Ali Smith + Sarah Wood: Spring/Azure/Boat People
Time & Location
About The Event
We are honoured to have with us the author Ali Smith and the artist filmmaker Sarah Wood.
Sarah will be presenting her two remarkable short films, Azure with text by Ali Smith and Boat People.
Both films are well placed in questioning our country’s current climate divided against itself.
Ali Smith will be reading excerpts from her forthcoming book Spring that is due to be released poignantly on the eve of the mess that is Brexit. This is part of the Seasonal Quartet that began with the bestseller and Man Booker shortlisted Autumn, followed by Winter. This is the next instalment for this once-in-a-generation masterpiece.
Azure is the colour of the sky on a clear summer’s day. Azure is a colour that suggests openness, ease, possibility. Azure is the name of the card given to the people who arrive in Britain seeking asylum. This short essay film accompanies Boat People in a questioning of the meaning of hospitality.
Director: Sarah Wood. Text/voice: Ali Smith. UK, 2016, video, 7 mins
‘Homelessness is coming to be the destiny of the world’ suggested Martin Heidegger in 1946, in a discussion with Jean-Paul Sartre and in the immediate aftermath of the mass movement of people created by the Second World War. In 1946 this displacement was a shocking legacy. Sixty years on, with the escalating movement of people escaping conflict and environmental catastrophe across the world, has Heidegger's prediction come true? Has homelessness become the norm rather than the exception? And is contemporary thought anywhere near catching up with this reality?
Boat People is an essay film that explores this question. Taking as its starting point the historic version of Britain as an island and seafaring nation the film counterpoints the surety of this assertion of identity with the contingency of movement. This movement isn’t only human. Boat People is also a questioning of the role the moving image itself plays in the representation of human movement and the migration of ideas. Just as the invention of the telescopic lens brought near and far together for the very first time, Boat People is about the way in the twenty-first century the near and far are mediated and transformed by the new ‘perception accelerator’, the digital image.
Director: Sarah Wood, UK, 2016, video, 23 mins
Boat People was commissioned by Whitstable Biennale 2016.
Boat People won Best Experimental Documentary Film at Jihlava IDFF 2017.
Sarah Wood is an artist filmmaker who works with the found object, particularly the still and moving image, as an act of reclamation and re-interrogation. Recently she's been focussing on the meaning of the archive, in particular the politics of memory, asking not only why some objects are preserved while others are ignored. She co-founded Club des Femmes, a positive female space for the re-examination of ideas through art. Sarah has also collaborated with her partner Ali Smith on Shire, an illustrated collection of short stories.
Ali Smith (CBE FRSL) is an award winning author, playwright, academic and journalist. Her books have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. She has won the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, the Goldsmiths Prize, the Costa Novel Award and the Folio Prize. She was a lyricist for the Scottish band Trashcan Sinatras.