Ptarmigan is no longer operating in Helsinki.

Ptarmigan existed as a project space in Vallila from 2009-2011 and a mobile curatorial/creative platform until 2014. We no longer exist as an organised collective, but this website will continue to serve as an archive of the activities produced as/at Ptarmigan during these years.

Person, presence and identity
screening : video : film
13 May, 2014 00:00 20:30
part of project: Liminal Images

Liminal Images returns after a long hiatus, again bringing a regular programme of experimental cinema classics and obscurities, all dating from before the age in which the moving image was all-pervasive.

This month's screening looks at the idea of the human presence in film. These films, in various ways, question identity, performance, and reality in the filmic illusion. We'll see approaches to personal expression, the body, performance and truth as well as some game-playing.

The films:

Fragment of Seeking 
Directed by Curtis Harrington
USA, 1946
14 mins

Legendary Hollywood director Curtis Harrington starred in his own film, his first. This explores in a fairly narrative manner issues of sexuality, desire and identity.

Production Stills
Directed by Morgan Fisher
USA, 1975
11 mins

The quintessential Fisher film ... In Fisher’s film, the making and presentation of the production stills is the end, and moments of motion picture illusion–the hands entering the image, the apparent use of sync sound, the making of the film itself-are means for getting the stills mounted so that we can examine them. The film also challenges conventional cinematic categories and terminology. (…) It is an unedited film which, however, provides us with eight different views of the action taking place.

 - Scott MacDonald

Manual of Arms
Directed by Hollis Frampton
USA, 1966
17 mins

"Courtly dances with friends and lovers, in the form of a 14 part drill for the camera, incorporating physiognomic & locomotor evidence related to the lens by 13 artists and an historian, namely: C. Andre, B. Brown, R. Castoro, L. Childs, B. Goldensohn, R. Huot, E. Lloyd, L. Lozano, L. Meyer, L. Poons, M. Snow, M. Steinbrechner, T. Tharp, J. Wieland."

-- Hollis Frampton

** intermission **

Directed by Gordon Matta-Clark
USA, 1973
14 mins

A documentation of one of Matta-Clark's legendary performances, where he climbed to the top of the Clocktower in New York and washed, shaved and brushed his teeth while hanging over the streets in front of the huge clockface.

Directed by Tyler Turkle
USA, 1975
4 mins

A lyrical tour guide takes the viewer on a trip down the Wakulla River in North Florida. Although the camera remains relentlessly fixed on him, his vivid, near-musical descriptions of Southern flora, fauna and wildlife gives a better view of things than total visual mobility could ever allow.

Directed by Marilyn Halford
UK, 1975
7 mins

The use of a game works the memory, anticipation is set, positive film stands to resemble a three-dimensional sense of time in past/future. Then negative holds out film itself as the image is one stage further abstracted and a disquiet is set up in the point that the sound track ends, whilst the picture track continues."

- Marilyn Halford, Perspectives on British Avant-Garde Film exhibition catalogue, 1977

A Tale of Labyrinth
Directed by Shuji Terayama
Japan, 1975
17 mins

This film is about door, which is a metaphor of screen. I cannot help thinking that a screen is not a white square cloth but a door, which opens to a space where spectator could participate in. It’s founded upon a premise that projection is a total act constructed with the projector itself, the distance from the projector to screen and the screen itself.

- Shuji Terayama

Programme for 'Person, presence and identity' Liminal Images screening 13 May 2014, Ptarmigan Tallinn.