2000 – 2006: 14 videos

ONLY JUST BEGUN

Digital video 2006, 6 MINUTES

Distributed by Video Data Bank  HERE

(Installation + single screen work)

Mr. Thomas is in the back garden, performing his new moves in the glorious sunlight, making things happen. Somewhere between a ritual, a white suburban war-dance and 1970’s ‘keep fit’ exercise to lovely music, Mr. Thomas tries to coordinate with the Black Blob, that persistently undermines the nature of his representational space… And the song goes:

We’ve only just begun to live

White lace and promises

A kiss for luck and we’re on our way…

THE TRUTH AND THE PLEASURE

HDV VIDEO 2006, 5 MINUTES

Distributed by Video Data Bank HERE

(Installation + single screen work)

An intensely Pink Lady with a disturbing face performs a lecture, or motivational monologue, accompanied by an emotional slide show of formal family portraits. She is trying to persuade us of something,  we don’t know what, as the translation is all wrong… she could be trying to help us to be happy, or it could be that through new techniques, by the end of the video we’ve been brainwashed…

“I’m here to bring you the Truth and the Pleasure

Here to show you the meaningful form

It’s going to feel like a new kind of leisure

it’s going to smell like a freshly mown lawn

I’m installing a personal toolkit for thinking

Especially customized only for you”

BECAUSE OF THE WAR

Digital Video 14 minutes 2005

Distributed by Video Data Bank HERE

(Installation + single screen work)

Robert Allwood as ‘The Yellow Man’

A dapper Yellow Man Lecturer looks the viewer squarely in the eye and delivers an account of how it all came to pass: the conflict, the changes, everyday acts of transubstantiation, leading to a world where magick and ritual are suburban norms. Part slide show, with occasional forays into narrative interludes, this free verse instructional starts to shift in the viewer’s gaze. Although a world governed by Neo-Absurdist un-sense, there’s a burgeoning sense of the familiar…

click HERE and scroll down  to read the performed text

DOUBLE DUMMY

Digital Video 7 minutes 2004

Distributed by Video Data Bank HERE

 

“Four Dummies, two cats, and a portal to bliss inside their attempts at symmetry

A hair ball, and a mess of twigs, whose love has died and who are sad..”

A hooded woman appears frame left carrying a stuffed dummy of herself- this is mirrored by what appears to be an identical image on the right, but the sync gradually decays. A mysterious rainbow like band of twinkling colour, that evokes a nostalgic sense of the sublime, runs down the centre of the frame, into and out of which the hooded characters (and a black cat) appear and disappear. On closer examination this band is made from plastic strip ‘fly’ curtains one might see in the doorways of seaside tea shops or adult video stores. These passages are punctuated by a love story between a ball of hair and a site specific sculpture.

Performer: Jennet Thomas

ON THE SHAPE OF THE SCAB


An ‘expanded narrative’ installation at Anthology Film Archives, New York

March 2004. Digital video projection, [15 minutes looped] assisted, found oil paintings, wallpaper, plastic strip curtains

A beaming Lady in evening dress and ‘Blackface’ drops a ceremonial ball, that reappears in the right had side of the split screen frame falling from the sky. It falls into a field, onto a man dressed in some kind of furry white ritual costume. He smashes the ball to smithereens with a ceremonial paddle. Each smash produces a flying puppet-doll like thing, that hits the camera to sporting cheers on the sound track – it’s given a ‘score’ on the screen. This verse and chorus like song structure elaborates into a fake painting competition whose logic is ‘explained’ by young children. With each new ‘smash-ball-puppet’ chorus the score rises, the face on the puppet changes from a baby to an old man…who periodically appears in another part of the video, as a confused guy in a residential care home.

This video projection was embedded in an environment hung with the six found ‘amateur’ landscape paintings with ‘additions’ – oddly shaped, scab-like UFO’s hovering in their sky.  The space had to be entered and exited through a false wall of plastic strip “fly” curtains – directly opposite the same false wall through which the performers entered and exited the fictional space of the video projection. Some visitors got quite freaked out by this, as they entered through the curtains at the same time the performers on the opposite wall did- in the disorientating dark they thought they were ‘real’…

Perfect Spot


14 minutes/digital video/ 2003

Distributed by Video Data Bank HERE    

Also part of the VDB TV programme ‘Ship of Fools’ Curated by George Price HERE

Mother and daughter are together for the last time at the seaside.  Everything will be okay, all things will work out as they have to, when they find the perfect spot.

