11 to 26 August
This exhibition is part of the BFI’s Britain on Film celebration of archive film, in partnership with Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film Archive and it is shown at PS2 gallery in Belfast. The gallery has recently moved to new premises that used to house the biggest Northern Irish Fishing tackle shop J Braddell and Sons Ltd.
The Materialities of History project approaches the Northern Irish film heritage from a Finnish point of view. The artist Ulrika Ferm, originally from a small coastal town in Finland, was invited to respond to the Coast and Sea themed films at the Northern Ireland Screen Digital Film archive. In her research Ferm mainly focused on the Northern Ireland Tourist Board collection, which created films that aimed to sell Northern Ireland as a holiday destination. Members of staff documented the region through stills and moving images, the films they created capturing various facets of life in Northern Ireland, its society and history, people and places.
Ferm’s practice is interested in archival structures and the way history presents itself through visual material found in archives. The exhibition displays both edited and unedited footage from the Tourist Board collection and some other stately funded film productions such as UTV’s Richer and Rarer (1960). Contrasting the narrative storytelling intended to sell Northern Ireland, either as a tourist destination, or a place for investment, the artist has edited excerpts that emphasise the intrinsic repetition and negating its rootedness in place and time.
The exhibition is curated by Mirjami Schuppert, curator in residence at PS2.