Lis Rhodes

Lis Rhodes

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Rhodes . . work is all the more compelling because her eloquence with film matches her political convictions.

This is London

Reviews

"​The view through the lens maybe blurred or defined –focused or unfocused –depending on what you think you know; what you imagine you see; what you learn to look for; what you are told is visible."

Lis Rhodes

 
"Rhodes’ work is cerebral but the strong, sensuous, yet compelling nature of the visual counterpoints this beautifully."
4 stars The List
 
Since the 1970s, Lis Rhodes has been making radical and experimental films that challenge the viewer to reconsider film as a medium of communication and presentation of image, language, and sound. The exhibition, which takes its title from Lis Rhodes' text Dissonance and Disturbance, presents films that encompass performance, photography, composition, writing and political commentary.
 
Films from throughout Rhodes’ career are presented here at Tramway, from Dresden Dynamo (1972) and Light Reading (1978), to more recent works, such as the Hang on a Minute series (1983-1985) A Cold Draft (1988), In the Kettle (2010) and Whitehall (2012).
 
Rhodes makes no clear differentiation between form and content, and immersive and emotional involvement of the audience is integral to the work. She includes fragmentary passages of typeset, handwriting, strips of film negatives, geometric shapes and documentary footage. Soundtracks fade in and out, leaving long passages in silence and others overlaid with a multiplicity of voices.
 
In Dresden Dynamo (1972), a film made without a camera, the physical marks made by Rhodes onto the celluloid stretch where the projector reads the optical soundtrack, resulting in sound drawings in which what is heard is seen and what is seen is heard. Light Reading (1978), has been described as a new direction for film, a technical and aesthetic tour de force of rapid fire editing, myriad techniques and a text which both manipulates and questions the structure of language and representation. Rhodes is presenting her most recent works In the Kettle (2010) and Whitehall (2012), together with A Cold Draft (1988) within a two screen installation for which she is creating a shared soundtrack.
 
Her films have continued to analyse complex social and political processes and challenge the ownership of the official historic narrative. The films include ruptures that impede the flow of reading, stumbling stones that alert the viewer to the constructing elements of image. Thematically the films deal with the assemblage of female identity, social injustices, oppression, surveillance, protest culture and the language of dissent to quote Rhodes herself, “it is dangerous to step out of line, and lethal not to.”
 
Exhibition organised by the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London
 
 
Images are courtesy of the artist.
 
Lis Rhodes, Light Reading, 1978
20 min. black & white 16mm film
Courtesy of the artist
 
Lis Rhodes, Dresden Dynamo, 1972
10 min. colour 16mm
Courtesy of the artist
 
A clip from Dresden Dynamo