Bill Ming: stories of wood, wind and fire

McKay, Andy (2007) Bill Ming: stories of wood, wind and fire. Intafilms, Newark.

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Abstract

Engaging with “ The Work and Identity of Artists” is research theme that has pre-occupied many of Andy Mckay’s film projects. A previous faculty research seminar discussed “ DV Miniatures “ , a slate of his experimental film collaborations with poets, dancers, choreographers, jazz composers, visual and performance artists which was made to celebrate “ Year of the Artist “ and funded by Arts Council England.

Though there are exceptions, he has long been puzzled by the question of why mainstream media habitually speaks of visual artists as heroic visionaries after death – conferring a strange posthumous celebrity, when during their lifetime the same media often infers that their work is weird, usually anti social, publicity seeking, largely bonkers and basically unnecessary to the rest of an otherwise functioning society. All this, whilst the study of their posthumous significance provides for significant bulk of academic study, including the odd TV programme, and the aspiration to be a creative artist looms large in the consciousness of many young people.

Whilst a literary biography or biographic novel may take years of research and many days or weeks to read, a film biography of a living artist recorded from live events spanning many years not only requires significant research and logistical production practice, but also raises different considerations of substantive editing, audience engagement and mediation. Set in the context of current events, the film biography of the “ un-dead artist ”enables us to consider the significance of their work in the present, both to ourselves and to those whose current life experience also forms part of its motivation. The risk is that such contemporary film portrayal is viewed solely as media publicity, attempting to confer undeserved fame before posthumous analysis, rather than simply being current, informative and enlightening whilst also perfectly capable of being entertaining.

The presentation will raise issues of documentary film making, making choices and omissions, as well as show the film for comment.

Item Type:Other
Additional Information:Engaging with “ The Work and Identity of Artists” is research theme that has pre-occupied many of Andy Mckay’s film projects. A previous faculty research seminar discussed “ DV Miniatures “ , a slate of his experimental film collaborations with poets, dancers, choreographers, jazz composers, visual and performance artists which was made to celebrate “ Year of the Artist “ and funded by Arts Council England. Though there are exceptions, he has long been puzzled by the question of why mainstream media habitually speaks of visual artists as heroic visionaries after death – conferring a strange posthumous celebrity, when during their lifetime the same media often infers that their work is weird, usually anti social, publicity seeking, largely bonkers and basically unnecessary to the rest of an otherwise functioning society. All this, whilst the study of their posthumous significance provides for significant bulk of academic study, including the odd TV programme, and the aspiration to be a creative artist looms large in the consciousness of many young people. Whilst a literary biography or biographic novel may take years of research and many days or weeks to read, a film biography of a living artist recorded from live events spanning many years not only requires significant research and logistical production practice, but also raises different considerations of substantive editing, audience engagement and mediation. Set in the context of current events, the film biography of the “ un-dead artist ”enables us to consider the significance of their work in the present, both to ourselves and to those whose current life experience also forms part of its motivation. The risk is that such contemporary film portrayal is viewed solely as media publicity, attempting to confer undeserved fame before posthumous analysis, rather than simply being current, informative and enlightening whilst also perfectly capable of being entertaining. The presentation will raise issues of documentary film making, making choices and omissions, as well as show the film for comment.
Keywords:Bill Ming, Black British artists, Afro-Carribean artists, Art
Subjects:W Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Media
ID Code:1469
Deposited By: Bev Jones
Deposited On:20 Nov 2007
Last Modified:13 Mar 2013 08:27

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