REVERBERATIONS # 1: ROBERT FENZ | 6/7 August 2008 presents:
6/7 August 2008

Reverberations is a new series of events and workshops where six
international moving image artists trace lines of influential thought
through their practice.

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6 August 2008
Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, London NW3 (Finchley Road or Hampstead
6.45–8.45pm (doors 6.15pm)
FREE, to reserve call 0207 4725500

In the first event in the series, American artist Robert Fenz will focus on the enduring importance of improvisation in his work. Fenz’s films are neither purely non-fiction, nor abstract; but instead occupy a personal and lyrical space relative to both. His starting point is often a particular person or place, and from there he works intuitively to ‘reflect a deeper understanding of the human condition’ using the formal aspects of film. The event is presented in dialogue with Camden Arts Centre’s Chantal Akerman exhibition, an artist with whom Fenz has worked as cinematographer.

Improvisation is of utmost importance to the way Fenz works, particularly in relation to the context of jazz music, where players practice and study extensively in order to be prepared to create ‘in the moment’. To illustrate these ideas he will be joined in dialogue with one of his teachers, the acclaimed American composer and musician Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, who will also perform live improvised trumpet to two of his films.

Robert Fenz is one of the most original young filmmakers working in and against the avant-garde tradition today. He is currently completing an ambitious work that engages the cinematic legacy of pioneering documentarian, Robert Gardner. Fenz was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2004, and lived in Berlin in 2006 as part of the DAAD Artist in Residence Program. His film “Crossings” is included in the 2008 Whitney Biennial. Fenz studied filmmaking with Peter Hutton and James Benning and music with Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith.

Please note, Camden Arts Centre has barbecues every Wednesday from
6.00-8.30pm, so there will be an opportunity to get food and drink

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7 August 2008
With ROBERT FENZ & ISHMAEL WADADA LEO SMITH, 316–318 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 OAG (Bethnal Green
10am–5pm; £40 full price / £30 concessions & members, to reserve
call 0207 729 4494 or email:

In this unique day-long workshop, US artist Robert Fenz with musician Wadada Leo Smith will explore what it means to improvise in the field and allow your subject and/or location to determine the content and structure of your work. An inveterate traveller, Fenz has made films all over the world including Brasil, Cuba, Mexico and India. His work is often draws upon ideas of foreigness, politics and displacement. Wadada Leo Smith is an acclaimed avant-garde composer, musician and teacher of African American Improvisation at CalArts.

As part of the day Fenz will screen extracts of a work in progress portrait of acclaimed anthropological filmmaker Robert Gardner, including material recently recorded in Benares (India), West Papau and Ethiopia. Audio field recordings by Fenz and from Robert Gardners archive will also be listened to and discussed in the context of sound–image relationships.

Following an in-depth and discursive introductory session, participants will undertake a collective study of Brick Lane by looking, listening, making sound recordings and shooting 16mm film. At the heart of East London Brick Lane is layered with historical, ethnological, industrial and polical resonances that are exposed on a daily basis. The day will also include discussion around the ethics of recording, methods of working in the field and immersing oneself in the moment, excercises in looking and listening and a brief introduction to the Bolex camera. Towards the end of the day participant’s films will be screened accompanied by sound recordings.

A practical knowledge of filmmaking is not expected or required.
Places are extremely limited, so book early to avoid disappointment.

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Reverberations is organised by and Lottery funded by Arts Council England. Events are run in partnership with the Camden Arts Centre.

Camden Arts Centre’s Chantal Akerman exhibition runs until 14 September,
open late on Wednesdays until 9pm.