Friday 21st May 2021 to
Saturday 12th June 2021
SHELTER IN PLACE
by Andrea Luka Zimmerman
3 screen installation
19 minutes, looped, 2021
Shelter in Place was made during Summer 2020. Performance artist and musician William Fontaine found himself without a place at the beginning of the first C-19 lockdown. A public park became his shelter. Over the weeks, we both practiced martial arts and I noticed a community slowly forming around him. This is a portrait of his being in the park, of the park itself, and of those who gathered. Sound and image are out of synch, just as so much of the world was – and is. It is not a documentary of that time, but a document, a witness statement, a poetics of singular presence.
I am drawn in my making to lives lived at the edges, even if - and perhaps especially when - those lives are first glimpsed at the 'centre' of things, often in the public eye, visible but not seen. This work can only exist because we have public parks (and this especially tolerant park in particular). I met William, who was in the park, because he had to be, and also because he could be. Therefore, this is a work made from a necessity, and the meeting in and of a particular place and time. It is a work that becomes about possibility. It believes in how public spaces are the common good of and for all. But it also explores how a falling out of the structures that exist - often ramshackle and excluding - makes another form of survival necessary.
William does not fit comfortably into the expectations we have of someone who is without shelter. He struck me as both being entirely here and also elsewhere, in that he was 'out of time' - not at the end of things but freed from them. Together we started thinking of how, when we talk about care, we as a society might include those who have no recourse to public funds, including those who are undocumented or have no bank account. How to account for the uncounted? We also thought about journeys in life, how to live and grow and avoid being dependent on the recognition of others, while often needing it for food or protection.
We spoke of how proper shelter is about far more than just a structure, about how a space - an actual place, even one without walls - can seed and grow a community, and how rules can unmake such an assembly. We were listening for something, another way of telling - more contemplative and attentive - an allowance just to be, as we are, with each other. How not to be in the present, tense, but simply present.
Phlocus, aka William Fontaine, is a necromancer of content, soundscapes & performance art; a NYC born artist, based in London, whose disciplines include music, sculpture, writing and combat arts, using cultural, historical and societal information to produce time-based performance art. Nomadic at its core, the art must be “experienced to be translated and manifest”.
Andrea Luka Zimmerman is a Jarman Award winning filmmaker and artist whose engaged practice calls for a profound re-imagining of the relationship between people, place and ecology. Focusing on marginalised individuals, communities and experience, the practice employs imaginative hybridity and narrative re-framing, alongside reverie and a creative waywardness. Informed by suppressed histories, and alert to sources of radical hope, the work prioritises an enduring and equitable co-existence. Andrea grew up on a large council estate and left school at 16.
Films include the Artangel-produced 'Here for Life' (2019), which received its world premiere in the Cineasti Del Presente international competition of the Locarno Film Festival (winning a Special Mention), 'Erase and Forget' (2017), premiering at the Berlin Film Festival (nominated for the Original Documentary Award), 'Estate, a Reverie' (2015) (nominated for Best Newcomer at the Grierson awards) and 'Taskafa, Stories of the Street' (2013), written and voiced by the late John Berger. Selected exhibitions include 'Civil Rites', the London Open, Whitechapel Gallery, 'Common Ground' at Spike Island, Bristol and 'Real Estates' at Peer Gallery. Andrea co-founded the cultural collectives Fugitive Images and Vision Machine (collaborators on Academy Award® nominated feature documentary 'The Look of Silence').
Join Andrea and William for an in-conversation with Gareth Evans as part of Estuary Live Lounge
Wednesday 2 June: 7pm - 9pm
Speaking from Shelter in Place
Book your ticket HERE
In an investigation into the nature of public space and our access to it, Gareth leads a conversation with filmmaker Andrea Luka Zimmerman and musician William Fontaine, the main protagonist in her new work to be premiered at Estuary 2021 Shelter in Place.
Filmed, directed, edited, graded, Andrea Luka Zimmerman
Featuring Pholocus, aka William Fontaine
Sounds recorded in the park and designed by Phlocus
Natural sounds + voices Andrea Luka Zimmerman
Thank you for your generosity:
Adrian (for your music), Alexander, Ali, Dom, Hamsa, Irvon, Ishmail, Keith, Margaret, Patrick, Oliver, Sami, Sean, Sumana (for your music) Terry, Qwanye, Wek