Mark Lewis (2009)

University of Brighton Gallery
Friday 20 November – Saturday 12 December 2009

CINECITY presented works by the internationally renowned artist Mark Lewis as part of the 2009 festival.

Mark Lewis’ films explore the intriguing relationships between film, space, place and time with cityscapes as a recurring subject

I think my films have become increasingly about trying to understand if the pictorial tradition (as found in painting and photography) can continue through film, and if so, how that tradition itself has been transformed by film.”

Lewis’ carefully crafted and meditative films have high production values employing ‘pure’ cinema techniques reminiscent of classic movie-making such as 360-degree degree pans, tracks and back projection. Lewis represented Canada at the 2009 Venice Biennale and has exhibited widely including BFI Southbank, Vancouver Art Gallery, Whitney Museum of American Art, Tate Britain and the Centre Pompidou, Paris.

The Works

HENDON FC (2009)
Specially made for the exhibition, Hendon FC (2009) was shot on a football field in suburban northwest London. It is shot at the familiar pace found throughout Lewis’ work. The camera sets a scene, panning the circumference of the sun-lit urban landscape, slowly moving through 360-degrees of its maximum and minimum elevation. Sweeping across an abandoned football pitch and the daily lives of Romany families, who’ve now settled and live in the overgrown enclosure, where terraces have become vacant and overrun with weeds.

Shown for the first time in the UK following its premiere at Venice Biennale. An ultra-modern and seemingly romantic scene of a couple skating together, set at night in a skating rink in Toronto. It takes a second to realise it is not real, that the background is a rear projection and the lighting on the two figures doesn’t match what’s behind them. Mark Lewis has always been interested in the celluloid-based special-effects technology known as rear projection.

North Circular employs a single 4-minute shot. It opens with a distant shot of an abandoned, partially ruined modernist office block backlit against a violet-tinged sky and the camera glides slowly towards the building.