Artist of the Month 2017

August: Marcy Saude

Image: Marcy Saude, still from Every Primitive Space Commune (16mm transferred to HD, 2017).

Our Artist of the Month feature aims to promote artists' work and raise issues in a quick, informal way. August's Artist of the Month is Marcy Saude.


1. Hello, what do you do?

Hi! I work with time-based media, primarily illustrated lecture performances and film/video with a particular interest in 16mm material, and including print, music/ sound, and durational photography projects. I collaborate with artist-run moving image collectives in Bristol and Rotterdam, facilitate 16mm film workshops, and put together occasional screening programmes.


2. Where are you based?

I have been based in Plymouth for about two and a half years, following on from Amsterdam and California.


3. Where do you work?

I tend to grab bits of work time wherever and whenever I can, primarily at home when my 15 month old is asleep. Sometimes I have to lock myself in the loo for a minute to get a chance to answer emails! The wee one gets toted along to shoots, screenings, and events. PAC Home is an invaluable (and baby friendly) resource for work space as well. I develop, print, and edit film in short but intensive visits to the Filmwerkplaats lab in Rotterdam when I can get there. What I would really love is access to a Mother House, which are studios with on site child care in London and currently developing in Stroud.


3. What’s the best thing about the area you live/work in?

Plymouth has a really supportive arts community infused with a spirit of cooperation and excitement about a burgeoning scene. It also presents a respite from the costs of living that can quash time and space for creative practice in larger cities. The location between moor and sea is not too shabby, either.


4. What does 'success' mean to you?

Dorian Corey’s answer in Paris is Burning is wiser (and wearier) than anything I might say:


5. Do you earn a living from making art? If not, or only partially, what else do you do?

I am a Technical Demonstrator in Film at Plymouth College of Art.


6. What makes a good artwork?

Whew, I’m not totally prepared to grapple with the philosophy of aesthetics from Plato to Kant to Rancèire, that of artist-theorists like Smithson and Beuys, or feminist critiques by Nochlin, Pollock, and others about gendered criteria for artistic greatness, in order to address this question properly, even just within a “western” context! All I can speak to is what is likely to produce an affinity for certain artworks on my part. Above all, I’m attracted to art that nurtures radical imaginaries and enacts resistance in concrete or subtle and indirect ways to the forces (social, economic, political) that work to prevent us from getting free.


7. What have you been up to recently? Tell us about any recent exhibitions, projects, residencies, etc.

I’m very pleased that my super short film, Every Primitive Space Commune, has been included in the Plymouth Contemporary Open show currently on at KARST and Peninsula Arts. It was made in an afternoon with Loop the Loop, which has developed artist film projects in Cornwall libraries, and uses images from books in the Saltash Library in combination with textual snippets of science fiction and insurrectionary polemic to imagine low tech astral intentional communities.

I just returned from the Tolpuddle Martyr’s Festival in Dorset where I programmed a screening of recent politically engaged artist films, A Reason to Scream, in a Vintage Mobile Cinema bus as part of the Radical Film Network conference. Excellent low-key vibes and lots of solidarity at the festival!

Recently I co-led a 16mm direct animation and found footage workshop for families with kids with Vicky Smith at Arnolfini in conjunction with their Basim Magdy exhibition, and completed a 6-week residency in the PAC Home library where I researched an upcoming film that critically works through inscriptions of colonialist history in the built environment of Plymouth’s Barbican from the perspective of an EU immigrant in post-referendum Britain. As part of that residency I made a zine called Pilgrim Plaques, and presented findings in a talk featuring some initial film rushes.


8. What have you got coming up?

Next up, I will be part of Octopolis, BEEF (Bristol Experimental and Expanded Film)’s shed at Supernormal Festival. I’ll be co-leading an activity printing forest materials onto 16mm film and will present another screening, This Land Is… which was developed with the site(s) in mind and considers the human-altered landscape and landscape-altered humans, with photochemical film as active collaborator. There are really lovely films by Vera Brunner-Sung, Jeanne Liotta, Brigid McCaffrey, Tomonari Nishikawa, Alee Peoples, Eric Stewart, Mike Stoltz, and Lichun Tseng; it’s a programme that will be repeated a couple of weeks later at the artist Paul Chaney’s project End of the World Garden in Cornwall.

We are having a mini meet-up of a few Filmwerkplaats members in Plymouth in August to shoot and hand-process film for a project combining 69-second 16mm films made individually by most artists in the collective. They will all screen together in a multi-day analogue film and sound event at WORM in Rotterdam in November. Then I’m off to join a group working in 16mm film at Hayton Castle Fields in West Cumbria to create a temporary collective lab where we will make work together and host workshops for local young people.

In September all of Plymouth’s art folks will be gearing up for the Plymouth Art Weekender. I’ll be working with Mo Bottomley, Katrina Brown, Mark Leahy, and Stephen Paige on Tears in Rain, a day of live performance, installation, participation, and moving image taking place at the Athenaeum on the Sunday. My contribution is a version of Hollis Frampton’s 1968 projection performance, A Lecture. The whole weekender is going to have a ridiculous number of excellent projects, well worth a visit to Plymouth! 



Marcy Saude’s work involves subjects including marginal histories, the landscape, counterculture, radical politics, and text(s), and has been presented in film festivals, galleries, and artist-run project spaces internationally. A Portuguese national raised in San Jose, California, she received an MFA from the University of Colorado at Boulder and currently works in Plymouth, UK.


What's On

Craft Workshops

Various Venues

Friday 08 February 2019 – Tuesday 31 December 2019

Linda Brothwell Conversations in Making

Stonehenge Visitor Centre, Amesbury, Wiltshire SP4 7DE

Friday 24 May 2019 – Sunday 24 November 2019

Exeter's Fine Art Collection: A Sense of Place

Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery, Queen Street, Exeter, Devon, EX4 3RX

Tuesday 18 June 2019 – Sunday 15 March 2020

Visual Arts South West

Working towards a South West where talented artists thrive, and a resilient and connected visual arts ecology that inspires more engaged and diverse audiences to value and advocate for its work.

Part of the Contemporary Visual Arts Network

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