6 – 21 May 2016

Vivid Projects presents NOISE + NOSTALGIA, a season exploring the Post-Punk aesthetic in moving image and sound. Comprising film exhibition, screenings and live events, the season features key artists working with film between 1979-87 and examines the means by which moving image culture, it’s making and meaning was disrupted after punk. 

Provocative and daring work features throughout, and we are delighted to present the Birmingham premiere of the full touring programme ‘This Is Now: Film and Video After Punk’, in partnership with LUX and the BFI National Archive. Screenings will take place each week as part of the gallery exhibition and include rare Super8 and 16mm films – unseen for a generation – digitally remastered by the BFI National Archive.

The ‘Post-Punk’ aesthetic experiment remains a key influence in artist film and music through the use of found footage, sampling, appropriation, industrial ambience, scratch video and provocative thinking about self and the body. The programme features a wide selection of artists including John Maybury, Gorilla Tapes, Richard Heslop, Isaac Julien, Sophie Muller, The Neo-Naturists, George Barber, Grayson Perry, Tim Pope, John Scarlett-Davies, John Smith, Cordelia Swann and Jill Westwood. NOISE + NOSTALGIA demonstrates how the subculture of the eighties emerges; an increasingly confident and critical remaking of the visual and political environment against a backdrop of mainstream complacency and urban despair. The aesthetic impact of television on visual culture permeates throughout, with artists and film-makers plundering mainstream media for samples and bypassing copyright and censorship, using scratch video and bricolage to subvert the material. These tactics resonate sharply today with free culture ethics and the restrictions of copyright.

UK art schools were key players. Enabled by access to U-matic tape, Super8 film and video technologies, experimental moving image flourished. Daniel Landin and Richard Heslop collaborated with groups including Throbbing Gristle and 23 Skidoo, developing a visionary and influential visual style incorporating Super8 and 16mm for live projection. Artists John Scarlett-Davies and George Barber were key exponents of ‘scratch video’, a politically sharp video-collage movement of the early eighties notable for a highly charged visual style, using colour, music and fast editing in a manner that became the mainstay of youth tv. Scarlett-Davies worked with Derek Jarman on films and music videos, as did Richard Heslop and John Maybury who went on to develop singular work in British independent film.

The screenings from the BFI programme take place at Vivid Projects alongside an expanded exhibition of responsive live event-installations and rarely seen works from the Vivid Projects archive. Selections include the remastered Seven Songs: 23 Skidoo (Richard Heslop), works from Birmingham Film and Video Workshop – an example of the socially engaged work from the franchised Film and Video Workshops across the UK commissioned by Channel 4 – and Fat Of The Land, selected British films 1984-1987,  Richard Heslop, Daniel Landin and Joy Perino. Accompanied by weekly archival picks, new films from Ferric Lux and archival research into women musicians in the Post Punk era by artist Cathy Wade.

NOISE + NOSTALGIA is curated by Yasmeen Baig-Clifford.

This is Now: Film and Video After Punk touring programme is presented in partnership with LUX and BFI National Archive.


Please note: On Saturday 21 May, the exhibition closes for the Psychic Antisthesia workshop from 10-5pm. The closing event, including works on continuous loop, will be open to the public between 5-6pm.

6 May, 7-9pm | NOISE + NOSTALGIA Launch for Digbeth First Friday feat. Ferric Lux (7-7.30pm)

Season launch at Vivid Projects and offsite screenings  across three venues at Minerva Works. The event includes Home Taping (7.30pm, Vivid Projects) Performing The Self (6pm, Grand Union) Through A Glass, Darkly (Centrala, 9pm).

We are pleased to announce a live set from filmmaker John Bradburn aka Ferric Lux at the launch, commencing 7pm . Drawing from English magick, dark art and the industrial scene, the performance references the abrasive influences of the industrial post-punk. Bradburn’s recent events include Magickal Revolutions (Flatpack), and support to Blanck Mass, aka Benjamin John Power, half of influential electronic duo Fuck Buttons. Expect propulsive techno cut with hypnotically beautiful high definition images.  John Bradburn’s short films will be included in the ongoing exhibition from 7-21 May.

12 May, 7-9pm  | Noise + Nostalgia, A First Response Salon

Justin Wiggan, Cathy Wade and Nicholas Bullen interrogate narratives of nostalgia in the Post-Punk era. Credits: UNKNWNPLRSRS text by Jamie Holman and film by James Ockelford. Supported by North Brewery Co. and featuring a unique bottled edition of Transmission IPA.

Museums at Night 2016

19 May, 7-9pm | VIDEO KILLED THE RADIO STAR? | Parkside, Birmingham City University

Screening and in conversation with Justin Smith (Fifty Years of British Music 1965-2015) and award winning film and music video director Richard Heslop (The Cure, The Smiths, New Order, Sinead O’Connor, Queen, Pop Will Eat Itself, Happy Mondays) in collaboration with the Birmingham City University, Parkside gallery exhibition ‘Is There Anybody Out There? Documenting Birmingham’s Alternative Music Scene 1986-1990’.

21 May, 10-6pm  | Psychic Antisthesia

Aone-day collaborative workshop culminating in a live AV performance where participants will utilise a wide range of analogue and digital image making equipment. Led by Midlands based artists Sarah Walden, John Bradburn and Ollie Macdonald-Brown.


NOISE + NOSTALGIA | campaign image crop | Keith Dodds for Vivid Projects Ferric Lux