ups of battered instruments and weather-beaten faces – are engaging but seem a little unresolved.
Still, that leaves two extremely interesting works. ‘The Attic’, by Italian artist Marinella Senatore, documents a theatrical project in Derby involving thousands of volunteers, blending together the final performance with behind-the-scenes moments – so that it becomes a fun, perplexing, surprisingly touching puzzle to try to locate the kernel of theatrical plot at its heart. Most affecting of all is Jerusalem-born, New York-based Einat Amir’s study of group therapy workshops, in which what initially seem like whimsical roleplay exercises soon become a way for participants to express their most emotional yearnings and struggles.