Private Project

Counter Compositions - Truth to Material

This work started with a single reel of black and white silent film appearing to show a morning shift in a television factory from an unidentified time and place. An unknowable space of speculation, who are the people present and what is their relationship to this work place, its internal structures and operations?
Is the purpose of this footage to evaluate functionality and efficiency of factory productivity or surveillance of staff behaviour? This found footage having been disassociated from its intention raises questions about the unseen and forgotten aspects of its employee’s lives, and the relationship of social and technological histories. The footage is a stationary single scene with time lapse photography compressing half a day into 3 minutes, accelerating the experience of a slowly passing day.
The conveyor belt forms a diagonal composition receding into the factory space, in early modernist language a Counter Composition. The individual frames are fragmented and detached forming new configurations of space/time that move beyond the confines of the frame and elude the temporal moment.
Here the authenticity of film and video is linked to another early creative trope Truth to Materials where each material/media have their own individual characteristics and histories.
The images focus on the bodies and gestures of the persons working within this mechanised factory environment. Anonymous faces are caught in fleeting moments looking back into the camera reflecting their awareness of being recorded.
The sound track is composed from optical sounds created by hand drawn lines on blank film and scratched into unexposed film emulsions, creating a synthesis of recorded and electronically generated sounds.

  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    14 minutes
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Film Color:
    Black & White and Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography

Simon Rattigan is a U.K. born film and video artist who grew up in Johannesburg, South Africa and is currently living in London. He Graduated from Chelsea school of art in London with an MA in fine art. He has developed his practice through researching the relationships of moving image, sound and language to explore sensory and autobiographical experience. His works transform found and new footage to interweave personal narrative with political and historical structures. His works have been exhibited nationally and internationally, and made use of Museum displays and archival materials taking the form of installations, videos and books. He participated in Lux artists moving image critical forum, 2018 and Ethnographic Terminalia, New Orleans, U.S.A., 2011, The Nunnery, Structure texture future, 2015, Screened work at Whitechapel gallery, 2010 and SSFX festival, London, 2017. Transitional States, Campbell works, London 2019. Crania Sounds, Solo Show at Five Years Gallery, London 2019. Awarded best artists short film Mannheim Arts and Film Festival 2022. Screening at the 29th Chicago Underground Film Festival to be held July 27-31 2022
Simon Rattigan is a U.K. born in 1974

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