The shortlisted artists’ work includes a two-channel Arabic language science-fiction film shot in black and white and a Jarmanesque exploration of gender set in an Art Deco Blackpool cabaret. Feature-length films tell the stories of London’s marginalised underworld characters whilst mesmerising collages combine archival analogue film stock with digital media to explore the history of Black techno music. Innovative collaborative films reveal the experience of autism and identity whilst other works re-stage politically problematic scenes from early 20th Century British and Hollywood studio films.
Adrian Wootton OBE, Chief Executive of Film London and the British Film Commission said:
“With the impact of COVID-19 being felt so deeply by artists and exhibitors, we are more proud than ever to present this year’s Jarman Award shortlist and help raise the profile of this important body of original work, that questions and articulates the world around us. We would like to congratulate all six shortlisted artists and thank our funders, Arts Council England, as well as returning partners Whitechapel Gallery, and Genesis Cinema for all their vital support.”
The winner of the Jarman Award will be announced on 24th November. In the run-up to the event, art and film lovers can explore the work of the shortlisted artists online through a variety of our cultural venue partner websites, including the Whitechapel Gallery website: www.whitechapelgallery.org. In addition, there will be a special weekend of online screenings, discussions and performances featuring all 6 shortlisted artists on 14th and 15th November.
The Jury who selected this year’s shortlist are: Andrea Lissoni, Director, Haus der Kunst, Munich, and Film London Board Member; Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery; Artist and 2019 Jarman Award Winner, Hetain Patel; Shaminder Nahal, Commissioning Editor, Arts and Topical, Channel 4, and Tyrone Walker-Hebborn, Director, Genesis Cinema.
The prestigious £10,000 prize money celebrates the pioneering work of the UK’s foremost artist filmmakers. The artists selected for shortlist this year are:
Michelle Williams Gamaker, Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings, Jenn Nkiru, Project Art Works,
Larissa Sansour and Andrea Luka Zimmerman.
About the 2020 shortlisted artists
Michelle Williams Gamaker works with moving image, performance and installation. Her practice is often in dialogue with film history, particularly Hollywood and British studio films. By restaging scenes to reveal their politically problematic, imperialist roots; her work is a form of ‘fictional activism?’ to recast characters originally played by white actors with people of colour. She combines scriptwriting, workshopping with actors, revisiting analogue VFX and producing props to create intricately staged films.
Hannah Quinlan and Rosie Hastings are an artist duo working in film, drawing, installation and performance. Their work examines the behaviours, history, politics and artefacts of LQBTQ culture in the western context, exploring how this culture is reflective of broader societal structures. Their collaborative practice uses film as part documentary and research, and part cinematic experience with an expert use of sound, colour, and camerawork.
Jenn Nkiru is an artist and filmmaker. Pushed through an Afro-surrealist lens, her practice is grounded in the history of Black music and the aesthetics of experimental film and international art cinema. Her work draws on the Black arts movement and the rich and variegated tradition of cinemas of the Black diaspora and their distinct experimentation with the politics of form. Her work blends elements of history, identity, politics, music, documentary and dance.
Project Art Works is an artist-led organisation working with children, young people and adults and their families, who have complex support needs, bridging their communities of support and the cultural and social care sectors. Project Art Works’ film practice records the impact of urban and natural environments on people with complex needs, helping them to understand more about the people they work with, especially those who do not use language to communicate. Film is also used as a creative device within collaborative studio practice.
Larissa Sansour works mainly with film, and also produces installations, photos and sculptures. Central to her work is the dialectics between myth and historical narrative. Born in East Jerusalem, Palestine, her recent work use science fiction to address social and political issues.
Andrea Luka Zimmerman is an artist, filmmaker and cultural activist whose engaged practice focuses on marginalised individuals, communities and experience. It employs imaginative hybridity and narrative re-framing, alongside reverie and informed waywardness. Creative approaches include long-term observation, intervention, re-enactment and the use of found / archive materials, grounded in an honouring of lived realities. Alert to sources of radical hope, this work prioritises an enduring and equitable co-existence.
About the Award
The Film London Jarman Award recognises and supports artists working with moving image and celebrates the spirit of experimentation, imagination and innovation in the work of UK-based artist filmmakers. The Award is inspired by visionary filmmaker Derek Jarman. The Award is presented in association with the Whitechapel Gallery, London. Now in its thirteenth year, the Award has built an enviable reputation for spotting rising stars of the UK art world. Previously shortlisted artists include Laure Prouvost, Elizabeth Price, Monster Chetwynd, Duncan Campbell, James Richards, Charlotte Prodger, Lawrence Abu Hamdan and Luke Fowler, all of whom went on to be shortlisted for or to win the Turner Prize.
About Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN)
Film London, with funding from Arts Council England (ACE), is a major supporter of artists’ filmmaking, through the Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN). FLAMIN was launched by Film London in 2005 as a one-stop resource to provide London-based artists working in the moving image with access to funding, guidance and development opportunities. Through unique commissioning funds, FLAMIN has commissioned over 150 productions, and supported the careers of countless other artists with programmes of one-to-one advice sessions, residencies and workshops. www.filmlondon.org.uk/FLAMIN