Spanning almost 50 years of work, this is the first ever survey of Lis Rhodes, a pioneer of experimental filmmaking.
Lis Rhodes has an unusually multifaceted practice, important not only as an artist, but also as a pioneering film programmer, campaigner for women's rights and an influential educator. Her practice crosses into installation, sound art, performance and writing.
Rhodes has made a number of iconic pieces, such as her early film installation Light Music (1975), which was an innovative experiment in light and sound, presented originally as a performance. Rhodes made her first film while still a student at the North East London Polytechnic. Dresden Dynamo (1971) is a short 16mm film made without a camera by fixing Letratone stickers to film. She has described it as 'visual abstraction', 'an attempt to make a material connection between what is seen and what is heard.'
Rhodes' works since the 1990s have been responsive to unfolding geopolitical events. These films are potent and provocative critiques of a range of issues, from women’s rights, domestic violence to nuclear power, from migrant labour to surveillance (Orifso, 1999). More recently, In the Kettle (2012) cuts between the bombing of the Gaza Strip in 2009 to contemporaneous protests in London. Rather than comprising separate projects, Rhodes has seen these works as belonging to a single enquiry.
Significantly, this is the first time that Nottingham Contemporary has ever dedicated all of its galleries to a retrospective.