Film Exercise returns with a new season: Freeze-Frames. A three-part series begins with a screening of Naheed Raza’s Frozen in Time (2013, 50mins), followed by discussion.
Raza’s video deepens her exploration of the phenomenon of cryonics. Pioneered in the 1960s by the American scientist Robert Ettinger, cryonics is premised on preserving and storing the human body at sub-zero temperatures in the hope that it can be recovered and reanimated in the future when medical technology is more advanced. Although it can sometimes seem like a product of wacky post-war science fiction, cryonics has quietly sustained itself over the last few decades, bolstered by a growing acknowledgement within the medical fraternity that the point of actual brain death or bodily shutdown is not quite as clear-cut as once was thought. Featuring interviews with leading figures in the field (and members of the public who have requested that their bodies are preserved for posterity), Raza’s video is punctuated with atmospheric footage shot at various cryonics institutes in the USA. Evocative, compelling and strangely affecting, the piece foregrounds the medical, ethical and philosophical uncertainties surrounding the process and contrasts them with the age-old fantasy by which humankind has sought to evade nature’s ultimate limit.
Frozen in Time was commissioned as part of the Jerwood/Film and Video Umbrella Awards: Tomorrow Never Knows, a collaboration between Jerwood Visual Arts and Film and Video Umbrella in association with Centre for Contemporary Arts, Glasgow. Film and Video Umbrella is supported by Arts Council England.
Film Exercise: Freeze-Frames
Film Exercise relaunches with a new research framework. During 2014 we will spend a year exploring film time: Freeze Frames, Burn-Holes, Breaches. Each series of three Film Exercise events will comprise a screening of a long-form film, a screening of artists’ film and video and a round-table discussion event. Film Exercise is curated by Bridget Crone and Al Cameron.