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.