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A History of Artists' Film and Video in Britain 1897-2003

Curtis, David (2007) A History of Artists' Film and Video in Britain 1897-2003. BFI Publishing: London.. ISBN 1844570967

Type of Research: Book
Creators: Curtis, David

This book was published following the success of the Tate Britain exhibition 'A Century of Artists’ Film in Britain' which I curated in 2003. The research is similarly based on the unique documentation of the CSM Artist’ Film and Video Study Collection and is a culmination of a long period of engagement with the history.

It summarises the achievement of moving-image makers in their cultural, economic and social context. It examines artist-led and state-provided institutions that have supported the development of the art-form including; the Film Society; the London Filmmakers Co-op; film/video in higher-education; the nurturing of ‘installation-art’ by the public-gallery system, and the function of the artists’ committees at the Arts Council and the BFI Experimental Film Fund.

These UK phenomena are placed in an international context, discussing comparable institutions abroad, and the development of international artists’ networks, forums and festivals. It is the first comprehensive historical survey of artists’ filmmaking in Britain including important forgotten or overlooked artists and works and links are established between pre and post-war movements. Differences and continuities in artists’ working practices and distribution strategies across decades are analysed.

Additional Information (Publicly available):

David Curtis

Research Interests

History of British artists' film & video, History of international artists' film & video, Curating artists film & video, Public funding of the arts.
History of British Experimental Film, document and describe the development of experimental film and video in Britain. Study collection of videotapes, and paper documentation of British artists. AHRB funded, exhibitions and conferences

Current Research

I joined CSM as a Senior Research Fellow researching the History of British Experimental Film within the programme of the AHRB Centre for British Film and television Studies. My main concern is to document and describe the development of experimental film and video in Britain, its individual artists, its institutions, and the cultural and funding context in which it has taken place. A major research project has been the assembly of a Study Collection of videotapes and paper documentation covering the work of over 700 British artists. This has been based on donations from the Arts Council of England, the ICA and many individual artists. The Collection is open to researchers and actively supports and initiates exhibition and publishing projects. Another research stand has been building of the first comprehensive database of film and video works by British artists, currently containing 6,000 titles. This is the beginning of a major project supported by the AHRB to build an online resource to support academic research in this area.

My own curatorial research has resulted in a major display at Tate Britain - A Century of Artists' Film in Britain (May 2003-May 2004). My research is devoted to uncovering the histories of artists' film and video in Britain, and recording and documenting them in various forms. I lead the team that is building a Study Collection at CSM devoted to British artists' work that is available to internal and external academic and curatorial research. This is the only collection of its kind in the UK and its files already contain a substantial proportion of the history of the 'key' artist-led organisations, such as the London Filmmakers' Co-op and London Video Arts. The Collection is funded by the AHRB and forms part of the multi-partner AHRB Centre for British Film and Television Studies. The Collection includes tapes of artists' works, writings by and about artists, institutional documents, books, catalogues, posters etc. Building this Collection and encouraging its use forms a major research strand, to which PhD and MA research is contributing. The Collection website (built by colleague Steven Ball) is at www.studycollection.org.uk and contains catalogues of the collection, a historical database of artists and works, and temporary on-line exhibitions. My personal research has resulted in exhibitions such as A Century of Artists Film in Britain for Tate Britain (2003-4) and its website/catalogue www.tate.org.uk/britain/artistsfilm and the forthcoming book A History of Artists' Film and Video in Britain 1897-2003, BFI Publishing, October 2005.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: BFI Publishing: London.
Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Central Saint Martins
Date: 2007
Funders: BFI, Arts Council, England
Date Deposited: 04 Dec 2009 12:16
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2010 10:27
Item ID: 1331
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1331

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