press release

The participating artists in the international group exhibition Celluloid - Tacita Dean - João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva - Rosa Barba - Sandra Gibson & Luis Recoder explore in their work the remarkable qualities of analogue film and the so-called cinematic apparatus. At a time of rapid and almost total digitization of the moving image, these filmmakers and artists focus on the material properties of 16mm and 35mm film. They emphasize the power of the projected image and breathe new life into tangible celluloid.

Some years ago, Tacita Dean, an active campaigner for the preservation of 16mm material, presented her much-discussed installation FILM in the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern. Artist duo João Maria Gusmão & Pedro Paiva create striking installations, working in an artistic and anthropological manner with the medium of film. Italian artist Rosa Barba also explores the peculiarities of 16mm film and projectors in sculptural installations. Luis Recoder & Sandra Gibson use 16mm and 35mm projectors, celluloid strips and deviating lenses to convey the magic of the material in installations and performances.

Among the works on display is the sensational installation FILM, which Tacita Dean made in 2011 for the Turbine Hall at the Tate Modern in London. In remarkable 16mm installations, artist duo João Maria Gusmão and Pedro Paiva work with the medium in a philosophical and anthropological way. Similarly, in Bending to Earth (2015) and other sculptural installations, the Italian artist Rosa Barba plays with the specifities of 35mm film and projectors. Finally, in installations and performances such as Light Spill (2005) and Available Light Series (1999-2016), Sandra Gibson & Luis Recoder convey the magic of the material, making use of 16mm projectors, film strips and distorted lenses.

The exhibition highlights one of the core activities of EYE, which itself possesses a vast collection of analogue films and leads the international field of research into the material aspects of celluloid and restoration techniques.

Accompanying the exhibition is the lavishly illustrated publication Celluloid, published by EYE and nai010, and an extensive programme of films, talks & events.