The Illusionist

4min. 2005.
A clown/magician performs a trick several times over, and on each occasion tries to repeat the performance exactly with the previous take projected on him. With each layer the image becomes more fractured. The more we are shown the less we can comprehend.

By Any Other Name

5min. 2009.
This film uses the tools of science to examine a rose, but celebrates our romantic cultural attachment to it, supported by one of the world’s great love songs.

Sonnet

1 min. 1974.
John Milton: Sonnet on His Blindness is recited using finger spelling and signing for the deaf.

(mind)games

14m22s. 2005. Documentary.
The artist guides the viewer round his exhibition at the HMC Gallery, Abertay University, Dundee.

Behaviour Patterns

Behaviour Patterns uses a series of looped clips of footage of banal street scenes and other material borrowed from renowned films of the past. The result is hypnotic visual musicality. The mystery of the content and the puzzle of recognition relieved by the reassurance of the rhythm of a heartbeat. 5:00 min. Digitally re-mastered from the 1976-77 16mm original in 2013.

Between Dreams

Between Dreams is structured as a faux documentary that allows the artist to muse over our key experiences of environment, activity, and time within one day. It established an engagement with our perception and understanding of illusion, belief and reality that has underpinned his film and painting activity to this day. 8:00 min. Digitally re-mastered from the 1974 16mm original in 2014.

Joking Apart

5:00 min. 2011 . Three philosophers, Plato, Hume and Descartes, get together to share a joke. Seriously funny, or funnily serious – or both of these. Or perhaps neither. You decide, if that is possible.

This gallery features some of Ronnie Forbes’s films, old and new. The programme will be supplemented as he digitally re-masters his early 16mm films.

Ronald Forbes was the only visual artist in Scotland consistently working in single screen film during the 1970.s and early 80.s. He began working in film as a post-graduate painting student at Edinburgh College of Art in 1969.  He experimented on super–8 until 1973 when he was appointed Leverhulme Senior Art Fellow at the University of Strathclyde where he was able to develop his practice on 16mm film.  This professional medium not only offered superior picture quality, but allowed him to use the camera as a laboratory, re-exposing the film many times to subdivide the screen and produce rich and complex overlays of image.

His films have often been shown internationally, usually in tandem with his exhibitions, from Dublin’s Project Art Centre, Edinburgh’s Fruitmarket Gallery, to Mazzo in Amsterdam

His film, Between Dreams, of 1974, which was a prize-winner in the BBC Scotland “Scope” arts programme film competition, is structured as a faux documentary that looks at our key experiences of environment, activity, and time within one day. It established an engagement with our perception and understanding of illusion, belief and reality that has underpinned his film and painting activity to this day.

Escalating costs forced him to suspend film production in1982 after completing Incident. However, he renewed activity using digital film processes in 2005 with The Illusionist.  His latest film, Joking Apart was selected for the Glasgow Short Film Festival 2012 and received an Award of Merit from the Lucerne International Film Festival 2012.

His next film, Only Make-Believe, will be shot in 2013 – if he is spared.