The Poor Stockinger ... (The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd., Glasgow)

In Person:

Luke Fowler

October 3 and 4, 2012


The concept of the portrait artist gives only a hint of Luke Fowler’s multi-faceted modus operandi. Born in 1978 in Glasgow, Scotland, he has been celebrated both in the context of experimental filmmaking and in the art world; he is the recipient of a Derek Jarman Award (2008) and has been nominated for the Turner Prize in 2012.


Two of Fowler's major works are centered on Glasgow-based psychiatrist, Ronald D. Laing. Laing's focus on the structural dimensions of psychosis are mirrored in Fowler's general attempt to produce, via sound, text and image, a "rhizome" of the characters he portrays and who mostly stem from a counter-cultural background. His tight packaging of visual and sonic fragments creates a network of diverse reference points, discourses, opinions and impressions, without ever delivering a "finished" picture. Individuals, as seen by Fowler, consist of the images that were made of them, the places they have visited, the architecture surrounding them, the texts they wrote, the opinions held about them, as well as the media that have recorded these traces (Fowler's strong interest in the properties of 16mm film is only the most pronounced example of his foregrounding of media materiality.)


In his shorter sketches of places and in his collaborations with sound artists, the historical, political, and aesthetic references from Fowler's longer works return in even more condensed fashion. These works clarify that Fowler’s structuralist tendencies and his “essayistic" interest in pre-cinematic reality are not in contradiction, but two sides of the same coin.


The four programs of Luke Fowler’s works include the Austrian premieres of his most recent features, "All Divided Selves" and "The Poor Stockinger, the Luddite Cropper and the Deluded Followers of Joanna Southcott." The filmmaker will be in attendance at all screenings.

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