Monday, 28 July 2014

85A at The Clyde Amphitheatre

For one night only, Glasgow Film presented a cinematic performance, where artist collective 85A – aided by musicians, circus performers, artists and filmmakers – took the audience on an adventurous voyage.


"85A are a tight-knit brood of multidisciplinary artists. With their own crossover brand of visual art, music and performance, and with 15 provocative shows since 2008, they have been establishing themselves as Glasgow's most irreverent cultural agitators. They are consolidated in their belief that work ought to reveal itself by non-conformist means: an ongoing theme being the presentation of art projects in disused buildings, forgotten spaces, and the ‘sideways’ of man’s environment…… allowing the viewer to be confronted by an alternative, hidden pathway leading through the glistening alleys of experimental-experience."


People at The Clyde Amphitheatre were invited to take part in THE HUNT FOR THE RATTUS ORLOVA, a fictionalised film shoot of an unbelievable, larger-than-life tale of an abandoned Russian cruise liner that was drifting eerily towards Scotland. Crewed only by a slew of rats and a stalwart captain, the ghost ship was the inspiration for a colossal set, docked along side Custom House Quay.


The audience was instructed to provide the sound effects (including seagulls, seals clapping and rats squeaking) throughout the fictionalised film shooting. The stage was a huge wooden ship, with an inbuilt stage to house a live band. Props were all handmade, and had a very specific, black and white DIY aesthetic.


The ‘Cargo, Camera...ACTION!’ show happened five times over the course of the day, with a different band setting the musical stage each time. 

As day turned to evening, the ship was transformed into a stunning open air cinema, with the area where the bands played becoming a projection screen. 


Four special artist commissions were screened; Games by Torsten Lauschmann consisted of archive footage with the theme of gaming and competition, Chris Leslie's film The Last of the Govan Cranes investigated Govan's shipbuilding history, Seawards the Great Ships was the first Scottish film to win an Oscar, and documents the process of creating a ship, Matter Fisher's animation told the story of a fisherman who discovered a curious ball of stuff. 

The setting for these screenings was ideal, particularly for The Last of the Govan Cranes and Seawards the Great Ships.

I had never seen the amphitheatre used for anything other than a hang-out space for scaters and Glasgow youths, so it was wonderful to experience it being used for its original function, and I really hope that more of these kind of events are scheduled.

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