Michelle Cotton

"Writing in 1926 Kazimir Malevich stated the task for artists' to address the technical possibilities for working in film: "Cinema it seems, should have overturned the entire visual culture… if not we will continue to see the same Itinerant pictures being painted with light, the cinematic organism still lacking a sensitivity to colour”. Malevich predicted that the “abstractionists” would break the mould for a conception of film that remained grounded in narratives of the still image and reflect the speed and dynamism of the modern era.

From the rhythms of mass production in Fernand L?©ger‚Äôs Ballet M?©canique, or communication in Len Lye‚Äôs Trade Tattoo to the warps of mass consumption in Mark Leckey‚Äôs Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore. From the geometry of the machine age and the aesthetics of progress explored in the practices of L?†szl?? Moholy-Nagy, Mary Ellen Bute, Charles and Ray Eames to its collaged archaeology in Eduardo Paolozzi‚Äôs History Of Nothing and technology‚Äôs continued innovations in society and the media in films by Ferdinand Kriwet and Lynda Benglis Essentials: Modernity presents work that synchronises the modalities of change with its medium of communication."

- Michelle Cotton

Michelle Cotton is an independent curator and writer based in London. She was Assistant Curator at Norwich Gallery 2001–3 and Curator at S1 Artspace Sheffield 2003–6 and has developed projects for the 10th Istanbul Biennial, ICA, FACT, Whitechapel Gallery and Neuer Berliner Kunstverein. As a writer she contributes to publications including Untitled and Texte zur Kunst.

In 2006 she was one of six curators to be awarded an international travelling residency with Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design Stockholm. She was a Director of Sheffield Contemporary Art Forum 2003–6, a Curatorial Advisor to Open Frequency 2005–6 and is currently a Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Arts Council and part of the panel for New Acquisitions at LUX.

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Theatrical poster featuring L?°szl?? Moholy-Nagy's Lichtspiel: Schwartz-Wei?ü-Grau, 1930 ¬© courtesy of the Estate of L?°szl?? Moholy-Nagy

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