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Runa Islam

 Runa Islam First Day of Spring (still) 2005

Runa Islam | Bangladesh/United Kingdom b.1970 | First Day of Spring (still) 2005 | 16mm film, colour, sound, 7:00 minutes | Image courtesy: The artist and White Cube, London

b. 1970 Dhaka, Bangladesh
Lives and works in London, United Kingdom

Runa Islam’s lyrical films reference the history and vocabulary of cinema to explore a range of narratives concerned with the act of seeing and notions of truth and fiction. Working with Super-8 and 16mm film, Islam examines the mechanics of vision through the use of motion sensors and optical toys. Immensely beautiful and sensual, her films are often displayed in installations which reveal the production context of filmmaking as a means of looking beyond the frame, and highlight the inherently illusory and magical nature of the medium. Two films will be presented in APT6. The First Day of Spring 2005 uses long, languid tracking shots to convey, with immediacy and depth, an intimate group portrait of cycle rickshaw drivers in Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh, as they rest on their rickshaws. Equally beguiling is The Restless Subject 2008, which focuses upon a nineteenth-century thaumatrope, an optical device which merges two images to create a third image. This later work is installed in a sculptural space created in collaboration with Slovenian sculptor Tobias Putrih, further highlighting Islam’s interest in the relationship between, film, art and architecture.

Exhibitions (solo): Shugo Arts, Tokyo, Japan, 2008; Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland, 2008; Serpentine Gallery, London, United Kingdom, 2006. Exhibitions (group): ‘The Cinema Effect’, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC, United States, 2008; Manifesta 7, Trentino, Italy, 2008; ‘Brave New Worlds’, Walker Art Centre, Minneapolis, United States, 2007.

APT6 exhibiting artists and projects are: Minam Apang | Isabel & Alfredo Aquilizan | Chen Chieh-Jen | Chen Qiulin | Cheo Chai-Hiang | DAMP | Solomon Enos | Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian | Subodh Gupta | Gonkar Gyatso | Kyungah Ham | Ho Tzu Nyen | Emre Hüner | Raafat Ishak | Runa Islam | Ayaz Jokhio | Takeshi Kitano | Ang Lee | Mansudae Art Studio | Rudi Mantofani | Mataso Printers | The Mekong: Bùi Công Khánh, Jun Nguyen-Hatsushiba, Sopheap Pich, Manit Sriwanichpoom, Svay Ken, Tun Win Aung & Wah Nu, Vandy Rattana | Tracey Moffatt | Farhad MoshiriKohei Nawa | Shinji Ohmaki | The One Year Drawing Project | Pacific Reggae: Roots Beyond the Reef | Rithy Panh | Reuben Paterson | Campbell Patterson | Wit Pimkanchanapong | Qiu Anxiong | Kibong Rhee | Hiraki Sawa | Shirana Shahbazi | Shooshie Sulaiman | Thukral & Tagra | Charwei Tsai | Vanuatu Sculptors | Rohan Wealleans | Leba Toki, Bale Jione & Robin White | Yang Shaobin | Yao Jui-Chung | YNG | Zhu Weibing & Ji Wenyu