James Harding

"Through visual games and playful imagery, from the laugh-out-loud ridiculous to the subtly subversive the influential works in the Essentials: Play reveal the freedom of expression and the breaking with conventions which remains an essential feature of artists’ filmmaking.

Although varying in style from abstraction to appropriation, from the technically innovative to the improvised and lo-fi, these works offer an alternative to a commercial cinema which takes itself seriously for all the wrong reasons. At times subversive and mocking, but also playful and in good humour, these are works which cast aside pretensions and freely celebrate life and art in all its forms. The programme features celebrated work ranging from pioneering dada short Filmstudie by Hans Richter, John Smith's irreverent linguistic conundrum Associations and George Kuchar's camp classic Hold Me While I'm Naked."

- James Harding

James Harding is an independent curator and writer based in Liverpool and Berlin. He has curated and presented projects at a number of venues in Liverpool including the various programmes for FACT like the recent Infernal Cakewalk: Trick Film and Beyond (Nov 2007) and the Half life and Retreat presented as part of the Liverpool Biennial 2006. He collaborated on a number of other exhibitions and art projects in the city since 2004.

James worked as a research assistant on 'A Century of Artists Film in Britain' 2003-2004 at Tate Britain. He taught film studies at universities in Liverpool and contributed to LUXONLINE.

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Theatrical poster featuring George Kuchar's Hold me While I'm Naked, 1966 © courtesy of the artist / Anthology Film Archives

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