Spike Island

The Artists’ Feature Film with Dan Kidner


Saturday 16 September 2017, 10am–5pm


Booking essential

£40 full price / £30 concessions

Tickets to the screening of Margaret Salmon’s Eglantine are included in this study day price.

Event type


The Artists' Feature Film study day, Saturday 16 September 2017, 10am–5pm

Film Screening: Margaret Salmon, Eglantine (2016, 71 mins), 6.30pm

Join curator and writer Dan Kidner for a study day exploring the concept of the ‘artists’ feature film’ and its relation to histories of experimental narrative film and video. Drawing on Kidner’s recent projects, including the major exhibition The Inoperative Community (Raven Row, London, 2015/16, and Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, Poland, 2016), the study day features film screenings and discussions with leading artist filmmakers and theorists, Ben Rivers, Margaret Salmon, Erika Balsom, and Maeve Brennan.

The entangled histories of visual art and cinema become even further entwined through the term the ‘artist feature film’, which is currently gaining traction. Kidner, a leading researcher in artists film and video, will open the day by outlining a speculative taxonomy, history and critical framework to contextualise the artists’ feature film. Through screenings and discussions, the morning session considers 1970s avant-garde cinema and its relationship to artists’ film and video. The work of many filmmakers will be discussed including Chantal Akerman, Jean-Luc Godard, Harun Farocki, Yvonne Rainer, Leslie Thornton, Albert Serra and Lav Diaz.

The afternoon session includes screenings of short films by artist-filmmakers Ben Rivers and Margaret Salmon, and a panel discussion chaired by Kidner with Rivers and Salmon, Maeve Brennan, and theorist Erika Balsom. Each panelist will talk about issues related to the production, distribution and critical reception of artists’ feature films, and unpack the term from their perspectives as practitioners and researchers.

The day ends with a screening of the debut feature film by acclaimed artist Margaret Salmon, Eglantine (2016), followed by a conversation with Kidner and opportunity for audience questions. Eglantine is long form children's film and nature study, shot on 35mm film on location in Scotland, which draws reference from Jean Renoir’s The River and Albert Lamorisse’s The Red Balloon, as well as televised nature studies from the 1950s.


Book your place £40 full price / £30 concessions*

Tickets to the screening of Margaret Salmon’s Eglantine are included in this study day price.

*Please note: the £35 concessions price detailed in our summer brochure is incorrect

Erika Balsom

Erika Balsom is senior lecturer in Film Studies and Liberal Arts at King’s College London, focusing on the history of the moving image in art and experimental documentary practices. Her most recent book, After Uniqueness: A History of Film and Video Art in Circulation, was published by Columbia University Press this spring. She is author of Exhibiting Cinema in Contemporary Art (2013), the co-editor of Documentary Across Disciplines (2016), and a frequent contributor to the magazines Artforum and Sight and Sound.

Maeve Brennan

Maeve Brennan (b.1990, London) lives and works in London and Beirut. Recent exhibitions include: Jerusalem Pink, OUTPOST, Norwich; Rough House, The Glue Factory, Glasgow; At the Seams: A Political History of Palestinian Embroidery, Dar el Nimer, Beirut (all 2016); KURZ / DUST, Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw; Video Works, Metropolis Empire Sofil, Beirut (both 2015); and A Museum of Immortality, Ashkal Alwan, Beirut (2014). Brennan was a fellow of the arts study programme Home Workspace Program at Ashkal Alwan in Beirut (2013-14).

Dan Kidner

Dan Kidner is a curator and writer. He was the Director of Picture This, Bristol from 2011 to 2013, and Director of City Projects, London from 2004 to 2011. His books include, with Petra Bauer, Working Together: British Film Collectives in the 1970s (2013) and with George Clark and James Richards, A Detour Around Infermental (2011). He most recently curated the exhibitions The Inoperative Community, Raven Row (3 December 2015 to 14 February 2016) and Rozdzielona Wspólnota (The Inoperative Community II), Muzeum Sztuki, Łódź, Poland (20 May to 28 August 2016).

Ben Rivers

Ben Rivers is an artist and filmmaker represented by Kate MacGarry Gallery in London. Rivers recently won the second EYE Art Film Prize 2016, aswell as the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize, 68th Venice Film Festival for his first feature film Two Years At Sea; Baloise Art Prize, Art Basel 42, for Sack Barrow; Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Artists, 2010. Recent solo shows include Phantoms, Triennale, Milan; Urth, The Renaissance Society, Chicago; Islands, Kunstverein of Hamburg; Earth Needs More Magicians, Camden Arts Centre, London; The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers, Artangel, London and Whitworth Museum, Manchester.

His most recent feature film, The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers, premiered in the main competition at Locarno International Film Festival.

Margaret Salmon

Margaret Salmon creates film portraits that weave together poetry and ethnography. Often focusing on individuals in their everyday environments, her films capture the minutiae of daily life and infuse them with gentle grandeur, emotional intensity and formal abstraction. Adapting techniques drawn from various cinematic movements, such as Free Cinema, the European Avant Garde and Italian Neo-Realism, Salmon’s orchestrations of sound and image introduce formal lyricism and abstraction into the tradition of realist film. Margaret Salmon won the first Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2006. Her work was shown at the Venice Biennale in 2007 and the Berlin Biennale in 2010 and has been featured in solo and group exhibitions as well as film festivals internationally.