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Introduction
1985
April

The New Pluralism exhibition, Tate Gallery. British film and video 1980-85

The exhibition, curated by Tina Keane and Michael O'Pray, gathered together films and tapes produced by British artists between 1980 and 1985. The show was an attempt to show film and video art in a "state of flux", and demonstrate that artists working in moving image had turned away from the aesthetic anti-representational formalism that was the dominant position in the 1970s, "towards a pluralist practice in which the return of an imagistic and less formalist mode is central". Michael O'Pray, British Film and Video 1980-1985: The New Pluralism, Tate Gallery (catalogue)

The selection was suitably diverse, combining work focused on specific social issues, such as Tina Keane's In Our Hands, Greenham, Issac Julien's Territories and Stuart Marshall's AIDS documentary Bright Eyes; a questioning of mainstream narrative forms in the videos of Ian Bourn, Graham Young and David Finch; the exploration of personal and intimate spaces by Tamara Kikorian (The Question is...) and Catherine Elwes (There is a Myth); the cross-cultural collages of Jeremy Welsh and the scratch video of the Duvet Brothers.

Tom Roberts

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Top: Still from In Our Hands, Greenham by Tina Keane (1984); Bottom: Still from Territories by Isaac Julien (1984)

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