Date: Wednesday 23 January 2019
Venue: Dundee Contemporary Arts
In a city that was built on the trade from its seagoing connections, Dundee has since diversified to become a 21st century city synonymous with - among other industries - visual arts, design and gaming. DCA is at the heart of Dundee’s contemporary arts scene so bringing Shore to the city offered an opportunity for filmmakers Margaret Salmon and Ed Webb-Ingall to share the work that has inspired their artistic approaches to the project including a fascinating afternoon masterclass on community videomaking led by Ed. Image: Shona Thomson
The Shore event at Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA) was developed to coincide with Hole, DCA’s major new exhibition by Margaret Salmon. In curatorial partnership with LUX Scotland, the positioning of Shore within the contexts of the commissioned filmmakers’ wider artistic practice was continued with the presentation of ‘A Process A Proposal A Plan’ - a masterclass in community videomaking led by Ed Webb-Ingall. In 2018, Ed completed a practice-based PhD at Royal Holloway University entitled ‘Playback: Reactivating 1970’s Community Video’ in which he carried out the first in-depth study of the history and practice of community video in the UK.
“3. The relative success of a project is based on the depth of the relationships formed - by this I mean knowing the participants and them knowing the artist”
(Image courtesy of the artist)
Twenty practitioners attended the afternoon masterclass in DCA’s meeting room in which Ed drew on examples from 1970’s community video as well as his own practice to share the stages he goes through in order to facilitate a community video project. This included the negotiation of the initial invitation from a community, the formation of a group, the role of the discussion screening, the introduction of the video camera, the production of a video and finally the distribution of the finished video.
Often beginning with archival materials and methodologies drawn from community video, Ed collaborates with groups to explore under-represented historical moments and their relationship to contemporary life, developing modes of self-representation specific to the subject or the experiences of the participants. Attendees left with the 10-point list developed by Ed in his practice: ‘Looking backwards in the present, a list, a provocation OR some things I have learnt about the relationship between the facilitator and the participant in a community arts project’.
A key work in Ed’s research for his Shore film I walk there every day but I never saw it that way is the Fogo Island/Newfoundland Project film series directed by Colin Low in the 1960s. The project was an experiment in how film can be a catalyst for social change by serving as a direct means of communication. As Ed notes: “Fifty years since this process was first developed I was interested in how it might function in areas affected by the development and implementation of Marine Protected Areas. …Unlike the Fogo Process, it is not my intention to ‘solve problems’ or reproduce didactic and authoritarian conversations, instead I focus on the everyday, the historical and the personal to draw out a cross community conversation.”
Watch the film ‘Introduction to Fogo Island’ held by the National Film Board of Canada: