Monday September 21, 7:30pm
Flatness: Index
Screening of 16mm films and videos by Holly Antrum, Rose Kallal, Duncan Marquiss, Lisa Oppenheim, Nino Pezzella
curated by Shama Khanna
admission $7 – Free-for-Members!


Still from “Catalogue” by Holly Antrum (2012-14) – image courtesy of the artist

Microscope kicks of its 2015-16 Event Series on Monday September 21st with a program of mostly new and recent 16mm film and video works by artists from the UK, Germany and New York curated by London-based Shama Khanna. The works by Holly Antrum, Rose Kallal, Duncan Marquiss, Lisa Oppenheim and Nino Pezzella in “Flatness: Index” involve processes both analog and digital, light, shadows and sound, to create imagery and viewing experiences that often confuse the eye (or the ear) as well as the mind.

“As the possibilities for in-screen image-making increase (now that our index fingers are used for clicking more often than pointing) the relationship of the digital image to its subject matter changes. These five works transverse both realms of analogue filmmaking and the infinite surface of the digital to suggest how our experience of viewing is constantly adjusting to the temporalities of being on and offline; in touch but not touching. What qualities transcend this continual negotiation between surfaces and recover intentionality (of a finger pointing), duration and collective consciousness?” – SK

Flatness is a platform for research into the image and immaterial culture after the internet. The project originated as the thematic program at Oberhausen Short Film Festival 2013 curated by Shama Khanna with Ed Atkins, Andrea Hamilton and Oliver Laric, and has since become a multi-format web (, book and screening event series.

Shama Khanna is supported by an Artists International Development Fund award from Arts Council England and the British Council.

Shama Khanna is a curator and writer based in London where she curates Flatness, a multi-format commissioning project and the subject of her PhD research at Goldsmiths. Khanna has presented screening and discussion events relating to Flatness at venues including Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Chisenhale Gallery, London, Western Front, Vancouver and Moderna Museet, Malmö. Khanna has worked as curator for over seven years successfully facilitating more than 50 artists projects and commissions both independently and as part of organizations including The Showroom, E:vent and LUX / ICA Biennial of Moving Images in London, amongst other collaborations. She teaches at Goldsmiths College, University of London and the University of the Arts, London and is a contributor to ArtReview, Art Monthly, frieze and Aorist, a new collective publication for which she is both a writer and an editor.



Lisa Oppenheim “Smoke” (2011-13)
In Smoke (2011–13) a series of video clips of slowly swelling plumes of smoke flicker past the screen. Oppenheim explains her process whereby, instead of using an enlarger, she used the light from a struck match to expose the 35 mm film she’d shot of stock video footage of smoke – volcanoes erupting and industrial pollution – found on the web. Exposing the negatives to the light from the flame also had the effect of solarizing the prints, producing an inverse or negative image within the image, appearing like a thunderous backlight or silver lining around the clouds.

Rose Kallal “Start Begin, Feel Again” (2012)
Start Begin Feel Again combines abstract patterns, geometric forms and animations, intermixed with clips of Mark Beasley performing a spoken word. Drawing upon minimalism and early electronic music, Kallal uses an analog modular synthesizer to create a hypnotic soundtrack, which along with the repetition of words and images serve to create a hypnagogic sense of time and place.

Duncan Marquiss “Midday” (2011)
Midday follows the artist’s hand as he explores repeating shadows cast by a grass screen. Using an algorithmic flicker editing scheme, the film creates superimpositions and moiré patterns in the viewer’s eye. The simultaneous presentation of multiple camera angles plays with sense of depth, flattening and exploding space in the film.
Nino Pezzella “Cocullo” (2000-06)
For the annual Festa dei Serpari in Cocullo, a statue of San Domenico is adorned with snakes and paraded through the village streets, escorted by bagpipes and a marching band. Traditional foods are prepared using time-honoured methods. Pezzella’s dynamic film collides sounds and images as it follows this extraordinary ritual and its participants.

