AV Festival 14: Extraction, open 1–31 March 2014, explores the raw materials that create our experience of the world, from their origins deep in the ground, to their extraction, transformation and global exploitation. Everything comes from the ground, digging the earth, pulling out material through mining or quarrying. Extraction creates new landforms, substances and residues, making visible hidden geological strata across vast time periods.
Over a month this sixth edition of the biennial Festival re-imagines the geologic. The curated programme includes 11 exhibitions, 36 film screenings, 10 concerts, 11 new commissions and 25 UK premieres, across Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough in North East England.
Exhibitions run throughout the Festival month. New works include Lara Almarcegui‘s geological tours of the last coal seams at Science Central in Newcastle; Akio Suzuki‘s sculptural sound works responding to the coast at Marsden Rock; Susan Stenger‘s sound installation transforming Northumberland coastal geology into the sonic; and Rossella Biscotti & Kevin van Braak‘s installation referencing a bronze statue of the Russian miner Alexey Stakhanov.
UK premieres of existing works include Anna Molska‘s single screen film about the Polish coal mining region of Silesia; Wang Bing‘s acclaimed 14-hour film of Chinese crude oil extractors; and a solo exhibition by Jessica Warboys that brings together film, object and canvas.
The Festival curated group exhibitions focus on the materials of metal and stone. Metal includes work by artists including Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Simon Starling and Anja Kirschner & David Panos. Stone includes work by Dennis Oppenheim, Harun Farocki, Gabriel Orozco and Yuri Ancarani amongst others.
The opening weekend includes special concerts, film screenings, talks and tours, including Michael Snow, The Otolith Group, Jessica Warboys & Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Akio Suzuki and Aki Onda plus the world premiere of Bruce McClure‘s new 16mm performance, responding to Robert Smithson’s 1971 proposal for an underground cinema cavern.
Postcolonial Cinema weekend
This weekend explores the complex histories and material traces of past colonial inequalities. It includes in-person screenings by leading documentary filmmakers and artists Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi, Gabriel Abrantes, Sven Augustijnen, Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc and Duncan Campbell.
Digging for Sound weekends
Mid-Festival we present two weekends of newly commissioned work by artists and musicians that have extracted sounds from the natural landscape, with concerts by Lee Patterson, John Butcher and Rhodri Davies, Common Objects, Richard Skelton and Chris Watson.
A weekly film series focuses on documentary practice, with films exploring global depictions of extraction including work by Nicolas Rey, Allan Sekula and Noël Burch, plus UK premieres of Andreas Horvath’s Earth’s Golden Playground about the new Klondike gold rush; Rachel Boynton’s Big Men, which exposes the African oil industries; and Victor Lopes’ Serra Pelada – The Legend of the Gold Mountain, documenting myths around one of the largest mines of the twentieth century.
The month comes to a close at Dunston Staiths, built on the River Tyne in 1893 to ship coal from the local Durham coalfields to the world. Watched by an audience on boats, seminal industrial music group Test Dept return for a three-night sonic, cinematic and lighting intervention, marking the 30th anniversary of the Miners’ Strike.
Artists: Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, Gabriel Abrantes, Lara Almarcegui, Yuri Ancarani, Salvatore Arancio, Sven Augustijnen, Walead Beshty, Wang Bing, Rossella Biscotti & Kevin van Braak, John Butcher & Rhodri Davies, Duncan Campbell, Pat Collins, Common Objects, Harun Farocki, Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi, Anja Kirschner & David Panos, Bruce McClure, Anna Molska, Aki Onda, Dennis Oppenheim, Gabriel Orozco, Lee Patterson, Nicolas Rey, Allan Sekula & Noël Burch, Richard Skelton, Michael Snow, Simon Starling, Susan Stenger, Hito Steyerl, Akio Suzuki, Test Dept, The Otolith Group, Jessica Warboys, Chris Watson, and more
Professional accreditation open: www.avfestival.co.uk/visit/accreditation
For information and tickets visit www.avfestival.co.uk.