Things to Come was filmed at Site Gallery in 2011 as part of Platform, a programme that enabled artists time and space to develop new work in the galleries.
Created over a period four weeks, Graham Ellard and Stephen Johnstone built an abstract, metal and glass model in the gallery based on a series of unpublished production photographs of Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy’s ‘future city’ set designs, commissioned for the 1936 science fiction film Things to Come. The photographs from the Moholy-Nagy archive in Ann Arbor show a make-shift studio, comprised of mirrors, scientific glass, polished steel and string. The objects appear to be suspended by simple but fantastic contraptions, armatures, pulleys, fly wires and a-frames, all of which are manipulated by a team of stage-hands.
Graham Ellard and Stephen Johnstone’s Things to Come consists of abstract synchronised movement across and around a model, which creates a dynamic play of light, shadow, reflection, parallax, depth, surface and prismatic special effects. You would not guess it is made from domestic objects sourced from ebay!
The film sequence Moholy-Nagy produced from his model was never used in the finished film, and is now lost. However this footage has an almost mythological status because it was claimed to be “so rich a visual result that the editor did not dare use it”.
Artists in-conversation and film screening
Tuesday 21 February 2012
The artists will be in-conversation with Site’s Artistic Director Laura Sillars on Tuesday from 6pm. This is a great opportunity to find out how the film was created and about their interest in Hungarian artist László Moholy-Nagy (1895-1946).
Look back at the original project by Graham Ellard and Stephen Johnstone, produced in Site Gallery during Platform 2010 – 2011