Same as it ever was(n’t): On Animation’s Capacities

Waterlow Park Centre, Dartmouth Park Hill, London N19 7JF

To accompany the current LUX exhibition, Idrish (ইদ্রিস), Esther Leslie will be in discussion with artists Adam Lewis Jacob and Djofray Makumbu.

This three way conversation will explore animation’s political potentials. Animation is a form that has a peculiar proximity to repetitive and devalued labour and processes, while also having an anarchic capacity to picture alternative or absolutely different realities that do not adhere to the laws of this world. What can be made of this stranding between factuality and otherworldliness? Illustrated with artists’ clips and historical examples, the discussion will explore ideas of looping in relation to economy, history and medium; animation and reanimation of the past; intimacy and publicity in animated form and the question of influence in relation to the vast and growing archive of animated material in the world today.

Idrish (ইদ্রিস), Adam Lewis Jacob is on view until 30 April at LUX.

Adam Lewis Jacob is an artist and filmmaker based in Glasgow and Poole. His work is about the structures that govern our lives and the countercultural figures that question them. He uses the camera to create a space where ideas and people can be brought together and unexpected relationships can occur, using improvisation, performance and sound to reinterpret research and reactivate histories. He is one of the founding members of Céline, an independent artist-run exhibition space in Glasgow. His work has been screened and exhibited at the Berwick Film and Media Arts festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Alchemy Film festival, Kochi-Muziris Biennale (India), Studio 55 (Korea), LUX (London) among others. In 2019 he was awarded the Cove Park Experimental Film and Moving Image residency and was co-commissioned by Vivid Projects and Animate as part of national film project WORK. In 2022 Adam will participate in the ESW/TOKAS residency program in Japan.

Djofray Makumbu is a British Congolese artist born and based in East London. He often works with friends and family when making his work which draws on his personal experiences and that of the people close to him. Recent works have focused on the shame and stigma of mental health difficulties, the pressures and violence of inner city life from the perspective of young people and the joy of music and dancing. Djofray loves to mix up different techniques combining stop motion animation, video footage, hand drawn and painted elements in moving image which are sometimes presented alongside live performances such as dance or scripted scenes. Each element in the work is carefully self-made from hand built sets and hand stitched garments for Claymation characters to soundtracks that are developed closely with Djofray’s brother. In 2020, Djofray won a Goldsmiths Exhibitions Hub commission, in partnership with the London Community Video Archive, to make Hello Mr Officer, a moving image work that sees young Black men from across London share their experiences of being harassed by the Police. The work uses stop motion, watercolour and rotoscope alongside archive material from The People’s Account (1987) by Ceddo Film Collective held in the LCVA archive. Recent solo shows include Brixton Library, London in 2019. Djofray graduated from BA Fine Art programme at Goldsmiths in 2018 and was awarded the Alumno/SPACE Studio Bursary as a result of his degree show exhibition.

Esther Leslie is a Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck, University of London.

Esther Leslie’s books include various studies and translations of Walter Benjamin, as well as Hollywood Flatlands: Animation, Critical Theory and the Avant Garde (Verso, 2002); Synthetic Worlds: Nature, Art and the Chemical Industry(Reaktion, 2005); Derelicts: Thought Worms from the Wreckage (Unkant, 2014), Liquid Crystals: The Science and Art of a Fluid Form (Reaktion, 2016) and Deeper in the Pyramid (with Melanie Jackson: Banner Repeater, 2018).


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