2003 - 2006

Ghosting developed in response to the growth of contemporary artists’ interest in archives.

Ghosting focused on artists working with film and video and the ways in which the archive itself, or archival or found materials have been central to the practice of a number of practitioners whose work deals with issues of identity, memory or history.

‘Ghosting' alludes to the idea of re-awakening ghosts of the past, it is also a technical term used to describe the appearance of an overlapping secondary image on a television or a display screen.

Ghosting's starting point was an invitation to three artists to undertake research in three different archives holding moving image material in the South West. Ansuman Biswas researched the collection at the South West Film and Television Archive, Plymouth. Harold Offeh examined material at the Bill Douglas Centre, University of Exeter, and Erika Tan at the British Empire & Commonwealth Museum, Bristol. Their resulting installations were exhibited as solo and group exhibitions across the UK.

The use of archives as a rich source material by artists was further explored through the publication of Ghosting which drew together a collection of essays and case studies on the role of the archive within contemporary artists' film and video practice.

In Bristol the exhibition was accompanied by a daily programme of film screenings at Arnolfini with works by The Atlas Group, Neil Cummings and Marysia Lewandowska, Johan Grimonprez, Susan Hiller, Fiona Tan and others. The films included archival footage, insights into archives and collections as well as archives constructed by the artists themselves, all explore the historical, the personal and the political. And a screening of Black Audio Collective's Handsworth Songs, a presentation by Patrick Keiller of his project The City of the Future, and a day of talks about creative uses of archives at Watershed.

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This essay by Jane Connarty formed the introduction to Ghosting: The Role of the Archive within Contemporary Artists' Film and Video.

Erika Tan

Erika Tan was commissioned by Picture This to respond to the archives at the British Empire and Commonwealth Museum in Bristol.

Harold Offeh

Harold Offeh has worked with Picture This to develop new works, devise programmes and to select Small Wonders artists.

Ansuman Biswas

While working in a number of conventional genres within visual art, music, and theatre, Ansuman Biswas is particularly interested in