8 Feb: Research – Patrick Keiller

The work I have looked at so far has made me realise, that I had moved away from the idea of ‘less is more’.  I need to cut down what I have worked on so far, and slow the pace down considerably.  The importance of ambient noise adds much to the atmosphere of what one is creating, as came through very much with the work of Zarina Bhinmji and Tacita Dean.  So although I have sufficient visual material recorded at this time to make the video, I need more ambient sounds, which is something I can do with a few more visits to the High Street both when it is quieter or when it is noisy.

I have also looked at the work of the following film maker.


He began by studying  and practising architecture and later fine art, and has been making films since 1981.  His interest in building and the environment is evident within his work which adopts a documentary approach.  In 1994 he produced his first feature-length film London, which depicts a year in the life of the capital through Keiller’s protagonist, Robinson.  The Guardian interview (30 November 2012) states that it, ” … concerns itself with “the problem” of the capital … its lack of charisma and of functionality compared to other european cities and is “more concerned with tracing the city’s cultural past”.  It also adds that he was intrigued with the Surrealists’ idea of changing a city just by altering the way we look at it.  Perhaps my own video will be able to achieve some of this idea as well.  The commentary to the film is narrated by the actor Paul Schofield and a small excerpt can be viewed on my video page CLICK HERE

Screen shot 2012-06-23 at 10.12.23 PM

The following image was taken from the film.


His short film, Robinson in Space (1997) part of which can be viewed rom my video page CLICK HERE  shows wide static shots of car factories, supermarkets and container ports, often seen from a distance through fences; together with a narrative commentary and the ambient sounds within the environment.


His latest film, The View from the Train: Cities and Other Landscapes (2014) retraces the hidden history of the places where we live.

After looking at the work of other film makers, my opinion on the work comes down to personal choice as a viewer.  The earlier visual work by Keiller, whilst it seems rather dated compared with more recent work is thought provoking, and he is depicting aspects not generally looked at in detail.   I was not able to download even part of his most recent work, but it will be interesting to view this to see how his work has developed over time.

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