press release

Artists' Film International
Featuring Clare Langan
March 12, 2021–January 23, 2022

Crawford Art Gallery announces its collaboration, for the second year running, with Artists’ Film International (AFI). Established by the Whitechapel Gallery, London in 2008, AFI includes 20 global partners and brings together recent moving image works by artists nominated by each venue, which are presented over the course of the year in each of the participating institutions.

For 2021, the theme of the AFI programme is "care" and for this year’s participation Crawford Art Gallery has invited Irish artist Clare Langan to present her powerful and timely film Flight from the City (2015).

Flight from the City is about connection, love, separation and transition. Starkly shot in "black" water—in the hot springs at Fludir, Iceland—Langan focuses on the profound bond between a mother and daughter.

Whilst the film powerfully addresses universal concerns of humanity in the intimate relationships between a child, a parent or a partner, the title of the film alludes to a potential flight from the safety of a home through adulthood or because of an impending confrontation or armed conflict. The projection of our experiences become part of the film’s narrative and the entwined and distanced bodies, which we view on screen, ultimately become our own.

The film was shot at Fludir, Iceland especially for Jóhann Jóhannsson’s composition Flight from the City and was used to launch his 2016 album Orphee. Langan had experienced personal loss prior to making the film and she has written: “It was only when Jóhann released the album and I read the byline for his new work, that I realised the music was also about his experience of love, loss and transition: "Orphée traces a path from darkness into light, inspired by the Orpheus myth. A story about death and rebirth, the elusive nature of creation and art and the ephemeral nature of memory. It's an album about change, love and art"—a reflection of our relationships, as is the film Flight from the City.” This was the second collaboration between Jóhannsson and Langan, the first being The Floating World (2013).

Clare Langan (b. 1967) is an artist and filmmaker. Exhibitions and screenings include Kino Der Kunst, Munich (2020); Physical Cinema Festival, Reykjavik (2019); Shaping Ireland, National Gallery of Ireland, Dublin (2019); The Best of Kino der Kunst, Dirimart, Istanbul (2018), B3 Biennial of the Moving Image, Frankfurt (2017), Lyon Biennale (2007), and Film Trilogy, MoMA, New York (2004). Her films have received numerous awards, including the Prix Videoformes 2014, Clermont-Ferrand; the Principle Prize at the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival (2007) and she represented Ireland at the 25th Bienal de São Paolo (2002). Clare Langan is represented by Galerie Anita Beckers, Frankfurt and Nichido Contemporary, Tokyo.

The films in the AFI 2021 programme are selected by Ballroom Marfa (USA); Belgrade Cultural Centre (SRB); Bonniers Konsthall (SWE); Contemporary Art Centre (LTU); Centre for Contemporary Arts Afghanistan (AFG); Crawford Art Gallery (IRE); Fundacion PRÓA (ARG); Galleria D’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (ITA); Hammer Museum (USA); Hanoi DOCLAB (VNM); Istanbul Modern (TUR); Friends of Iziko South African National Gallery (ZAF); KWM Art Centre (CHN); Mahera and Mohammad Abu Ghazaleh Foundation (JOR); Moscow Museum of Modern Art (RUS); Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (PHL): Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw (POL); Neuer Berliner Kunstverein Video Forum (DEU); Para Site (HKG); Project 88 (IND); Rhizome Agency (DZA): (Tromsø Kunstforening (NOR) and Whitechapel Gallery (UK)