Experimental Narrative/drama.

Mother: Jennifer Thorne

Daughter: Wendy Kloos

The Local Sky Enlarger


28.5 minutes Digital Video 2001-2002

Distributed by Video Data Bank HERE

There’s something wrong with a patch of sky. As it travels over Southern England, objects cast up into it come down hugely enlarged, bloated. Meanwhile in London, the patch is in fact a troubling scab on a crippled old man’s head. As the scab develops, all he can do is wait, going through the changes, waiting for the twin in the sky to implant him- when he’s ripe- with GOD’S DARK SPERM.

Charlie: Charles Phillips

Janet: Janet Rouhier

COWBOYS AND INDIAN


2.5 minutes digital video 2002

(Installation + single screen work)

3 Cowboys 1 Indian, 3 guns one blow

A split screen video, originally made for an installation as part of ‘Something Funny in the Woodshed’ touring show. One side three very young cowboys ‘face- off in triangular’ reservoir- dogs’ style with toy guns, and repeatedly all die and then re animate backwards to life, whilst on the other side we gradually approach an ‘Indian’ shut in a play house who  covers his eyes peekaboo style rhythmically, repeatedly in a loop.

Boys:

Philip Thomas

Robin Thomas

Carl Thomas

SHARONY!

11 mins digital video 2000

Distributed by Video Data Bank HERE

You can watch it now ( for a limited period only!)

HERE

featuring Daisy Burchill, Lydia Burchill and the band Dograck (Installation + single screen work)

The story of two young girls who dig up a microscopic woman from the back garden. They incubate her in their mouths, in their bed, they lock her in a dolls house wallpapered with pornography to make her grow up faster, and when she is ready and life sized they take her to the disco. Unfortunately, though maybe alive, she has grown up to be full of nothing – so they have to get rid of her and put her back into the place in nature where she came from. This piece was commissioned for the group show ‘GIRL’ at the New Art Gallery Walsall, UK

 

MALDOROR- THE FEATURE FILMblack.jpeg

click HERE for this film’s own website

1999, super 8 to 16mm /dvd 100 minutes UK/Germany

This project- a brainchild of Exploding Cinema’s Duncan Reekie, was to make a film like no other -a film of the blasphemous and surrealist – inspiring 19th Century cult classic Anti-Novel MALDOROR by Lautréamont. I was one of 12  Film makers  selected, 8 from the UK (5 of whom are members of the Exploding Cinema) and 4 from Germany. We were each sent one  chapter from the book and an invitation to make a film out of their chapter. Each maker could use different techniques, styles, actors and locations but there would be a voice over narration by one narrator over the entire feature. The only proviso was that is was to be shot on super 8. ( later blow up to 16mm) What resulted is an extraordinary realisation  of  Film makers’ imagination and ingenuity, a veritable chowder of the tastiest in Underground-my section-

The Spectacular Murder of Mervyn

6 mins, 2000,Super 8 Film, model animation, photo animation  and live action.

Distributed by Video Data Bank HERE

and as part of MALDOROR (SEE ABOVE)

Voice: Charles Phillips, Mervyn: Paul Tarragó,

Aghone: Stefan Szczelkun, Text: Lautréamont,Translation: Alexis Lykiard

An adaptation of the gruesome and fantastical ending chapter of this notorious anti-novel and a joyful return to the necessity of super 8 film tricks, my mission was to realise the impossible  climax of the film- when the anti- hero Maldoror- murders the young ‘hero’ Mervyn by swinging him on the end of a rope from the top of Nelson’s column, and throwing him at the Albert Hall.

The Point of Light- Collaborative Video Project

2000, 10 minutes digital video

Video Education project/Residency at The Photographer’s Gallery, London with film maker Paul Tarragó, on the occasion of Tony Oursler’s’ The Influence Machine’ Artangel Public  Art project.We made a collaborative video – a portrait of the soho area- with local young homeless people.

The Lee Mysteries

2000, 15 mins

Digital video and Super 8 cut out animation, Documentary/animation/fantasy.

This piece is a collaboration made with 50 school children from 2 North London junior Schools where I was Artist in Residence, about the Local section of canal ( the Lee Navigation cut) that runs by the back of their school. It is a collage of childrens’ stories (that the children animated themselves), spectacular hand crafted digital Special effects and fast paced documentary footage. It was commissioned by SPACE STUDIOS  for the Canal Culture Festival.