Imagine you’re sitting in a darkened cinema, popcorn at the ready and awaiting the latest blockbuster. Instead you’re presented with a five-minute short film from a leading contemporary video artist.
Cinema-goers nationwide will soon be presented with this unexpected scenario, which will include filmic artworks such as a chat-style message between two ex-lovers on a typewriter by Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari, and Rosaline Nashashibi’s series of cloth-covered cars.
The project, called Artists Cinema, is a collaboration between the Independent Cinema Office and arts agency Lux, with funding from the National Lottery. Eight short films will be shown unannounced before feature films such as Roman Polanksi’s The Ghost and Chris Morris’s satire Four Lions.
The intention of the interventionist project is to sneak contemporary art to the masses across the country. Artists included in the project are Keren Cytter, Amar Kanwar, Deimantas Narkevicius, Rosalind Nashashiba and Catherine Sullivan.
Most curious, and perhaps effective, is Aurélien Froment’s film-cum-screensaver Pulmo Marina, which explores the similarity between jellyfish and film. Both, as he points out, leave marks on the skin and only produce an image when exposed to light.
Pulmo Marina features a cheesy American voiceover and bears no explanation of whether the film is an ad, a documentary about the life of sea creatures or a trailer for something else. It will no doubt leave an audience baffled and, hopefully, eager to find out more.
The Artists Cinema will be seen in cinemas across the country from May.