In this week's Playlist we feature a selection of videos by our our members on the theme of religion.

Amelia Beavis-Harrison, Whatever Happened to Mary, 2013

Whatever Happened to Mary is a performance and subsequent film which uses the figure of the crying Madonna in Catholic denominations to actively question religious phenomena. Here the religious icon is replaced by a performer whose tears of blood run in a public space. The gesture of removing the statue out of context attempts to raise questions about the legitimacy of the phenomena, at one point fracturing the situation and in another moment play to it, exploring a different side of the story where the tears are evidently faked and the moment displaced.

The films duration is 6 min

Check out Amelia's profile on Axisweb >

Allistair Burt, Himptology: Godwin's Law Film, 2010

The film is titled Godwin’s Law and was made for an exhibition at The Arches in Glasgow in 2010 reflecting on ideas of belief and belonging.

Godwin's Law states that the longer an internet forum discussion continues the likely hood of someone mentioning Hitler or Nazi's increases. The first person to mention either loses the argument.

This film is a religious "discussion" between atheists and some theists using Speilburg's 1993 hit movie Jurrasic Park as a framework. Neither group do themselves many favours and reveal more about themselves and the way humans are willing to interact when there are no personal reprecussions.

The film was one of the central pieces in our 2010 exhibition Himptology.

"Bringing their thoughts on faith, belief and belonging to The Arches, Hole in my Pocket form their own religion and ask you to become a true believer. Our religion stole parts from all the popular religions but explored art/ design and creativity rather than creation."

Check out Allistair's profile on Axisweb >

Suki Chan, Still Point, 2011-12

Still Point, is a film installation that engages with sacred spaces and places of pilgrimage.

Whilst filming in sacred sites in Jerusalem, I was struck by how some parts of the city have two names, one in Hebrew and the other in Arabic. How one population can ‘unsee’ another group. How one part of the city is closed off to another group – by borders which are sometimes physical and sometimes psychological.

Still Point transports the audience from the site of the humble wooden structures offering refuge along Pilgrims’ Way in Northumberland, to contested sacred sites in Jerusalem, and the interior spaces of abandoned Syrian villages in the Golan Heights.

The film evokes the tension that marks them as places of refuge and spiritual quest –¬ and as materially contested sites. The shifting of allegiances – changing cultural and religious identities, the resulting layering over time, the visual clues left behind – are physically embodied in the locations Chan chose to film. Barriers and divisions are a recurring motif in Still Point, suggesting the contradictory tenets of organised religion – inclusivity and its often-inevitable corollary – exclusivity.

In making Still Point, Suki Chan encountered segregation, the militarisation of sacred spaces and the conflation of utopia with dystopia.

Check out Suki's profile on Axisweb >

Ian Henderson, Prophet, 2011

This short video is part of an ongoing interest in works that explore religious or spiritual themes. The intention was to present an image that is both timeless and metaphorical. The piece is informed by Buddhist, Hindu and Christian texts that identify the feet as the physical point of contact between the Divine and the Earth; they function both as an object of worship and as the primary form of human propulsion. They are both the physical and metaphorical means by which an individual undertakes a journey; either into themselves or outward in quest.
A figure, that lacks an obvious gender, approaches relentlessly accompanied by a soundtrack of breath, wind, thunder and drums. It materialises from the void, strides purposefully towards the viewer for a period before fading slowly back into the dark. Notions of the recurrence of messianic figures throughout history informed this action
The action of walking towards the viewer is repeated completely three time in this submission. This device is employed to communicate that the artworks' intended presentation is as a projection onto a wall within a darkened space at a scale greater than actual human size. Within this environment the video is presented again and again on a repeating loop; continually recurring in the same manner as messianic individuals occur within history.

Check out Ian's profile on Axisweb >

More film and video works >