The films will be screening on Thursday 13 – Sunday 16 September, then again from Thursday 20 – Friday 21 September 2018
Going Nowhere is a trilogy of films produced by artist Simon Faithfull that span a 20-year period. The film series centres on the act of walking to explore our personal engagement with the environment, the trace we leave on the landscape, and how we can understand and appreciate the dynamics of our rapidly changing world.
Simon Faithfull, Going Nowhere 1, 1995, 7 minutes, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Polaris, Paris
A figure walks away from the camera through a landscape of drifting snow and finally disappears slowly into the distance. The light changes with the passing clouds, birds flit by and it becomes apparent that the camera has been left on its own in an empty field. Going Nowhere 1 is an attempt to witness an absence – to check if the world still exists when I’m not there.
Simon Faithfull, Going Nowhere 1.5, 2016, 9 minutes, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Polaris, Paris
Filmed from high up in the air, a tiny figure is seen walking around the perimeter of a small island, alone in a vast sea. As the tide rises the sandbank-island shrinks and the circles walked by the figure grow smaller and smaller. Eventually the rising waters erase the dry land and the figure has vanished into an empty sea and sky.
Simon Faithfull, Going Nowhere 2, 2011, 5 minutes, courtesy of the artist and Galerie Polaris, Paris
This short, silent film presents a walk through a landscape at the bottom of the Adriatic Sea. A figure in jeans and shirt, walks purposefully away from the camera and steps laboriously through a landscape of fish, rocks and watery light. How he is able to walk ten meters beneath the surface of the sea, or where he is actually going are not clear, but he seems to have an objective or a path that he is following.
A special screening of Going Nowhere 2 accompanied by a music playlist selected by Faithfull based around the theme of walking will be on view in the café throughout the preview night for Future Knowledge (Friday 21 September, 6:30-8.30pm). The playlist is also available to listen to via Modern Art Oxford’s Spotify account.
Faithfull’s practice has been described as an attempt to understand and explore the planet as a sculptural object – to test its limits and report back from its extremities. Within his work Faithfull often builds teams of scientists, technicians and transmission experts to help him bring back a personal vision from the ends of the world. Recent exhibitions include solo shows at Galerie Polaris (Paris), Musee des Beaux Arts (Calais), Fabrica (Brighton,) FRAC Basse Normandie (France) and the British Film Institute (London). Recent group shows include exhibitions at Parafin Gallery (London), ACC Gwangju (Korea), Turner Contemporary (UK), CCCB (Barcelona), Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts (Australia). In 2010 Faithfull’s largest permanent public artwork to date was unveiled at the centre of Liverpool, England. Faithfull was born in Braziers Park – a utopian community in Ipsden, Oxfordshire. He studied at Central St Martins and then the University of Reading. His practice takes a variety of forms – ranging from video, to digital drawing, installation work and writing. Faithfull is also a Reader of Fine Art at Slade School of Fine Art, UCL, London.