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tours Tense Present
Ian White
Tense Present
The present eludes us. That's what it does.

When I started thinking about this tour it became clear to me that it was and is this elusive present which interests me, over and above the status or historical reverence that is sometimes over-invested in artists' film. So I decided to construct the tour around the intersection between the films I was viewing and my own present; their relevance, energy, life, coinciding with something I was actually experiencing rather than something I was researching.

The present might be you reading this now (somewhere on your screen there might be a clock). The present might mean "in these times". Or even, it might be something which films themselves foreground as their own present, actually an ahistorical function although we might come to know them through the way in which they've been classified into cultural canons.

The texts which accompany each film have a variety of relationships to the work which are often elliptical, hopefully providing space rather than definition, touchpoints which might provoke your own enquiries, or the room for a thought. I don't think of the chosen films as the best, as "the best" doesn't interest me. I don't regard them as my favourites as it wasn't important to make those choices.

Perhaps the present might be that moment when we experience meaning as process, rather than the ossification of history, when we don't feel awe but we do feel alive.

Still from Man With Mirror by Guy Sherwin, 1976/2003
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