Immersed in a heady but familiar aroma of turpentine substitutes and brewing latex, with a heavy beat drifting from some corner of activity, we visited the studio’s of the second and third year Fine Art students ahead of their degree show in the summer! In the throws of work, we stopped by to see how it was all going. Amongst the miscellaneous groupings of objects, pink foam and plywood, paint splattered concrete, we asked a few students how their practise has changed over the last three years, particularly in the last few months, when it can feel like things are finally starting to come together.
I make videos, I compose sound and music, and I perform. My work is about addiction, habit, obsession, love, sex and power. It is mainly autobiographical. Two artists I admire at the moment are Ann Hirsch and Ragnar Kjartansson, but more than anything else, it’s my own life and my own relationships that influence me. I’m really attracted to nineties and noughties chart hits. I’ll become obsessed with a single song, and earworm, and this can form the basis for an entire work, just like Saturday Night by Whigfield did.
My current project is a film which contains a lot of nudity and pornography. It might be all about me, but it might also be about my mother. I’ll know once I’ve finished the first rough cut.
I spend less time shooting and recording, than I do editing. I like to recycle older, saved material, and figure things out while I add or discard, layer and shift elements around. My pieces don’t progress linearly but, as I develop them, they expand in various directions. I like to utilize short music samples to create soundscapes for my films, and I often allow the sound to determine the imagery, rather than the other way around.
I think travel broadens the mind? After my Erasmus semester at KABK in The Hague, Amsterdam and other cities in the Netherlands, I spent the summer at home in Switzerland and in Italy. Now I’m back at CSM and have reconnected with my inner Eurobitch, which means I’ve just been making work that is fucking fantastic.
See more here vimeo.com/193145774
Theo Tennant (4D)
I’ve always been quite envious of people who can say with full confidence that they’re a painter or a sculptor. My ‘practice’, if I can call it that, seems to be constantly changing in terms of the medium I work with. There are a few key themes which I always come back to, within which there will be ideas which will influence and drive the way in which I choose to work. The one constant for me seems to be a desire to make films, everything I make is in some way either thought about cinematically or it will be a film or an apparatus to facilitate a film. My work LeisureLand is the starting point for creating a huge physical geography/map of a fictional, stagnant and decaying Utopia of the middle class within which I will eventually set a film. I’m also beginning to play around with making music which I’m really excited to eventually incorporate into my work.
The films of Andrei Tarkovsky and Elem Klimov have had a huge impact on me, as well as more recently the films of Armin Linke, Joanna Hogg, Ben Rivers, Pedro Costa and Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy. Pretty much anything contemporary that is rightly or wrongly labelled as ‘Slow Cinema’ has been a big influence on me.
I’m keen for my work to be communicating outside of an art sphere so the main process for me is to get out in the world and meet people. My entry point into art school was photography and documentary film, so this as a continuous process is key to me being able to do anything remotely creative, even if what I end up making is an installation. The process of filming and taking photos has almost always taken place beforehand. I can’t make work by myself in a vacuum. I need collaboration and if I can’t find it with people in university, I try and find it in the subjects I film and photograph.
I’m currently working on a large scale multi-screened documentary film that I’m hoping will act as an anthropological and ontological study situated in various locations across London. The camera functions – as a mapping apparatus for these spaces – form a cinematic geography in which the subjects of the film are bound. My plans for the future are to continue enjoying making stuff and not lose sight of the fact that at the end of the day it’s just art, so chill.
View more on vimeo.com/193060129