BATH.- The film continues a line of subtle and engaging works by Simon Martin which reflect on particular moments and directions in art and design history.
The iconic object at the heart of this short, seventeen minute, film is the classic design of the Louis XV armchair. The film considers the chairs contemporary afterlife in the form of Philippe Starcks updated Louis Ghost Chair. From antique period-piece to modern-day style accessory, the chairs transition from wood to plastic, from artisan workshop to high-tech assembly line is illuminated with commentary, spoken by a young female actor.
After its premier in Bath Louis Ghost Chair will tour to Collective in Edinburgh, drawing out the cultural and architectural links between the two cities. Louis Ghost Chair runs at the Holburne Museum from 21 January until 15 April 2012 and admission is free.
Commissioned by Film and Video Umbrella and Holburne Museum, Bath in association with The Collective, Edinburgh, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland and Elena Hill. Supported by Arts Council England with additional support from The Henry Moore Foundation.
The film was made with the aid of a Louis XV armchair loaned from the Frederick Parker Collection and the full, multi-colour range of Kartells Philippe Starck-designed Louis Ghost Chairs. It was shot at the Camden Studios in London, with Martin Testar as Director of Photography. An open casting for the role of a teenage girl to perform the voiceover was held in October 2011, inviting young actors from the Bath area and beyond. The chosen actor, Rosy Kendall, recorded her contribution a few weeks later.
Simon Martin was born in Cheshire in 1965. He is interested in how we understand ourselves through social structures, mythologies and collective memory evidenced in art objects, mass media, popular culture and the built environment. Working with video and sculpture, he records his findings by questioning ideas of value associated to historical objects and artefacts.
Martin graduated from the Slade School of Fine Art in 1989. He has had solo exhibitions at White Columns, New York (2005), Counter Gallery, London (2005), The Power Plant, Toronto (2006), a solo show at the Chisenhale Gallery (2008), a solo show at Kunstverein, Amsterdam (2010). He was the recipient of a Paul Hamlyn Award in 2008 and shortlisted for the Jarman Award in 2009.
Film and Video Umbrella commissions, curates, produces and presents film, video and other moving-image works by artists that are staged in collaboration with galleries and other cultural partners. Since the late 1980s, Film and Video Umbrella has been at the forefront of this vibrant and expanding area of practice, promoting innovation through its support of some of the most exciting figures on the contemporary scene. During this time, the organisation has commissioned and produced over 100 different artists projects, ranging from ambitious multi-screen installations to shorter film and video pieces, as well as numerous online commissions. www.fvu.co.uk
Elena Hill is an independent film and video producer, offering a strategy and structure for the development and delivery of ambitious film, video and audio based projects. Elena works with institutional galleries, visual artists, festivals and public spaces commissioning and exhibiting moving image work.