Directions: Forward presents moving image work that juxtaposes the mythic and the everyday to develop connections between the past and future. Invoking ritual and resistance, dance and document, historical forces and speculative fiction, the artists map out a terrain that challenges borders – both literal and figurative. Urban indigenous experiences and traces of light captured through photographic process transform the landscape into a celestial realm. Ancestors speak through rhythm across space and time. Histories of settler-colonialism in the built environment intersect with questions of narrative, migration, and community belonging.
Eve-Lauryn LaFountain / Metigoshe Jiibayag (Clearwater Ghosts) (2022)
3 loops of varying duration. Sound: Jon Almaraz
Metigoshe Jiibayag (Clearwater Ghosts) is a new multimedia video and sound installation commissioned by Directions. The first part of the title is Ojibwe, the traditional language of the Turtle Mountain Chippewa people, and the second part is a rough translation into English. The video was shot at Lake Metigoshe at Turtle Mountain in North Dakota. This is part of the artist’s ancestral tribal lands which were severed by the US/Canadian border. The lake itself is cut by the border, but the water runs freely. The people can no longer travel freely across the waters, border control agents regularly patrol the park areas, a reminder that this land has been divided. The video was shot on the 4th of July, the United States Independence Day. Fireworks explode on an island in the center of the lake, the lights in the distance are in Canada, the spectators in the front are in America. Many are distant relatives whose lives, families, traditions, and cultures have been divided by settler colonial nations. The fire rains down from the middle, reflections of violence and wonder dancing off the clear water. The sound washes over the viewers as they stand between two screens, on a border surrounded by ghosts and trails of light, memories of time expanded and collapsed.
Eve-Lauryn Little Shell LaFountain is an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, a multimedia artist, and an educator. She was born into a family of artists and grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she learned how to ride a horse instead of a bike. Her artwork explores identity, history, Indigenous futurism, feminism, ghosts, magic, and her mixed Native American and Jewish heritage through lens based media and installations. LaFountain has received support for her work from the Sundance New Frontier Labs where she was a Fellow in 2019, and received an Indigenous MacArthur Fellowship in 2018, as well as awards from COUSIN Collective and Cinereach, Mike Kelley Foundation, and the Andy Warhol Foundation.
Marcy Saude / Come On Pilgrim (2022)
16mm transferred to digital file. Duration: 26:30 min
In the form of a series of visual “field recordings” of and staged interventions in place, this essayistic film originates in the experience of the artist living in Plymouth in a flat overlooking the Mayflower steps. This location provided a jumping-off point to interrogate histories of settler-colonialism, British identity and mythos in the surrounding landscape, from the viewpoint of a recent immigrant. These histories are related in fragmentary fashion by the artists’ community in a collage of voices, challenging notions of singular authoritative narratives, such as those set in stone monuments. Throughout the film, fellow immigrants are rendered visible in everyday situations, protests are documented, a wizard invents an empire, and Anglo-Saxon re-enactors trek through Dartmoor, gesturing towards waves of settlement on the British Isles.
Come on Pilgrim was commissioned by Directions and features (in image and sound) Amber Amare, Vincent Ring, Margareta Kern, Heather Martin, Norman Buchan, Sophie Ingram, Ana Simões, Helen Thomas, Amani Alsaad, Jacqui Knight, Samandar Maani, Thannasis Alvanos, Antgoni Pasidi, Aliki Pasidi Alvanou, Eve Ess, Jackson Sprague, Eric and Verna Sprague, Guy Edmonds, Alma Saude Edmonds, Sol Moyano, Rachel Dobbs, Fiona Pitt, Mo Bottomley, Rachel Gipetti, Plymouth Morris, Lucy Dafwyn, JR Carpenter, and Hildsvin.
It was made with the support and assistance of Amber Amare (sound recording), Russell Cleave (lighting), Dajain Daley (sound recording), Guy Edmonds (additional camera), Katy Richardson (locations), Asha Ungar (sound recording and clapper), and Jack Witek (production and sound recording).
Marcy Saude’s work in time-based media addresses subjects such as marginal histories, speculative fiction, the landscape, counterculture, radical politics, and text(s). A Portuguese national raised in California, they are a member of Bristol Experimental and Expanded Film (BEEF) and currently facilitate Labordy Ffilm Aber in Aberystwyth, Wales.
Sonya Dyer / Andromeda (2021)
Duration: 11:16 min
In Andromeda, a portal between worlds opens, creating a conduit between the Andromeda galaxy and Earth, transporting a chorus of drummers into the world of an unsuspecting protagonist.
Andromeda continues Hailing Frequencies Open, Dyer’s ongoing body of work intersecting the Greek myth and constellation of Andromeda, Star Trek actor Nichelle Nicols’ astronaut recruitment activism, and the complex genesis of HeLa cells, the first human materials sent into Space. Continuing the epic world building characteristic of the HFO project, speculative fiction, social justice and art history collide in the work, which includes performance, animation and morse code.
Commissioned by Art Night and Somerset House. Supported by the Adonyeva Foundation.
Sonya Dyer is an artist and writer from London. A Somerset House Studios resident, she was a finalist for the Arts Foundation Futures Award 2021, and a UK Associate Artist at the Delfina Foundation in 2020. She is an alum of Whitney Museum of American Art: Independent Study Program and obtained a PhD from Middlesex University in 2021. Dyer’s practice reimagines where the centre is located in fictional narratives of the future. She explores how subjectivities and alliances are formed across cultures and temporalities, creating radical futures through unexpected connections.
This exhibition concludes the Directions project, an artist-led moving image series with a broadly decolonial perspective. Supported by the Mayflower 400 Culture Fund and Arts Council England.
Directions: Forward has been made possible with thanks to The Arts Institute at Plymouth University, MIRROR, Plymouth College of Art, Spike Island, Paul Ager, Ben Borthwick, Tilly Craig, Nick Halford, Molly Erin McCarthy, Allen Robinson, Phil Rushworth, Elaine Sinclair.