Tyburnia film + 16mm screenings

James Holcombe

Friday 24 July 2015

Limited tickets – Sorry – fully booked now.

£5.00. Doors open at 6.30pm – screening starts 7pm sharp.

Tyburnia illustrates the twists and turns of political whimsy, church and state, and the birth of capitalism. The film explores parallels between contemporary and historical notions of crime in relation to business and property, the spectacular nature of punishment, and the use of the body as a site for political control. Shooting on 8mm and 16mm film, James Holcombe gained access to numerous artefacts associated with the Tyburn; reliquaries housing the remains of Catholic martyrs, body parts preserved by surgeons, the bell that tolled on the eve of executions, and the eventual resting place of the gallows themselves.

Using hand processing and archaic chemical techniques the scenes forming Tyburnia bring forth a film that is both visually and thematically engrossing, demonstrating that despite the gallows having long since vanished, we still stand in the shadow of its punitive ideology. James Holcombe began researching Tyburn Gallows during a three month residency with the Edgware Road Project in 2009 as part of the no.w.here’s Free Cinema School.

The screening features a soundtrack developed and performed by Dead Rat Orchestra. It features songs that were composed by or for those condemned to ‘dance the Tyburn jig’, bringing a new understanding to the broadside ballads that have become a staple of folk music, but here presented in close association to their original context. The Tyburnia Tour visited market and county towns around the UK where assizes, gallows, and gibbets were a feature of everyday life. At our current moment of enforced austerity and social reform, Tyburnia explores the parallels between contemporary and historical notions of crime in relation to business and property, the spectacular nature of punishment, and the state’s use of the body as a site for political control.

James Holcombe’s practice merges a deep engagement with re-discovered historical, material and social processes of photochemical film production through single screen and expanded performance works. http://jamesholcombe.net | Tyburnia trailer: https://vimeo.com/113227044

James Holcombe will also be screening two of his 16mm films:

The Iron Toned Lady. Single frame 16mm footage shot of Margaret Thatcher’s funeral. The film was toned in blue iron salt solution (prussian blue toner) for 11 hours. From an early Kodak toning manual:‘The longer the film is left in the solution the more unacceptable and harsher the final tones’. Sound recorded on the day of the funeral by Sally Golding.

A Peck of Dust. Two pieces of found footage purchased at a car boot fair (one a travelogue focusing on American Gravestone inscriptions of the founding fathers, the other a loop of a rooster culled from Aesop’s Fable of the Fox and the Rooster) are subjected to a process of deconstruction then a re-construction using a 16mm splicer.