After affordable cartridge-loading 8mm cameras were invented by Kodak in 1965, Super 8 became the world’s most widely-used film format in the 1970s. Directors often began their careers with a cartridge of Super 8 film at home, but at the same time visual artists began to see the form for its distinct style and palette.
As the format declined in prominence with the advent of video, and later digital film, the format developed a cult following for its nostalgic feel, evoking a rough and handmade look modern cameras could not replicate.
Chris Mizsak, co-curator of the Flicker: Artists and Super 8 exhibition, says, ‘there is love for analogue technology, for vintage and retro. People had parties or got married and filmed it on Super 8. It is imbued with memory.’
The exhibition includes early experimental work from celebrated filmmaker Derek Jarman, director of the punk film Jubilee, who would later use Super 8 in films such as The Last of England and The Garden.
Alongside, there are also works by contemporary visual artists such as Giovanna Maria Casetta, who works with Super 8 for the emotional response it provokes in modern audiences.
The event runs in conjunction with screenings, talks, live performances and workshops at the nearby Abbeygate Picturehouse, and is co-curated with The Cambridge Super 8 Group, dedicated to preserving and exhibiting 8mm cinema.
Flicker: Artists and Super 8 runs from 19 January – 23 March at Smiths Row, Bury St Edmunds, IP33