- Part of...Under Cinema
Two-channel colour HD video with stereo sound, 15 minutes
New commission, Under Cinema, is a film project starring the genre-melding, critically lauded singer Kelela. The film follows the creative process of an up-and-coming pop star as she records her first album, Take Me Apart (recently released on Warp Records to international acclaim). Her unique brand of future-forward pop exists within intersections, flowing seamlessly from era to era, genre to genre, always thrusted forward by the simultaneous power and vulnerability of her voice.
Tsang’s film explores the singer’s adaptability and fluidity within a system largely built on market constraints and notions of a (racialised) fixed image. Using the cinematic lens to interrogate reality, Tsang’s new work uses performance and magical realism to undo conventional narratives and representations, experimenting with what is possible in the realm of the unfixed, and the unreal.
Under Cinema is presented in a specially designed configuration, inspired by FACT’s duality as both gallery and cinema. The gallery’s slanted ceiling follows the curvature of the screens above, and as such its utility as a cinema is always present. Tsang directly engages with this idea of mainstream and experimental art forms sharing (or clashing within) the same space, and riffs on the hierarchy of narratives and experiences which this might create.
The title of the work and the environment are intimately connected to the sense of what happens underground, or in the margins: spaces where communities can come together across difference to collaborate, protest and recreate. The seating pushes against the gallery’s architecture, creating a tight closeness not only to the film and the structure of the gallery itself, but also to other visitors. In this spirit, the installation further explores the traditional role of the cinema screen, and of the cinemagoer, subverting scales and creating a fantastical space of performativity and curiosity.
Under Cinema is a co-production between FACT and Warp Records, and is developed with the support of the Goethe-Institut, London. Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, Berlin.