Beyond Cataclysm

Michelle Hannah, Jorge Jácome, Matthias Müller, Emily Richardson, Ben Rivers, Jon Schorstein, Fern Silva

20 July 2018, 6pm
Projections at Tyneside Cinema
£6/4 (concessions), ticketed via Tyneside Cinema

Michelle Hannah, Render Me, 2018. Performance documentation. Courtesy of the artist.

“It must be, I thought, one of the race’s most persistent and comforting hallucinations to trust that “it can’t happen here” – that one’s own time and place is beyond cataclysm.” ― John Wyndham, The Day of the Triffids (1951)

Beyond Cataclysm imagines the landscape of a post-human future. Visualising the return of nature and the disappearance of the body, the programme excavates the ruins of modernity: its architectures, colonial past, and enduring psychic residues. Taking its title from John Wyndham’s novel The Day of the Triffids (1951), in which a carnivorous plant species reclaims the planet, “beyond cataclysm” describes humanity’s invariable belief in the impossibility of self-extinction.

In two parts, the programme first observes modernity’s denatured landscape, one scarred by industry and evacuated of spirituality. In films by Matthias Müller, Jon Schorstein and Emily Richardson we visit Brasília, Glasgow, and Orford Ness respectively, as witnesses to the past, present, and future of the landscape under capitalism. Thereafter the programme anticipates a future post-collapse, of triffid-like eco-supremacy, and of life unburdened by the chore of capital. Works by Fern Silva, Ben Rivers, and Jorge Jácome imagine dream-like scenarios of overgrowth, featuring animal invasions, the last human transmission from Biosphere 2, and an island entirely consumed by pink plantlife.

At intermission Michelle Hannah adopts a musical guise to express an ambient Cosmic Pessimism, mixed with the dark matter of Pop, and a unique text-based commission developed with weird fiction editor Simone Hutchinson will also be distributed.

Curated by Marcus Jack and supported by Tyneside Cinema, LUX and Portugal Film.

Read Simone’s essay here︎︎︎


Part I
︎Matthias Müller, Vacancy, 1998. 16mm transferred to digital, 14 min.
︎Jon Schorstein, KH-4, c. 1969. 16mm transferred to digital, 13 min.
︎Emily Richardson, Cobra Mist, 2008. 16mm transferred to digital, 7 min.

︎Michelle Hannah, Render Me, 2018. Performance.

Part II
︎Fern Silva, Wayward Fronds, 2014. 16mm transferred to digital, 13 min.
︎Ben Rivers, Urth, 2016. 16mm transferred to digital, 20 min.
︎Jorge Jácome, Flores, 2017. 16mm transferred to digital, 27 min.