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21.09.16—26.10.16, 9:00am - 5:00pm

This Is Now: Film and Video After Punk — Exhibition

The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art and LUX, the national agency that supports and promotes artists working with the moving image, are pleased to present This is Now: Film and Video After Punk, an exhibition that looks at artists’ film and video from the post-punk era in the UK (1978–85). This period saw an explosion in alternative and experimental filmmaking amongst clubbers, art students, new romantics and members of the post-punk scene, who embraced cheap new domestic technologies and used them to bold and uncompromising effect.

This exhibition, which has been specifically conceived for The Gallery, brings together a selection of work by artists and filmmakers including John Maybury, Cerith Wyn Evans and The Neo-Naturists that explore ideas around identity, performance and technology. Shown alongside original archive material from Study Collection at Central St. Martin and , many of these works have been digitally remastered by the BFI National Archive from Super 8 and 16mm films that have been out of circulation for over 30 years.

This is Now: Film and Video After Punk is a major touring project presented by LUX and the BFI National Archive. The UK tour has been developed with the support of the BFI, awarding funds from The National Lottery. A selection of screenings from the full programme will be shown each week during the exhibition. Please see below for details.

Exhibition opening: Wednesday 21 September, 5-7pm. FREE for all.


Screening Programme

(FREE events, advance booking recommended)

Video Killed The Radio Star? (Cert 12)
Thur 6 October 6 - 7.30pm (72 min)

Early independent video releases were the revolutionary, DIY antidote to a television system that was only just gearing up to a fourth channel. They bypassed censorship and provided a platform to the marginalised and unsanctioned. This eclectic selection includes a very rare John Smith title and punchy, stuttering Scratch Video works by The Duvet Brothers, Kim Flitcroft & Sandra Goldbacher, Gorilla Tapes and George Barber. 
John Smith, Echo and the Bunnymen: Shine So Hard, 1981, 32 min
The Miners’ Campaign Tapes: The Lie Machine, 1984, 16 min
The Greatest Hits of Scratch Video Volume 2, 1984, 28 min

Before and After Science (Cert 15)
Wed 12 October 6 - 7.30pm (78 min)

Grayson Perry, Anna Thew and Steven Chivers conjure strange, new, lo-fi worlds with the help of close friends and collaborators, resisting both modern, Christian patriarchy and the conventions of traditional movie-making. Folk tales and arcane beliefs are re-imagined on Super 8 and London is turned into a bleak, austere, post-apocalyptic world.
Anna Thew, Lost For Words, 1980, 26 min
Grayson Perry, The Green Witch and Merry Diana, 1984, 20 min
Tim Pope, Men Without Hats: Safety Dance, 1982, 3 min
Steven Chivers, Catherine De Medicis Part 2, 1984, 25 min

Entering the Dream Space (Cert 15)
Thur 20 October  6 - 7.30pm (78 min)

Weaving together film and video, often utilising religious imagery and introducing colour effects and surface texture, filmmakers generated a new, vividly transcendental style by the end of the post-punk era. Key examples of this sensual, visually mature work are presented alongside other dynamic, hallucinogenic pieces that explore the dreamlike state.
John Maybury, The Technology of Souls, 1981, 11 min
Sophie Muller, In Excelsis Deo, 1983, 26 min
Cerith Wyn Evans, The Miracle of the Rose, 1984, 25 min
John Maybury, The Union Jacking Up, 1985, 18 min


Curator Talk

The Occult Roots of MTV
Wed 19 October - 5.30 - 7.30pm

In this talk and subsequent discussion, William Fowler, Curator of Artists’ Moving Image at the BFI National Archive, considers the impact of the vibrant, provocative work of the 1980s on the burgeoning pop video world and its most distinctive and visible of platforms: MTV. 

FREE event, advance booking recommended. BOOK TICKET


During Plymouth Art Weekender (23, 24 & 25 September)
The show will also be open for Plymouth Art Weekender on Friday 23 September, 9am - 6pm; Saturday 24 & Sunday 25 September, 10am - 4pm.

What: This Is Now: Film and Video After Punk — Exhibition 

When: Wednesday 21 September to Wednesday 26 October 2016 (Monday-Friday 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-2pm, closed Sunday) free and open to all.

Where: The Gallery at Plymouth College of Art

  • Exhibition / Film Screening / Gallery / Opening
  • The Gallery, Plymouth College of Art, Tavistock Place, PL4 8AT
  • Free