Assembled from multiple source films Screen Tests unfolds as series of Warhol-like screen tests.
Slowly revealed is the location and the occupation of those before the camera; students and tutors from the Manchester School of Art in the 1930’s.
Beautiful and poignant as Screen Tests is, the film also addresses issues embedded in the political economy of creativity. There is conflict blossoming at the heart of culture, a conflict convened around the property rights that subsist in materials stored in public archives. Screen Tests explores this conflict, while enriching rather than depleting the public domain
Commissioned as part of the British Art Show Six in 2006, I collaborated with artists Marysia Lewandowska, Eileen Simpson and Ben White to explore public moving image archives in each city of the exhibition's tour.
Screen Test is edited from material from the North West Film Archive in Manchester.