“Meshes of the Afternoon” at Roman Road, London
Symbols not in order of appearance: Shadow, Flower, Key, Mirror, Knife, Phone, Stairs The networks are in ecstasies.
Roman Road is very pleased to present Meshes of the Afternoon, a group exhibition guest curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini.
Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) was the first experiment in film by feminist artist and director Maya Deren. The film was made for about $275 in the first months of Deren’s marriage to filmmaker Alexander Hammid. It was originally silent but Deren decided to later add an immersive soundtrack to it in 1959. The deeply psychological narrative shot at an iconic, modernist house in Los Angeles is cited as one of the most influential works of the noir genre and American avant-garde cinema; it has been reappropriated by various contemporary directors, including David Lynch along with many experimental filmmakers.
The central figure in Meshes of the Afternoon, played by Deren, is caught in a web of subconscious actions and events that blend with reality. Symbolic objects and archetypal characters, such as a key, a knife, a flower and a dark shadow, recur throughout the film. Events are open-ended and interrupted, pursuing not linear narratives but repetition, synchronicity and chance; the camera blends with the body of her protagonist, slowing resembling natural movements.
Deren’s interest in trance, dance and Haitian voodoo, led her to develop a specific body of work defined as “ethnographic surrealism,” aiming at blurring the boundaries between performance, ritual and the real world, and incorporating the primitive and magic worldview within the very film process.
Taking inspiration from Maya Deren’s iconic work, the exhibition invites a group of international artists to reinterpret the symbology of the film, celebrating its associative powers to reflect on femininity, the subconscious, dream states, trauma and desire.
Participating Artists: Nils Alix-Tabeling, Chelsea Culprit, Maria Gorodeckaya, Hanne Lippard, Gina Pane
Curated by Attilia Fattori Franchini.
at Roman Road, London
until 20 August 2017