The Visible Press collaborates with many international institutions on events relating to our books. Any forthcoming events will be listed below. You can also consult the archive of previous events.
Lis Rhodes: Telling Invents Told
Lis Rhodes, Dissonance and Disturbance, 2012, 16 mins
Lis Rhodes, Running Light, 1996, 15 mins
Marking the launch of her long-awaited collected writings Telling Invents Told (The Visible Press), artist and film-maker Lis Rhodes will be in conversation with Maria Palacios Cruz, the book’s editor and Deputy Director of LUX, following a screening of Dissonance and Disturbance and Running Light and readings from the book.
Telling Invents Told includes the influential essay ‘Whose History’ alongside texts from works such as Light Reading, Pictures on Pink Paper or A Cold Draft, together with new and previously unpublished materials. Since the 1970s, Rhodes has been making radical and experimental work that challenges hegemonic narratives and the power structures of language. Her writing addresses urgent political issues – from the refugee crisis to workers’ rights, police brutality, discrimination and homelessness – as well as film history and theory, from a feminist perspective. An important figure at the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative, Rhodes was also a founding member of Circles, the first British distributor of film, video and performance by women artists.
DISSONANCE AND DISTURBANCE
Lis Rhodes, UK, 2012, digital, colour, sound, 26 min
A mural drawn out of three earlier films: A Cold Draft (1988), In the Kettle (2010-12) and Whitehall (2012). In the 24 years between the films – inequity has widened the rift of inequality. The mural does not actually exist without the figures in Whitehall with the intention to resist the privatization of the public. The public assets have been taken and sold – student fees have been imposed – the Education Maintenance abolished in England. The resistance to inequity is echoed in many countries in 2011 – uprisings to the violence of “austerity” that has been demanded by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
Lis Rhodes, UK, 1996, video, colour, sound, 15 min
In 1985 as part of research into the state of drinking water supplies, Lis Rhodes and Mary Pat Leece, an American artist living in the UK, visited West Virginia where open cast mining had polluted the water sources. While there they met Pope Barford, in Raleigh, and having talked about the devastating effects of open cast mining he began telling them of another major problem – that of migrant farmworkers. “I mean why is there slavery – why are people held against their will – if there’s not something … without the illegals … and without the migrants in general their system – it really does collapse. Like most systems it has a rational explanation for its existence… They’ve got to have that cheap labour – you’ve got to have a pool of quiet cheap workers …” The farms thirty odd years ago were not that large. The farmers were white. They were armed. The soundtrack was recorded in 1985. Minimal photographs were taken because of endangering or exploiting the migrants further.
Presented in association with The Visible Press and LUX.
Copies of Telling Invents Told will be available for purchase at the event.
Light Reading: 2 x Lis Rhodes
Lis Rhodes, Ambiguous Journeys, 2018, 40 mins
Lis Rhodes, Light Reading, 1978, 20 mins
“There is a truth between the fragments / That will not fit but belong together.”
On the occasion of this year’s publication of her collected writings — Telling Invents Told — Experimental Tuesdays at the UWM Union Cinema shares two works from the UK filmmaker Lis Rhodes, a pioneering feminist filmmaker who, since the 1970’s, has engaged and challenged the conventions of film form to unveil, dismantle, and re-write the otherwise sustained power structures of language.
Lis Rhodes, 2019, digital, colour, sound, 40 minutes
“In the trap of a neo-liberal economy lives are determined by conditions of increasing inequality and accumulating debt. There is very little protection for someone with little or nothing. Without proof of address, without papers, existence becomes subject to manipulation and debt. Debt as a means of control. The distortions of corporate wealth and cheap labor are made to appear inevitable. There is no ambiguity in the reasonable reasons for the journeys made by many – to escape conditions that are organized, imposed and untenable. War, poverty, and unemployment move people. The danger is — as in Running Light (1996) –of ‘no papers’ – a condition of ‘illegality ’ imposed on a person who can then be deported. Exploitation deepens for those being made or born stateless – ‘a person who is not considered as a national by any State under the operation of its law’. A stateless person does not have a nationality or legal protection of any country. This is exploited by a global economy that depends on cheap, expendable labor. There are no sides to emptiness – the ambiguity is in the place of writing – the frozen window – drawn in ice.” (Lis Rhodes)
Lis Rhodes, 1978, 16mm, b/w, sound, 20 minutes
“Rhodes manipulation of, and dexterity with, cinematic techniques is a constant throughout her work. Light Reading is a technical and aesthetic tour de force of rapid fire editing, myriad techniques, and a compelling text which both manipulates and questions language. The constant themes of repression and the price of rebellion are all anchored around the hypnotic elliptical voice.” (Gill Henderson, A Directory of British Film & Video Artists, 1996)
Experimental Tuesdays at the Union Cinema is a free series on most Tuesdays throughout the academic year that shares contemporary and canonical experimental media. Presented by the UWM Union Cinema and the UWM Department of Film, Video, Animation, and New Genres.
Telling Invents Told is the first collection of writings by artist and filmmaker Lis Rhodes. Since the 1970s, Rhodes has been making radical and experimental work that challenges hegemonic narratives and the power structures of language. Her writing addresses urgent political issues – from the refugee crisis to workers’ rights, police brutality, discrimination and homelessness – as well as film history and theory, from a feminist perspective.
Join the book’s editor Maria Palacios Cruz and invited artists (participants to be announced) for an afternoon of live readings from this new book. Copies of Telling Invents Told will be available for purchase at the event.