The shortlist has been announced for the 2018 Film London Jarman Award, which celebrates groundbreaking work from the UK’s best artist filmmakers. Jasmina Cibic, Lawrence Lek, Daria Martin, Hardeep Pandhal, Margaret Salmon, and duo Larry Achiampong and David Blandy are all in the running for the £10,000 prize.
Awarded to artists operating in film, the Film London Jarman Award focuses on work that pushes the boundaries of filmmaking practice while portraying contemporary or topical concerns. The prize has a reputation for spotting stars of the future – nominees often go on to win larger awards, with artists Laure Prouvost, Monster Chetwynd, Elizabeth Price and Luke Fowler all scooping up the Turner Prize after their nominations.
Many of the artists on this year’s shortlist create work that centres around the political. Larry Achiampong and David Blandy’s The Finding Fanon Series was inspired by the lost plays of philosopher, writer and cultural theorist Frantz Fanon. The ongoing project is a filmic exploration of decolonisation and how it affects contemporary culture. Artist and animator Hardeep Pandhal often satirises racism with British culture and the country’s history, communicating dark, funny and through-provoking ideas in graphic psychedelia.
Both Lawrence Lek and Slovenian performance artist Jasmina Cibic address the role of the state, with the former using virtuality and simulation to explore power and space, and the latter using choreography and dance to talk about about the formation of national identity, often provoking contemplation of the soft power tactics that nation states and institutions use.
While very different in outcome, the work of both Daria Martin and Margaret Salmon discusses the personal and internal worlds of the human condition. Working exclusively with photography and 35mm film, Margaret Salmon’s realist depictions of friends, family life and relationships are often improvised. Daria Martin’s surreal films depict topics such as robotics, dreams, synaesthesia and magic, and highlight the slippages between different levels of consciousness.
An exhibition of the shortlisted artists will travel around the UK, with a final weekend of screenings, discussions and performances at Whitechapel Galley on 17 and 18 November. The winner will also be announced in November.
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