Shared Themes and Contexts

In this section we showcase examples of how works have been explored by our visiting curators. This illustrates some of the many ways there are of finding commonalities between works. It is aimed at those wishing to select works for exhibition or screenings from this ever growing body of visual artists' moving images.

The Family and other works

Taking Bob Quinn’s 1979 documentary The Family as a central focus, this selection of films highlights the ways in which the family entity or familial relationships are tested and examined across a number of works in the MExIndex

Cityscape: The Ruins of the Present

This is a selection of films that look at urban landscapes as sites of constant transformation, shifting grounds of contemporary life that is increasingly concentrated in cities across the globe.

Cityscape: The Future is Another Country

If a future exists, does it still offer a better world than the present one? How are we to imagine the future, if what has been promised in the past has already failed and dissolved into a present full of conflicts, ecological problems, injustice and inequality? This selection of films intends to present how artists respond to these questions through the medium of film. Each film presents a different perspective, hinting at possibilities that do not override, refute, nor necessarily affirm those presented in the others. Hence, the selected group of films suggest a multiplicity of futures that cannot be articulated through a single vision.

The selection specifically focuses on cities and landscapes as the physical terrains of possible futures. These are the sites where the effects or the lack of civilization are felt and seen most. They are also the sites where greater authoritarianism and control is exerted upon everyday life of individuals and citizens as a whole, threatening a vision of a trusted future. How do we adapt to such increased control? Is it possible to contradict, defy or simply withdraw?

Some films refer to an ambiguous time that could either be the past, the present or the future. In this selection they are offered as examples of artistic envisioning of how a near or distant future might look like. This screening intends to open up these films into a larger enquiry about possible futures in line with the ambivalence of our time and uncertainties about the future.

The Future is Another Country films were:

Tom Flanagan & Megs Morley, Post-Fordlândia, 2011, 20 mins.

Kevin Gaffney, A Numbness in the Mouth, 2016, 17 mins, 32 secs.

Moira Tierney, American Dreams #5: Cruise Control, 2016, 7 mins.

Patrick Jolley, Sitting Room, 2012, 16 mins.

Louise Manifold, In Death & Fiction, 2013, 6 min.

Michelle Deignan, Ways to Speculate, 2014, 4 mins.