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Member Area
Venice Biennale

It would be nice to do something political (AIS 22)

Gaze as touch, touch as gaze

Talking of Michelangelo Antonioni and Buonarroti, gaze as touch, touch as gaze. By Jacopo Benci

The sound of footsteps on black screen, before the first shot fades in. The interior of a grand old building. The legs and feet of a man walking in. The man is an old, white-haired, bespectacled gentleman, simply but stylishly dressed in black. The building is an ancient colonnaded church. The man walks to the side of the church, he stops and starts to look at something quite large and high, off screen.The evolution of the artist filmmaker 1997-2007: What has changed?2007 marks the 10th anniversary of Filmwaves magazine. What has happened to artists’ film and video in the last decade? We asked practitioners, lecturers and writers. In this issue William RabanIn one fundamental way spring 1997 feels rather like the present. Ten years ago there was a growing sense that after 18 years of Tory rule the May 97 election would bring a new direction in government. Ten years on and change is in the air once again as Tony Blair serves out his last few months in office. Politically the last 10 years have been a disaster and nothing but a smooth continuation of Thatcherism.

The new labour government, that will forever be remembered for its tragic war in Iraq, eagerly began its reforming zeal with the introduction of university tuition fees and the White Paper A Bigger Picture, that was the blueprint for the formation of the Film Council. The Film Council was established on commercialist lines in accordance with the American system where production is led by the priorities of distribution. In other words, the Film Council was tasked with creating a UK film industry modelled on Hollywood. It quickly became clear that the funding of experimental film or artists’ film and video was definitely not on the government’s agenda.