Although photochemical film is now largely considered insignificant and ill-suited to a modern society of efficiency, instantaneity and convenience, its cumbersome machinery, awkward manual interventions and time-consuming processes nonetheless remain a desirable form of image-making among large numbers of contemporary artists.
We are now at a time that alternative infrastructures and practices allow artists to control and reinvent every stage of the once-industrial process of [film] production. The new sense of freedom and liberation to which this shift has given rise reframes film as a field of discovery, a photochemical playground that offers itself to the artist in the rawness and malleable nature of its physicality. It is this fascination with materials that increasingly characterizes celluloid film culture, particularly through engagements with the past as a means of reinvention and projection towards a potential future. (Esther Urlus)
What kind of meaning and value in life can be derived from the connections of all things? (Lichun Tseng)
Based in Rotterdam, Netherlands, Filmwerkplaats is an artist-run collective and photochemical film lab dedicated to DIY analogue practice and to filmmaking which embraces the haptic and tactile expressivity to be found in celluloid film’s “stubborn physicality.” Representing Filmwerkplaats, filmed entirely in Rotterdam, the haunting, collectively authored Hometown (2015) interweaves sonic and imagistic contributions from collective members Nick Aberson, Lichun Tseng, Esther Urlus and Nan Wang to form a drifting, subtly surrealistic song of life and landscape—”a search for traces of heroism”—in contemporary Rotterdam.
The quest for an imaginary homeland, longing, memories and identity punctuate the stories of the ghost characters from this film. (Lichun Tseng)