As I write this I’m getting ready to go to a conference about curating video at the University of Westminster. I’m going because I’m part of a team that are preparing to unleash a festival of artists’ moving image work across Cardiff this autumn and I need to feel up to speed with current developments.
Some time ago, when I was still working for the Arts Council of Wales, I noticed that artists’ moving image work was burgeoning in Wales, but there weren’t many platforms for it, despite the very sterling efforts of galleries and arts organisations. I also noticed that it was becoming a key component part of the Artes Mundi prize and exhibition (and the next offering will be no exception) and a chance visit to one of the Artes Mundi lunchtime talks in 2010 started me thinking and led to an article in one of blown magazine’s ezines about what makes this art form special (you’ll have to scroll through to find the story).
While setting up a short-lived commissions pot for artists’ moving image for ACW I’d pulled together a specialist team to deliberate on who should get grants. After we’d doled out the money we all got talking and all felt that there should be somewhere for this work to go. And so Fourth Wall . Pedwaredd Wal CIC was born, and from it Outcasting:Fourth Wall – the aforementioned festival – began to set out its stall, with support from ACW’s festivals fund.
The fourth wall bit might throw readers a bit, but it refers to that moment in a film or a play when a protagonist turns to the audience and speaks to them directly, breaking the narrative spell cast by the more formal story lines of traditional dramas. We feel that artists’ moving image already does that – communicating directly and tapping into the audience’s own experience. And the festival is a physical manifestation of the excellent Outcasting – an international platform for artists’ moving image started by Michael Cousin here in Cardiff. For O:4W Cousin joins Ruth Cayford, of St David’s Hall (and Cardiff Council), to curate the festival, which will manifest in all sorts of places and spaces across Cardiff and link to all the moving image activity going on across Wales.
The festival is programmed across a period of time when there are lots of festivals, exhibitions and events going on across the Welsh capital, and we’re aiming to link in with as much as we can. The aim of the festival is to be as visible and accessible as possible, while giving artists as much creative freedom as we can and getting maximum visibility for this work.
If you’re an artist working with moving image and this sounds up your street then follow this link and let us know what you might propose.
If you’re a rich philanthropist, or a company not clobbered by the recession and wanting association with something that really reaches a public, then please email me (always worth a try).
Our thanks go to the Arts Council of Wales and Cardiff Council, who have clasped us to the bosom of Cardiff Contemporary (partially explained here) and the host of organisations and individuals across Wales who’ve already shown their support. Please keep an eye on the web site (still under serious development) www.4wfilm.org to see how things are shaping up.