Tuesday June 12 + Thursday June 14 @ 7:30PM, Arena Project Space, 2 Kerr St Fitzroy. $7.

Still from  Ghost Paintings 2

Still from Ghost Paintings 2

James Clayden is an Australian artist whose work encompasses painting, sculpture, performance and theatre. Clayden has also been a fixture in independent and experimental film-making for more than forty years.

Clayden's work is notable for his highly intuitive, painterly approach to screen media, from film to digital, Super 8 to miniDV and more recently to low-grade phone imagery (55 Ways of Looking, currently in post-production).

Work originated on Super 8 has been gradually transferred to various video and digital formats over the years, leaving behind the camera original prints. This makes the work unique in the context of recent AFW screenings - less provocation or wilful destruction, to process and perception for their own unique ends.

Produced over 17 years, Clayden's Ghost Paintings series offers one of the most sustained syntheses of these modes. Originally begun in 1986 - at the time when the nexus between film and video art was a relatively new idea - the series evolve as alternating, elemental states, habitable by the viewer: ecstasy, despair, perplexity, rage. Figures wend their way through dark, abstracted landscapes as cryptic narrative autobiography is mingled with the purely figural, the contemplative and the visceral.

Still from  Corpse

Still from Corpse


"These Ghost Paintings chew up pieces of classic literature, grand mythology and the daily atrocities reported in the news, in order to arrive at crystalline pictures of doubt and angst" - Adrian Martin

Our second screening presents Corpse (1982), Clayden's major experimental feature of the early 80s (MIFF, 1982; Berlinale Forum, 1983). 


James Clayden will be present at both screenings.



7:30 pm - The Ghost Paintings 1-4 (2002-03, digital) - 60 min + Q&A



7:30 pm - Corpse (1982, 16mm) - 112 min