Browsing Tag: homelessness

    artist talks

    Eimear Walshe, The Land Question: Where the fuck am I supposed to have sex? (2021)

    July 23, 2021

    History, says Eimear Walshe, with a look that could kill, is interesting. And the history of Ireland, related in her film, is a sorry one in which the poorest have always suffered the worst.

    So once, as landlords expanded their estates, you had the eviction of tenant farmers in Ireland’s west, you now have 10,000 people across the land in emergency accommodation.

    These people have problems, one of which is finding a safe place to have sex. What do you mean you don’t think homeless people have a right to an active sex life!?

    Walshe states she owns a car and a van. But she’s of the generation who face having to rent for the rest of their lives. And this film is the most fierce millennial protest I have seen.

    But it is also very funny. As the film’s title might imply, the history lesson is never boring, thanks to props, interstitial titles, music and edits which allow the artist to interact with herself.

    Walshe’s persona is by turns didactic, sardonic, witty incredulous and, obviously, profane. She speculates about the legal risks of sex outdoors and then cradles and comforts a map of Ireland.

    It’s a 40 minute talk, which introduces a cast of characters who include rapist earls, fenian priests, Irish reformers and their more radical wives, and nuns who flout planning restrictions.

    This being rural Ireland, we also encounter cattle in a field, sheep perched on walls and a famous racehorse who enters the picture having assumed the most unlikely of roles.

    I come away from this film with the sad realisation that, unless you are a global corporation looking for a tax break, Ireland remains a difficult place to grow and thrive.

    A film like this frames the problem, digs up the roots of it, and ultimately proposes a wild solution that brings the house down, wherever you manage to live during late capitalism.

    The Land Question: Where the fuck am I supposed to have sex? Is at EVA International, in and around Limerick, until August 22.

    film, film art

    Želimir Žilnik, Black Film (1971)

    February 15, 2016

    Crni film - photo 2

    Some say, “From each according to their means to each according to their needs”. Some say, “Do as you would be done by”. But very few live up to either of those incontrovertible principles.

    And though I have witnessed several decent people buy sandwiches for homeless individuals in Brighton where I live, I have never heard of anyone going so far to help as Želimir Žilnik.

    In 1971 the Yugoslav filmmaker found a group of rough sleepers and invited them home to the one-bedroom flat he already shared with his wife and young child. This he also filmed.

    In a sense they were an artistic project. But film becomes a means to an end here. That end becomes the rehousing of half a dozen fellow human beings who have fallen on hard times.

    Their arrival comes as an apparent surprise to his wife. Together they move the couple’s double mattress into the child’s room as the tramps collapse into recumbent forms in the front room.

    In the second part of this pragmatic experiment, Žilnik hits the streets again in search of public support for his new flatmates, or at least some good advice about what he should do with them.

    The lasting impression is one of irresolution. These six characters in search of an author seem to have been left to once again fend for themselves. None of them remember their housetraining.

    Black Film is a valuable social document. For starters, it asks the What If? question that must be asked every time you cross the road to evade the needs of a vagrant in abject poverty.

    It also alerts you to the fact that even socialists can fail the most needful in society. Even socialist states can fail to provide a safety net for those whose needs are greatest.

    In the UK, homelessness is the most visible of the troubles of the world. It has got worse in recent years. It’s a major problem, but since I’m not a Black Wave filmmaker, it’s not a personal problem.

    Because really, Žilnik stages the unthinkable: an act of Christian charity or, more likely, Marxist direct action, which remains for most of us as impossible as it is imperative.

    Black Film can be seen in Monuments Should Not Be Trusted at Nottingham Contemporary until 04 March 2016.