And Under That (2012) / Anne-Marie Copestake / 18 Sept – 22 Nov / Ripples on the Pond

And Under That (2012) Anne-Marie Copestake, courtesy of the artist and LUX, London
And Under That (2012) Anne-Marie Copestake, courtesy of the artist and LUX, London

GoMA is delighted to present the next installment of the Moving Image Programme for Ripples on the Pond, And Under That (2012) by Anne-Marie Copestake. There will also be a new edition on Anne-Marie Copestake’s work by Modern Edinburgh Film School available in the gallery soon.

And Under That (2012). Video, 32 minutes, 5.1 surround sound/stereo soundtrack.
Anne-Marie Copestake
Screened courtesy of the artist and LUX,London

For Sue.
Dedicated to the memory of Ramona Sue MacLauchlan, who died July 2015.
Sue leapt into working on the film with a vigour and thoughtfulness that remained constant throughout our meetings and friendship. (Anne-Marie Copestake 2015)

“The innocent/intellectual split of a woman. This actually links up with the question of the legacy of after the war. I was 10/11 when the war ended but living in Hull and having had people killed and having our school taking a direct hit I could only be painfully aware of both it and what the male/female expectancies were. The war ended and suddenly we were back to this social division. I often remember contemplating the so-called ’emancipation’ of women (and of the Jews). I lined my mother and lovely step-father up and announced my finding: “As far as I’m concerned there is no such thing as emancipation as I have emancipated myself, I refuse to be lowly because of my gender.” My step-father said he thought I could become the first woman prime minister!! One of our friends was made to stand back in the Civil Service to allow men to be promoted first! Again Anne-Marie I could go on ad infinitum! Any more???
Another memory which I think I missed when you were here. Yes, there’s quite a few things I would like to have achieved and some I may even yet manage but the main things that come to me are that I would like to make a parachute jump, I would like to abseil and I would pursue a second language and more music.

Phew! This epistle sounds so Me Me – better get back to miming!
Looking forward to whatever!
LOL Sue xxx”

From an email written by Sue responding to questions Copestake raised while writing the script of And Under That. The script was composed from fragments of memories, questions, histories uncovered, history’s subjective nature, moments of alienation and resistance. Exploring attitudes from contemporary older women questioning legacies, female voices of authority, the film also opens up the problems of a flawed perception of the ‘truth’ in the outward sound and appearance of older people, a forced double identity.

And Under That is presented here as a single screen film and has also been presented as a film with seamless transition into live performance, which continues after the film has finished and sets up a situation where there is no formal ending. The performance format includes additional footage and emphasises the sense of open-ended possibility expressed by the women in the film.

The ordinary is a circuit that’s always tuned in to some little something somewhere.
It can pool up in little worlds of identity and desire.

Kathleen Stewart, ‘Tuned In,’ Ordinary Affects, (London: Duke University Press, 2007) p. 12.

The imagery in And Under That… moves viewers through a series of spaces, both public and private, that are animated by the presence of bodies, most often those of the film’s two main subjects. The scenes are relatively ordinary, though somehow they don’t always feel that way. Throughout And Under That… voice, music, and sound are at least as important to the viewer’s experience of the work as what we see. Indeed, it is perhaps in making her viewers into listeners that Copestake allows us to participate in the attention she pays to her subjects’ “ordinary affects.” In echoing a topology of listening, And Under That participates in an openness (ears, unlike eyes, can’t be closed after all) that allows an unheard subjectivity to emerge. That this is made audible through the voices of older women, voices not listened to attentively enough in our culture, and habitually heard as those of “finished” subjects, is essential to the film’s affective power, to the way it moves.

The moving images that Copestake uses to show us these various pools of ordinariness are themselves shown to be movable within And Under That. At times the footage is rotated 90 degrees into the vertical, so that the film seems to flow down the screen; at other points it is layered to create a sense of shifting depth within the image. In previous film works, Copestake used techniques such as projecting onto textured, layered, or broken surfaces to disrupt the immateriality and unity of the filmic image. By manipulating the layers and orientations of the material in And Under That, the artist is able to draw something of that disruption back into the film, even within the stabilizing frame of the cinematic screen. The interruption of the film’s flow of images is what makes space for those pools of ordinary feeling to gather.
Adapted from Dominic Paterson, ‘And Under That…’ in Subject Area: writing/film, 2014.

Anne-Marie Copestake is an artist and musician based in Glasgow. She attended the Glasgow School of Art in the late 1990’s. In 2011 she was awarded the Margaret Tait Award. Recent exhibitions, screenings and performances include: e e e e o ee e i a ae e a, Rhubaba, Edinburgh; CURRENT: Contemporary Art from Scotland, curated by Sophia Hao and Wang Nanming, with Poster Club, Shanghai Himalayas Museum, Shanghai (2015); Studio Jamming – Artists Collaborations in Scotland, as Full Eye with Katy Dove and Ariki Porteous, Cooper Gallery, Dundee; Trigger tonic Compendium, organised by Isla Leaver-Yap, Tramway, Glasgow; Tectonics BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra Festival, curated by Ilan Volkov and Alasdair Campbell, The Old Fruitmarket, Glasgow (2014); Media City Film Festival, Windsor; Hyde Park Picture House, Leeds; Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen (2013).

And Under That is being screened courtesy of Anne-Marie Copestake and LUX, London and was commissioned by Glasgow Film in partnership with LUX and supported by Creative Scotland for the Margaret Tait Award 2011.

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