A panel discussion between Selected XI artists River Cao, Sam Grant and Gaby Sahhar, hosted by Ian Haydn Smith, on the occasion of Selected XI screening online on Spike Island’s website (23 to 29 August 2021).
The Selected programme was established 11 years ago with the aims of supporting artist filmmakers to gain greater visibility and to bring new, diverse moving image work to audiences. Each year the artists who are shortlisted for the Film London Jarman Award nominate artists who are earlier in their careers. From these nominations, a programme is curated by videoclub and Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN).
The artists for the 11th programme of Selected are: River Cao, Sam Grant, Aoibheann Greenan, Katayoun Jalilipour, Roxy Rezvany and Gaby Sahhar.
River Cao (1997 b.China) is a performance and moving image artist, currently working and living in London. He finished his MA at the Royal College of Art – CAP (Moving Image) in 2021. River’s works are deeply rooted in his growing environment and memories in his hometown – a small town by the river in southern China. Using mourning as a method, he creates a series of self-narrative spaces to rethink the emotion of grief. His work has always been trying to find a way to relieve his inner sense of loss, which is rooted in a desire for tranquillity and fantasy.
Sam Grant is an artist based in Solihull who primarily uses the mediums of photography and video to explore themes related to his own experiences with autism. His work includes abstract depictions of sensory issues, social isolation and emotional processing in the attempt to convey the feelings experienced by an individual on the spectrum to a neurotypical audience.
Gaby Sahhar is a French-Palestinian artist based in London, working across ink painting, film and installation. Their work deconstructs the representation of queerness within public spheres to understand its wider impacts on queer consciousness and communities. Drawing on language and vulnerability as tools, they employ speculative storytelling to outline the ways in which cities serve the interests of patriarchal capitalist identities at the expense of others. In 2020, their film Truth and Kinship was screened at BFI London Film Festival and DRAF, London. Their work has been exhibited at Moscow International Biennale for Young Art, Moscow; South London Gallery, Science Gallery, London; Almanac Projects, Turin; Arcadia Missa, London and Sweetwater, Berlin. They currently run the LGBTQI+ project space and artist support network, Queerdirect.
Ian Haydn Smith is a writer and editor specialising in photography and the moving image.
From Monday 23 to Sunday 29 August, Spike Island is screening the Selected XI programme online.Watch the programme
videoclub is an artists’ moving image and digital culture agency showing artists’ work across the UK and internationally. videoclub supports artists through curated programmes, engaging audiences through screenings, exhibitions, talks, residencies and commissions.
Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN) was launched in 2005 as a one-stop resource to provide artists working in the moving image with access to funding, guidance and development opportunities. Through unique commissioning funds, FLAMIN has commissioned over 150 productions, and supported the careers of countless other artists with programmes of one-to-one advice sessions, residencies and workshops.