Experimental film and video art platform Prototype has announced a new three-month season featuring nine new short works – including eight world premieres – by 10 international and Australian artists, filmmakers and collectives.
First launched by writer and critic Lauren Carroll Harris in partnership with Arcadia Films back in 2019, Prototype’s goal is to shake up how experimental screen art is commissioned and distributed, taking it outside of traditional spaces like galleries and film festivals.
For the third season, Prototype 2021, a new film will be released every Wednesday from April 28 to June 23, published online and via e-newsletter.
Curated by Carroll Harris, the latest program explores themes of the anthropocene, counter histories and diasporic storytelling in a diversity of languages.
“I’ve always believed that audiences should be able to have well-curated encounters with excellent art whether galleries, cinemas, festivals and museums are open or closed,” she said.
“Our new program supports great artists and filmmakers to experiment, cross artistic borders and break creative boundaries, while allowing audiences to access new, cutting-edge, well-curated art, anywhere, anytime. Our artists are exploring a diversity of worldviews and artforms, from artist’s films to hybrid investigative documentaries. Our new season expands the scope of collaborators to a number of respected long-time filmmakers and brilliant overseas artists, reaffirming Prototype as an internationally recognised platform for video art and experimental film of intellectual curiosity and discovery.”
Alongside the core digital presentation, a number of in-person screenings of the newly released works will be presented at Melbourne’s ACMI during the three-month season, including a Prototype 2021 April 27. A ticketed event, it will features a panel discussion with Carroll Harris and Samantha Lang, alongside an exclusive in-person premiere screening of Lang’s work Brown Lake and works from Prototype’s archive by UK-based Sam Smith and Canberra documentary-maker Robert Nugent.
The Prototype 2021 season includes:
- April 28 | Brown Lake by Samantha Lang. Visual artist, filmmaker and writer-director Lang presents Brown Lake, set on North Stradbroke Island and exploring the disappearance of Brown Lake’s water from the viewpoint of the lake itself.
- May 5 | Untitled Project by Gabrielle Brady. The creator of documentary Island of the Hungry Ghosts, the Berlin-based Australian filmmaker Brady presents a new experimental documentary: a counter history of colonialism on Christmas Island, one of the last places on Earth to be settled by humans.
- May 12 | Untitled project by Raqs Media Collective. 2020 had 28 of the planet’s fastest days on record since 1960, with the Earth rotating on its axis at an unusually fast speed. Fresh from curating last year’s Yokohama Triennale, New Delhi-based Raqs Media Collective respond to the curiousness of the current global pandemic, combining images from this period of faster time with material shot in the University of Champaign Urbana’s Kolb-Proust Archive to meditate on what it means to have time go faster, even when time feels lost.
- May 19 | Say Swear: This is one way we can find each other if we ever get lost by Justine Youssef and Leila El Reyes. Western Sydney artists Youssef and El Reyes collaborate with community residents in the region to create Say Swear, which subverts the format of the Mortal Kombat video game to explore queer, female and non-binary Arab identities in Sydney’s Western ‘area’ subcultures.
- May 26 | Untitled Yoki film by Audrey Lam. Melbourne-based filmmaker Audrey Lam, a member of the Artists’ Film Workshop, presents a diary portrait following the seven-year-old child, Yoki, in a multilingual Japanese-German-Australian family in the months following the birth of his brother. This instinctive piece of personal storytelling captures a child’s way of seeing the world through rhythm, feeling and vivid images of childhood growth and familial connection. In Japanese and English.
- June 2 | Missing by Allison Chhorn. Adelaide filmmaker Chhorn visualises Cambodian-American poet Monica Sok’s poem Letter to the Moon Regarding False Intimacy with an intimate fictional drama of a mother and daughter separated by geography. Shot across Australia, the USA and Canada, Missing springs from research into the Facebook group “Missing People from the Khmer Rouge,” where diaspora members still search for Cambodian family members missing since the genocide. Featuring Monica Sok; in Khmer and English.
- June 9 | La Maruja by Pilar Mata Dupont. Amsterdam-based Australian-Argentian artist Pilar Mata Dupont visits her family’s history, digging into the mysteries of ancestry and matriarchy. Influenced by director Lucrecia Martel, Pilar imagines her extended family members as absent protagonists and Argentina’s complicated and violent history as a backdrop against which to unpack themes of motherhood and trauma, colonial dread and alienation. In Spanish and English.
- June 16 | A new and different sun by Jodie Whalen. Presented online for the first time after premiering at Carriageworks, Sydney as part of NO SHOW in March 2021, Australian artist Whalen’s A new and different sun is a luminous, hyper-emotional vision of horizonless clouds made pink and violet by the light of dusk that suggests a surrender to love and nature.
- June 23 | Untitled project by Malena Szlam. Chilean film director and moving image maker Malena Szlam (winner 58th MIFF Shorts Awards) considers our sense of place in a hypnotic, abstracted moving image work of horizons, mountains and natural forms.
A full program of ticketed physical screenings for Prototype 2021 will be announced in the coming months.
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