Duncan Marquiss “Index” (2015)
The work began with an analogy between distressed denim and ‘honest signals’ – a biological term for traits in an animal that are costly to produce and as such are indicators, or an index, of an animal’s health. These signals are often impractical ornaments that advertise ‘good genes’ to potential mates. Similarly, distressed denim is not valued for its protective utility but for its cultural currency. Pre-worn denim may be an honest sign of the economic conditions of a society that can afford to fetishize and manufacture distressed garments. The video features footage of Jay feathers intercut with denim shot under UV light. (Jays see colors in the UV spectrum and the brilliance of the blue feathers is indicator of a bird’s health). Feathers are repeatedly held up before the camera and laid upon each other in an attempt to create interference patterns between the regimented barbs, conflating natural patterning with the weave of the denim twill. This optical and metaphorical moiré is mirrored by the soundtrack of multiple voices and signals drifting out of synch.

Holly Antrum “Catalogue” (2012-14)
Hovering our attention between the near and the far, seriousness and humor, Jennifer Pike (born England 1919, lives Bristol, England) recites the ‘ABC in Sound’ (1964) by her late husband, British sound poet Bob Cobbing (1920–2002). However the experimental film portrait draws attention to lesser-known Pike. With a nod to Pike’s history as a key part of an active group of experimental artists and performers, the film also features strands of sound from her peers and friends Bow Gamelan Ensemble and particularly acclaimed British Jazz saxophonist Lol Coxhill (1932-2012). By exploring a ‘catalogue’ of work and the question of how one might take shape, the film overlaps with questions of growing old as an artist. Overlaying analogue and digital references Antrum thinks about the relationship between the artist-as-subject and the artist-filmmaker.

Marquiss Midday

Still from “Midday” by Duncan Marquiss (2011) – image courtesy of the artist

Lisa Oppenheim was born in New York in 1975. She received a BA in art and semiotics from Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, in 1998, and an MFA in film and video from Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York, in 2001. In 2003, she completed the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program for studio art. Using materials from public archives, photographic anthologies, and the Internet, Oppenheim’s body of work calls attention to the opacity of archived histories when read against their own technical medium. Oppenheim lives and works Brooklyn.

Rose Kallal is a NYC based visual and sound artist. Her performances combine immersive multiple 16mm film loop projections along with live modular synthesis. She has collaborated with various artists including Robert AA Lowe (Lichens), Joe Denardo (Growing), James Ginzburg (Emptyset), and Mark O Pilkington (Urthona). Kallal’s work has been presented internationally at many venues, galleries and festivals that include, CTM Festival (Berlin), Serralves Foundation (Porto PT), Sonic Acts Festival (Amsterdam), Unconscious Archives (London UK), Participant Inc (NYC), Ramiken Crucible gallery (NYC), MoMA PS1 (NYC), Contemporary Museum of Art Bologna (Italy),  Spike Island Art Center (Bristol UK), Wysing Festival (Cambridge UK), Performa (NYC).

Painter and filmmaker Nino Pezzella (b. 1961, Wiesbaden) studied film and cooking at the Städelschule, Frankfurt, where he now teaches life drawing.

Duncan Marquiss (b. 1979, Scotland) graduated from the MFA at Glasgow School of Art in 2005 and undertook the LUX Associate Artist programme 2009-10. Recent projects include; Foraging Economics, an essay for The Happy Hypocrite journal, 2014; Flatness: Cinema After The Internet, International Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen 2013;Information Foraging, film programme for AMIF Tramway, Glasgow 2013. This year Marquiss received the Margaret Tait Award 2015/16 and his recent work Search Film will be screened in Experimenta at the BFI London Film Festival.

Holly Antrum (b. 1983, London). Catalogue (2012-2014) is her 7th artist film-work and featured in her first solo exhibition ‘A Diffuse Citizen’, Grand Union, Birmingham 2014 and was also restaged within ‘The London Open 2015’ at London’s Whitechapel Gallery. She also works with installation, sound, and still images – whilst her work particularly with digitised 16mm film collects a sense of the collaborative and intimate genre of solo film portraiture. Other screenings and group exhibitions include Flatness (, In the House of Mr and Mrs X, Temporary Gallery, Cologne, Germany (all 2013), Apropos the Kissing of a Hand, Festival Robert Walser, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK, SV12, Studio Voltaire, London (all 2012), and the UK touring New Contemporaries 2010. Antrum is a recipient of the ACME London work-live studio residency in Bow, East London (2015-2020). She is a Masters Printmaking graduate of the Royal College of Art (2011).

Microscope gratefully acknowledges the Robert D. Bielecki Foundation as the Official Sponsor of the Event Series

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