Luke Fowler: All Divided Selves

Monday, May 27, 2013 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by Amy Kazymerchyk

“His work is unashamedly polemical, but the polemic is in favour of the proposition that the same discontinuities, paradoxes and breakdowns in communication that are at issue in cinema are also at work in our mediated lives" - Will Bradley

Luke Fowler was introduced to Scottish psychiatrist, R.D. Laing’s Kingsley Hall experiment (1965-1970) while he was working on his own series of social and psychological experiments called The Social Engineer (1999). Fowler’s interest in Laing’s practice, and the documentation of Kingsley Hall, evolved into the film What You See Is Where You’re At (2001). Laing’s hypotheses on the “double bind”, the family nexus, and ontological security in books such as The Divided Self (1960) and The Politics of Experience (1967) shaped Fowler’s own concerns with family, community, and collaborative formation; self and social representation and perception; and truth and authority. Fowler takes formal influence on these matters from structuralist film, the Situationists, the Free Cinema Movement, and free improvisation. All of these elements fold into Fowler’s poly-rhythmic compositions of sound and images — formal experiments, in tune with divided selves.

The Way Out profiles Xentos “Fray Bentos” Jones, one of the founding members of the post-punk band The Homosexuals. Pilgrimage from Scattered Points reflects on the English composer Cornelius Cardew (1936-1981) and The Scratch Orchestra (1968-73). Bogman Palmjaguar is a portrait of man who takes refuge in Scotland’s remote bog lands, as his only asylum against medical incarceration. All Divided Selves is an expanded collage of R.D. Laing’s life and practice.


The Way Out. 2003, Colour, video, 33 mins.  Co-director: Kosten Koper.
Pilgrimage from Scattered Points. 2006, Colour, video, 45mins.
Bogman Palmjaguar. 2007, Colour, video, 30mins.

All Divided Selves. 2011, Colour, video, 90mins.

Luke Fowler (b. 1978) is an artist, filmmaker, and musician based in Glasgow. He has performed with experimental groups Lied Music and Rude Pravo, and runs the independent label SHADAZZ. Fowler was awarded the inaugural Derek Jarman Award in 2008.. In 2012, he was shortlisted for the Turner Prize for his solo exhibition at Inverleith House in Edinburgh, which showcased All Divided Selves (2011).