Young aspiring artists in the borough are set to feature in the Institute of Contemporary Arts’ (ICA) Playback exhibition, which launches this evening at SPACE Studios, Mare Street.
This summer the touring and interactive exhibition, which caters for 16-24 year olds, will showcase over 200 short films made by up-and-coming filmmakers, in association with Channel 4 Random Acts. As an added touch of youthful innovation, attendees will be able to select the flicks through mounted touchscreens.
The work has been collated from talented youngsters up and down the country, as well as in Hackney, where SPACE helped with the production of a number of the films – for example, at their Hackney Wick space The White Building.
Covering a wide variety of disciplines and mediums through individual touch screens, the exhibits aim to reflect the concerns and visions of young people working with film today.
Nazeerah Muhammad, 17, a Hackney Community College student, is one of those exhibiting at the event. She spoke to the Citizen about her film Swipe, a mood piece which sees her sat alone in an armchair swiping through varied backdrops – from an Instagram-friendly beach scene to the middle of a war:
“I wanted [people] to see that social media or even just the internet can draw you into a whole different world and you might end up somewhere you didn’t expect: which can be lonely place.”
Muhammad learnt about Playback and the work of SPACE Studios through her school – and having wowed her teachers and fellow students alike, the project has her thinking ahead: “I do have plans for future filmmaking – it’s something that I can see myself doing, since I enjoy it so much.
“I can definitely see myself going into higher education for this as I would love to make a career path out of it.”
Corinne Orton, Tour Manager for Random Acts, echoed the themes of Muhammad’s film: “Playback draws on the positives of a culture that is increasingly dominated by images and a generation that is highly literate in digital media and film.
“Young people are often criticised for spending too much time on their phones or screens, but Playback allows young people from all walks of life and backgrounds, to communicate and express their ideas and creativity through the medium of film”.
Visitors can expect to see narrative films exploring issues around gender, feminism, race and the benefits system, as well as more light-hearted and animated stories about superheroes and zombies.
Playback launches tonight with a party in SPACE’s courtyard (complete with DJ set from NTS Radio’s Fergus McDonald) and then travels across the length and breadth of the country to England’s major galleries, cinemas and arts venues until March 2018, where it culminates in a festival at the ICA.
Supported by the Arts Council and Channel 4 Random Acts, the programme is open to anyone between the ages of 16 and 24 who wants to make a film.
Playback runs at SPACE Studios, E8 3RH, from 13 July to 22 July/ 13 July, 2017