Luke Fowler

Tenement Films, 2009

4x3 minutes, Colour, Optical, 16mm film

A series of portraits, made for Television, of four diverse individuals brought together through shared residence.

These short films were filmed in the tenement where I lived for eight years. The first is shot in our bedroom, which doubled up as my former partner's office, the three others were shot in architecturally identitical spaces owned by my then neighbours.

Shot and edited on a single 16mm bolex camera using available light throughout, the films invoke reflections on the four individuals, how they occupy these particular spaces together.

The first film; Anna shows my former partner and glimpses of myself, shot in reflection, as I navigate the camera around her and architectural details of the room. Capturing residual marks traced by the incessantly panning and tracking camera eyes. The soundtrack in Anna is an original composition by Lee Patterson. Comprised of field recordings, often using contact microphones to objects found in the actual room.

The second film portrays Helen and is set in a distinctively decorated gold room. The film strays even further into a dimension of self-portraiture; using fast cutting between shots in a large mirror and of bay windows, multiple exposures and disjunctive camera movements. The film weaves a taut web of associations between personal ephemera, a painting, objects, furniture and the outside world. The original sountrack is composed by Toshiya Tsunoda and features recordings of a previous installation (Composition for Flutter Screen), prepared guitar and field recordings.

Moving up the tenement floors David is the subject of the next film in contrast to the other films David's interior is sparse and uncluttered. The structure of this film is extended to the evening where the viewer is offered scenes filmed from his window; cars, passers-by coming and going, while the daylight changes from twilight to deep night. The soundtrack for this work consisting of sine-wave and multiple hand claps, performed in arrhythmic fashion and composed by Taku Unami.

The final film, Lester, the most mellifluous of the quartet, features a warm, ornate score for solo cello and sine wave, performed and composed by Charles Curtis. The film suggests a culmination of previous experiments in developing a lexicon of camera techniques, employed in articulating and exploring these personal spaces.