Film Night Series: Yours Sincerely
3 May 2017 | 6.30pm 8pm
Battersea, Gorvy Lecture Theatre
Programmed by Guy Oliver: David Blandy / Doug Fishbone / Emma Hart / Andy Holden / Andy Kauffman / Heather Phillipson / Laure Prouvost / John Smith / Kim Noble / Guy Oliver
Yours Sincerely presents a programme of films that attempt to unravel the relationships between comedy, artifice and sincerity. A three-way relationship that often appears slippery, problematic and incompatible but, yet can co-exist in blissful harmony. This particular investigation will use the work of two seminal figures in relation to art and comedy, Andy Kauffmann and John Smith, as a conceptual anchor, supported by selected artists who follow in their lineage.
It is understandable to think that these three elements (comedy, artifice, sincerity) negate or undermine themselves from each other. In comedy, it is always desirable for your material to appear as unmediated and spontaneous as possible so not to appear too thought through or constructed. Artificiality is invariably understood negatively as inauthentic and insincere, however overt displays of sincerity itself can be perceived as being unfunny or tiresome within a comedic context. The other problem is that the employment of comedy, humour and jokes is so often associated with mockery and ridicule that there is a lingering suspicion that humour within an art context is imbued with a kind of sarcastic cynicism or that any use of irony automatically suggests shallowness or emotional detachment.
This screening aims to demonstrate the ways that artists challenge these notions and combine these elements to create work of moral, conceptual and emotional complexity. That, in fact, the success of these works is thanks to the investment of emotional honesty and openness and that the element of humour, in each case, broadens the potential meaning and impact of the work.