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AV Festival 12

Posted on 12 January 2012

Issue date: January 2012

Sage Gateshead will feature UK premieres as part of AV Festival 2012.

AV Festival 12: As Slow As Possible – the UK’s leading international festival of art, technology, music and film – takes place across North East England from 1 – 31 March 2012. Slowness is the theme of this fourth edition, a biennial festival in slow motion, with some works running for 31 days, others for a day or for fleeting moments only, and yet others seeming to freeze or extend time. Spanning visual art, film, sound and music, the programme manifests in different places at different paces, speeds and times of day throughout the period of a month.

The headline artists for 2012 are: James Benning, Jem Finer, Hamish Fulton Cyprien Gaillard, John Gerrard, Kenneth Goldsmith, Leif Inge, Phill Niblock, Jonathan Schipper, Susan Stenger, Yoshi Wada.

Featuring over 100 artists in 20 exhibitions, 70 special events and five ‘slow’ weekends of concerts, films, talks and walks, AV Festival 12: As Slow As Possible reveals its speed in over 30 venues including Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, mima (Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art), the National Glass Centre, Tyneside Cinema, Great North Museum, Newcastle Civic Centre, Tyne Bridge Tower and found public spaces.

The Festival programme features the following UK premieres and international award-winning artists:

A special 100th anniversary John Cage tribute concert at Sage Gateshead features new commissions from Fluxus artist Yoshi Wada and legendary New York musician Phill Niblock.

At mima, the largest museum show to date of leading visual artist and winner of the 2010 Marcel Duchamp Award, Cyprien Gaillard. His compelling, cinematic films of ruined landscapes and decay show contemporary architecture being slowly taken over by nature.

In the same venue are two UK premieres of recent works by John Gerrard; his Cuban School series are slow-moving real-time computer generated portraits of utopian schools constructed in the 1960s and now functional ruins of that time.

In a disused space in the centre of Newcastle the UK premiere of Jonathan Schipper’s slow-motion car crash takes 31 days to reach its final conclusion…

Leif Inge’s live performance of Beethoven’s 9th symphony is stretched to 24 hours. And fresh from performing at the White House, poet and Ubuweb founder Kenneth Goldsmith performs a 9-hour reading of UK weather reports.

Renowned UK musician Susan Stenger’s world premiere of her new outdoor sound installation within the dramatic architecture of Newcastle Civic Centre. Over six hours, every day for 31 days the piece progresses through a full annual lunar cycle.

Leading sound artist and ex-member of The Pogues, Jem Finer slows down one LP record each day for 31 days, stretched to the length of a day.

In his first ever UK exhibition, acclaimed artist and musician, Yoshi Wada, creates a new sculptural sound installation in Newcastle’s Discovery Museum, made from organ pipes, sheet metal, sirens, alarms and industrial ventilation pipes. Producing sustained, powerful, long drones that reverberate through space, this new work continues Wada’s early pioneering practice of making musical instruments from plumbing pipes and electronics.

11 seconds becomes 31 minutes in Platform A gallery at Middlesborough train station in avant-garde filmmaker James Benning’s single shot of a factory worker leaving his workplace, taken from his 1971 film Time & A Half. Benning also premieres a new work; one long take of a forest going from daylight to the total darkness of night.

Slow Cinema is a season of 20 films devoted to stillness and contemplation that includes leading international filmmakers Andrei Tarkovsky, Bela Tarr, Alexander Sokurov, Abbas Kiarostami, Pedro Costa, Carlos Reygadas, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Bruno Dumont and many more. A special weekend focus includes guest appearances by Argentinian director Lisandro Alonso, the Hungarian-German director and cinematographer Fred Kelemen and the first UK retrospective of the 5-10 hour-long films of award-winning Filipino director Lav Diaz.

The Festival closes with a mass participation Slow Walk by British land artist, Hamish Fulton in which 300 people traverse slowly across a landmark post-industrial site.

Rebecca Shatwell, Director of AV Festival said: “The ambitious artistic programme for the Festival expands the previous ten-day duration to a month long slow edition. The artists have responded to ideas of slowness, duration and acceleration to create work that will enable us to pause, reflect and think about the world in new ways”.

AV Festival 12: As Slow As Possible launches on 1 March 2012 with 24 hours of exhibition openings, live performance, film screenings, talks and other events across the North East allowing the whole Festival to be sampled – in advance – as fast as possible…

For further information, images or interviews please contact Janette Scott Arts PR on or or +44(0)7966 486156.

Notes to Editors
AV Festival is the UK’s largest biennial festival of contemporary arts and technology, featuring visual art, music, sound and film across North East England in Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland and Middlesbrough. It is thematically curated to engage the public and artists with ideas across society and technology. AV Festival has previously worked with artists including: Anthony McCall, Ryoji Ikeda, Carsten Nicolai, Kenneth Anger, Charlemagne Palestine, Bill Fontana, Liliane Lijn, Gustav Metzger, Alan Moore, Aura Satz, Iain Sinclair, Kaffe Matthews, Michael Nyman and Chris Watson. Since the first edition in 2006, AV Festival has established itself firmly on the international arts festival calendar and has grown audiences both locally and globally. AV Festival 10 featured 140 artists, 31 venues, 20 new commissions, 20 exhibitions, 10 public realm installations and 68 other events spanning concerts, screenings, talks and conferences. AV Festival 12 is funded by Arts Council England, BFI, PRS