Here we are with Malcolm Le Grice in his studio in Devon.
Louise Curham and I have come to Devon, complete with a big and patient entourage (our families!).
We’re here to visit Malcolm and begin the process of working towards a re-enactment (or an intergenerational handover of sorts) of his Horror Film 1 from the early 1970s. (Here’s a blog post from a year ago where Louise and I ask some questions about this piece and what re-enacting it might involve. And in this page, you can see what we mean by “re-enacting expanded cinema”…)
Malcolm still performs this key work of expanded cinema – in fact there’s been a resurgence of interest and lots of requests for him to do it, ever since the turn of the century.
But in 2010 when Malcolm came to do a screening of his work in Sydney, we started a conversation about his feeling that it might be time to think about turning it over to someone a bit younger. In fact, as early as 2001, he was talking about the need to find an “understudy”:
[source: Malcolm Le Grice, Improvising Time and Image, essay in Filmwaves 14, 2001, p. 14-18]
This project has flowed from the work we did re-enacting Guy Sherwin’s “Man with Mirror”. Our re-enactment of Guys’ piece was first performed in 2009, and we’ll present it in London for the first time very soon – details here.
The Horror Film project, of course, has a range of different challenges and we can’t pre-empt how we’ll resolve them before we jump in and start playing with the work using our own bodies.
However, even before we start, we’ve been really enjoying talking through a whole range of practical and philosophical issues with Malcolm in his studio in Devon – and we also spent some fun days with Steven Ball and David Curtis, in the archives at the British Artists Film and Video Study Collection at Central St Martins College in London.
Here’s Louise in her element rummaging through the compactus with David Curtis, who is the lynchpin of this very important archive: