Jennet Thomas

Jennet Thomas

A Tale I Know Nothing About, 2016

HD video

Jennet Thomas

A Tale I Know Nothing About, 2016

HD video

Jennet Thomas

A Tale I Know Nothing About, 2016

HD Video

Jennet Thomas

The Unspeakable Freedom Device - installation at Grundy Gallery, 2015

Jennet Thomas

The Unspeakable Freedom Device - installation at Grundy Gallery, 2015

Jennet Thomas

The Unspeakable Freedom Device, 2015

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Jennet Thomas

The Unspeakable Freedom Device, 2015

HD Video still

Jennet Thomas

The Unspeakable Freedom Device, 2015

HD Video Still

Jennet Thomas

The Unspeakable Freedom Device, 2015

HD Video still

Jennet Thomas

The Unspeakable Freedom Device, 2015

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Jennet Thomas

The Unspeakable Freedom Device - installation at Grundy Gallery, 2015

Jennet Thomas

Unspeakable Freedom, Tastes Like Chicken, Installation view – Block 336, 2016

Jennet Thomas

Animal Condensed>> Animal Expanded, 2016

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Jennet Thomas

Animal Condensed>>Animal Expanded, 2016

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Jennet Thomas

I Am Your Error Message – live film/performance/music event at Block 336, 2013

Jennet Thomas

School of Change, 2012

Jennet Thomas

School of Change – installation at Matt's Gallery, 2012

Jennet Thomas

School of Change – installation at Matt's Gallery, 2012

Jennet Thomas

School of Change, 2012

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Jennet Thomas

All Suffering SOON TO END!, 2010

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Jennet Thomas

All Suffering SOON TO END! – Installation at Matt's Gallery, 2010

Jennet Thomas

All Suffering SOON TO END!, 2010

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Jennet Thomas

All Suffering SOON TO END!, 2010

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Jennet Thomas

Return of the Black Tower, 2007

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“Jennet Thomas‘s films conjure delirious parallel universes in everyday Britain’s most mundane corners. People shop in Sainsbury’s, watch daytime TV and eat packed lunches from Tupperware boxes. Yet in this Looking Glass world, what we take for granted is quickly turned inside out. Preachers, teachers and quasi-political pundits with bright yellow or purple skin harangue its denizens with songs and slide presentations; the beliefs and rules they champion are full of promise, but always obscure.”
Skye Sherwin

Emerging from the anarchistic, experimental culture of London’s film/live art scene in the 1990’s, Jennet Thomas was co-founder of the Exploding Cinema Collective. She is interested in belief systems, ideas of truth, power and pleasure, and how cultural memories are re-made and distorted according to the needs of each era. ‘Who has the right to rule, and whose rule is right?’ is an underlying leitmotif in her work. Often darkly comic, her films tell warped folk-tale narratives that mix elements of the banal and the bizarre.

Jennet Thomas’s works have screened widely, including IFF Rotterdam, European Media Arts Festival, New York Underground Film Festival, and museums such as Tate Britain and MOMA New York.

Since 2007, her work has shown as large-scale sculptural installations that physically surround the film, sometimes with continuous live performance inside these installations. Recent solo shows include THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE at Grundy Gallery, 2015; SCHOOL OF CHANGE and All Suffering SOON TO END! both at Matt’s Gallery 2012 and 2010.

Solo exhibitions

2016
BLOCK 336 UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM, TASTES LIKE CHICKEN Multi screen Video and installation, featuring THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE and ANIMAL CONDENSED>ANIMAL EXPANDED #1, Brixton London, Sept – October. Included live performance and panel discussions with Professor Simon O’Sullivan and writer George Vasey.

UTAH MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, USA, May-July 2016, reconfigured video installation of THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE.

2015
GRUNDY ART GALLERY, THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE Commissioned Video and installation, Blackpool July – Aug. The work toured to:
MATT’S GALLERY, London GRAND UNION, Birmingham, PRIMARY, Nottingham, OUTPOST Norwich, CUBE Bristol, throughout April with panel discussions at each venue – including contributions from: Isobel Harbison, Jennifer Thatcher, Pil and Galia Kollectiv, Oreet Ashery, Melanie Jackson, Paul O’Kane, Esther Leslie, Erica Scourti.

2012
MATT’S GALLERY, SCHOOL OF CHANGE 42 minute Experimental Narrative musical Sci-Fi film, sculptural installation and live performance London, June- July, and as live multi-media performance to OUTPOST GALLERY, Norwich, November 2012

2011
CAMDEN ARTS CENTRE SCHOOL OF CHANGE – the recruitment. live multi media performance with dance troupe including composer Leo Chadburn, Café Curio, December.

2010
OUTPOST GALLERY THE ADVICE SHAPE, Norwich, November, 2-screen experimental Narrative video and sculptural installation.
THE PLEASURE DOME Toronto and AVAILABLE LIGHT, Ottawa, Canada THE BROKEN SHAPE: Jennet Thomas in person, programme of Thomas’ video works screened, September, curated by Jon Davies
MATT’S GALLERY ALL SUFFERING SOON TO END! 30 minute experimental narrative film, sculptural installation and live performance, based on a response to the Jehovah’s Witness pamphlet of the same name. London April-June [catalogue + essay by Francis McKee]

2009
LIGHT INDUSTRY, Natural Selections- collaborative screening of various works [with Jim Trainor] at Industry City art project, Brooklyn New York.

2007
PEER RETURN OF THE BLACK TOWER [after John Smith] experimental narrative single screen video 14 minutes, + sculptural installation project, based on the idea of re-make of John Smith’s 1997 film. Hoxton St, London June- July [catalogue + essay by Sally O’Reilly]

2006-7
WE MAKE OUR OWN TELEVISION
Touring video installation (collaboration with Paul Tarragó)
ALMA ENTERPRISES November – December ‘06, Vyner St. London
DELUGE CONTEMPORARY ART SPACE September – October ‘06, Victoria, Canada
MARGARET HARVEY GALLERY April-June ‘07 St Albans, UK

2004
ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES Fresh Film JENNET THOMAS – RETROSPECTIVE in person at, Manhattan, New York. A selection of Thomas’ video, film and performance work curated by Sky Sitney
COURTHOUSE GALLERY, Anthology Film Archives, ON THE SHAPE OF THE SCAB – experimental narrative 15 minute Video + sculptural installation at for the duration of the New York Underground film Festival, March

2003
WHARF CENTRE D’ART CONTEMPORAIN DE BASSE NORMANDIE ‘7 PIECES FROM MY HEAD’ retrospective screening of Thomas works as part of 17th Rencontres Video Art Plastique [catalogue]
THE GENE SISKEL FILM CENTER CONVERSATIONS AT THE EDGE, Chicago USA and Women in the Director’s chair Festival, Chicago, screening of Thomas’ works [catalogue]

Group exhibitions/performances

2017
Acts-Reacts festival March, Animal Condensed>Animal Expanded #1Performance/video, Wimbledon Space, London (Forthcoming)
FUTURE ORBITS collateral event during the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, India featuring The Unspeakable Freedom Device screening and performance lecture

2016
THE BLUECOAT, LIVERPOOL, and SHOREDITCH TOWN HALL, ELECTRONIC VOICE PHENOMENA Live Tour of two performance works
TINTYPE Gallery, London Essex Road III A TALE I KNOW NOTHNG ABOUT (film commission, December)
Acts-Reacts festival March, Enhanced Monitoring Event Performance/video, London

2015
SPECULATIVE FRICTIONS group show at DELUGE CONTEMPORARY ART Victoria, Canada June the touring to Diluvio Arte e Ideas, Mexico City
THE SHAPES WE’RE IN group show at Bread and Jam, London
SUPERNORMAL FESTIVAL I AM YOUR ERROR MESSAGE Live performance/video
with Exploding Cinema, August

2014
REACTOR HALLS, PRIMARY, Nottingham, May 2014 DARK HORSE MOVING PICTURE SHOW live film/performance music event with Leo Chadburn and Paul Tarragó
ACTS-REACTS Wimbledon Gallery, London, March 2014 I AM YOUR ERROR MESSAGE live film/performance music event with Leo Chadburn and Paul Tarragó performed I AM YOUR
ERROR MESSAGE

2013
BALTIC 39, BALTIC Project Space TUNED CITIES group symposium/ screening Newcastle
upon Tyne with Clemens von Wedemeyer, Beatrice Gibson, William English, September
GRAND UNION, Birmingham, MAGIC EYE– group show with Plastique Fantastique, Paul Sharits, Goodiepal, Luke McCredie, Alexander Stevenson, The Oulipo, July- August
GALLERY 400, CHICAGO, I THINK WE’RE READY TO GO TO THE NEXT LEVEL: THE LEGACY OF THE HALFLIFERS, May- June, group show with Shana Moulton, the Halflifers, Bjorn Melhus, James Fotopolis
DARK HORSE MOVING PICTURE SHOW – with Paul Tarragó and guest Leo Chadburn Performance/video work I AM YOUR ERROR MESSAGE and other works in a collaborative live show at the Horse Hospital, London, April 5th

2011
RADAR ECHO VS. GOWN performance/lecture commissioned by – This is not a Lecture or
Performance!
festival at Loughborough University campus, June 18th and October
NEW ART GALLERY WALSALL THE LIFE OF THE MIND, with Louise Bourgeois, Sophie Calle, Helen Chadwick, Annette Messager, Chris Ofili, Janette Parris, curated by Bob and Roberta Smith, January- March
BANNER REPEATER, London PIGANDMONKEYFESTOS group show and publication, curated by Shaun Doyle and Mally Mallinson, November

2010
THE FRONT Visual Mischief, various works, New Orleans, US, May

2009
MEAD GALLERY Hijack Reality – Let 100,000 Kunstvereine Bloom video work The Man Who
Went Outside
, commissioned for group show with Bob and Roberta Smith, Phillida Barlow and
Ron Haselden, Warwick Arts Centre, University of Warwick, 10 January to 9 March

2008
LETHABY GALLERY Transcentric, Group Show including Mark Lewis, Tina Keane, William Raban at Central St Martins College of Art and Design, London. November- December.
ART IN GENERAL GALLERY MEDIUM COOL group show of video art, New York, January curated by Thomas Beard

2007
ALMA ENTERPRISES, One must be so careful these days, Group show with Brian Catling, Kim Noble at 1-2 Vyner St. London E2
ZOO ART FAIR- Return of the Black Tower at Peer Space

2006
ARTSWAY SUGARCOATED group show, sculptural video installation [catalogue/dvd
publication]

2002
NEDERLANDS FOTO INSTITUTE (Rotterdam) LOOKALIKE Barbie-Lolita Lara Croft, September- November [catalogue]

2000
NEW ART GALLERY WALSALL, GIRL group show, touring to ANGEL ROW
GALLERY, Nottingham [catalogue] curated by Angela Kingston

FILM FESTIVAL SCREENINGS
2016
ANTIMATTER FESTIVAL, Canada screens THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE, October
CONTACT – A festival of new Experimental Media, London screens THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE, May
EUROPEAN MEDIA ARTS FESTIVAL, Germany screens THE UNSPEAKABLE FREEDOM DEVICE, April

2014
GOETHE INSTITUTE, PARIS screens THE ADVICE SHAPE (EMAF tour) November
BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL SCREENS THE FILM THAT BUYS THE CINEMA (group feature film project), October
IMPAKT festival, Netherlands screens THE ADVICE SHAPE, October
ANTIMATTER FESTIVAL, Canada screens THE ADVICE SHAPE, October
31st Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival screens THE ADVICE SHAPE
EUROPEAN MEDIA ARTS FESTIVAL, Germany screens THE ADVICE SHAPE, April
CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL, USA, THE ADVICE SHAPE, April
EXPLODING CINEMA, at the Hatcham Liberal Club, Peckham, performance I AM YOUR
ERROR MESSAGE
, March

2013
TATE BRITAIN, Assembly: A Survey of Recent Artists’ Film and Video 2008 – 2013 screens ALL SUFFERING SOON TO END! December
CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL, screening SCHOOL OF CHANGE
ANTIMATTER FESTIVAL, Canada screens SCHOOL OF CHANGE, April

2011
CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL Gene Siskel Film Centre– screening of The Man Who Went Outside, June

2010
FAST TIMES CINEMA (((RECALL))) screening selected works, Brooklyn New York

2009
LIGHT INDUSTRY, Natural Selections – two person screening of works with Jim Trainor at Industry City art project, Brooklyn New York
IMPAKT, festival Netherlands, screens Return of the Black Tower
ANTIMATTER FESTIVAL, Canada screens The Man Who Went Outside, October
FESTIVAL COTE COURT, France screens The Man who went outside, Seine-Saint-Denis/Pantin, June
RENCONTRES INTERNATIONALES PARIS/BERLIN/MADRID, The Man Who Went Outside at; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin; Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Pompodou Centre, Paris
EUROPEAN MEDIA ARTS FESTIVAL, Osnabreuck, Germany screens The Man Who Went Outside, April
PDX INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, Portland USA Return of the Black Tower, May
CHICAGO UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL screens Return of the Black Tower, September

2008
ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES, TWO BLACK TOWERS Commissioned to curate programme for the New York Underground Film Festival, New York. Curated around the work of Jennet Thomas and John Smith, April
RENCONTRES PARIS-MADRID- BERLIN. The Truth and the Pleasure screened at Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia; Pompidou centre, Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin July
ANN ARBOR INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, USA screened Only Just Begun, March
AURORA PICTURE HOUSE The Truth and the Pleasure, Video work screened at, Houston, TX
2007-8 RENCONTRES PARIS-MADRID-BERLIN, Because of the Warscreened at Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Pompidou centre, Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin

2007
LA CASA ENCENDIDA, CENTRE FOR CONTEMPORARY ARTS screening- retrospective various works, every Tuesday in September 2007, Madrid
CINEMATEXAS, Austin, Texas Return of the Black Tower
THE HORSE HOSPITAL, Bloomsbury, London Return of the Black Tower screened at
the Book Launch of Subversion – the definitive history of underground Cinema
CUBE CINEMA Double Dummy & Return of the Black Tower screened as part of OMSK
IMAGES 20TH INTERNATIONAL MEDIA FESTIVAL TORONTO, Because of the War
NEW YORK UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL, Anthology Film Archives, The Truth and the Pleasure
ANN ARBOUR 23RD INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL screens Because of the War and Sharony!

2006
THE CARACAS CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM PULSAR International touring programme tours video work Double Dummy to Venezuela venues including, The ALEJANDRO OTERO MUSEUM, THE NATIONAL CINÉMATHEQUE
INTERNATIONAL KURZFILMTAGE Oberhausen screens Because of the War
ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM VIDEO FESTIVAL SCREENS Double Dummy
EUROPEAN MEDIA ARTS FESTIVAL Germany, Because of the War

2005
MOMA NEW YORK, New York Premiers series screens Double Dummy
EMAF – EUROPEAN MEDIA ARTS FESTIVAL OSNABRUCK Germany screens Double Dummy followed by international tour
ICA London Halloween Short Film Festival Screens Perfect Spot and Double Dummy Perfect Spot wins Hey Ladies Best Film Prize
FEMINALE, Cologne, Germany, selected video works in Good Meat Feeds Good People
CINEMATEXAs, Austin Texas, USA screens Double Dummy
NEW YORK UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL, Anthology Film Archives NYC sreens Double Dummy

2004
NATIONAL REVIEW OF LIVE ART, Glasgow Touring with Exploding Cinema
ROTTERDAM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL Perfect Spot screened
42ND ANN ARBOR FILM EXPERIMENTAL FESTIVAL, USA Sharony!
ATHENS INTERNATIONAL FILM/VIDEO FESTIVAL Perfect Spot
NOVA CINEMA, Brussels- Exploding Cinema Tour screens The Local Sky Enlarger
2003-4 RENCONTRES PARIS-MADRID- BERLIN, The Local Sky Enlarger screened at Museo Nacional Centro De Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid; Pompidou centre, Paris; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, July

Features & Reviews
MOVING IMAGE REVIEW & ART JOURNAL (MIRAJ) Volume 5, 2016. Jennet Thomas interviewed with Kyran Joughin

ART MONTHLY November 2015, PROFILE Double-page feature on Jennet Thomas by Lauren Velvick

Selected publications
2017
Memories of the future, Book, Chapter titled School of Change: Re-dreaming past futures, publishers Peter Lang (forthcoming)

2016
European Media Arts Festival, Germany, 2016 catalogue

2015
Holyoke Transfer#2 6 page contribution, publishers Lake Hitchcock centre for the Book Arts, USA
The Unspeakable Freedom Device 144 page book (experimental fiction) sole author, published by Book Works, UK

2010
All Suffering SOON TO END!,8 pp Illustrated catalogue ‘white book’ publication with essay by Francis McKee, published by Matt’s Gallery

2008
Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin 2008 Catalogue
Ann Arbor Film Festival, USA, 2008 Catalogue
New York Underground Film Festival 2008 Catalogue
Antimatter international Film Festival 2008 Catalogue

2007
VIDEOMIX- CONVERSACIONES ANIMADAS – JENNET THOMAS vs. DANIEL CUBERTA A two person screening retrospective, La Casa Encendida Centre for Contemporary Arts, Madrid. Catalogue / brochure
Return of the Black Tower 16.pp Illustrated Catalogue with Essay by Sally O’ Reilly and texts by Jennet Thomas and John Smith to accompany solo show at PEER gallery, London
RAW Research At Wimbledon, transcribed interview with Bill Furlong on my work 2007

2006
OMSKBOOK, Compendium of the Live Art event, with Artists writings essays by Tracey Warr and Helen De Witt published by OMSK 2006
Artists try not to talk about Art, book of artist’s interviews published by Space Studios, with dialogue between Jennet Thomas and Sally O’Reilly 2006
14th INTERNATIONAL NEW YORK UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL at Anthology film Archives catalogue

2005
Oberhausen International Film Festival Catalogue featuring Because of the WAR
PULSAR Caracas- International touring show catalogue
Sugarcoated, ArtSway, Hampshire, UK DVD Catalogue
Martins’ (2005-6)
13th INTERNATIONAL NEW YORK UNDERGROUND FILM FESTIVAL at Anthology film Archives catalogue

2004
Rotterdam International Film Festival, Catalogue
Ann Arbour Experimental Film Festival, Catalogue
Anthology Film Archives, March catalogue 2004
NEW TERRITORIES- National Review of Live Art Festival Catalogue

For Jennet Thomas’s website click on NEWS below

NEWS

Jennet Thomas, Animal Condensed>Animal Expanded #1 Trailer, 2016,

Animal Condensed > Animal Expanded #1 stages a philosophical encounter between what are best described as two postanthropological agents who, in an attempt to reconcile themselves with the trauma of a mass biotechnoviolation, quiz one another on the origins and ontologies of their species. Set in a virtual black and white world where human and nonhuman identities are anything but, the overriding question here is less one of animal rights and more of how our new animal ‘wrongs’ might think, feel and communicate.

Jennet Thomas, The Unspeakable Freedom Device, 2015,

Originally commissioned by Grundy Art Gallery, The Unspeakable Freedom Device combines a number of interconnected multimedia and sculptural elements and paints a picture of an absurd primitive-future world populated by a cast of uncannily familiar characters. Its narrative shadows two women who wrestle with the fascination and threat of techno-totalitarian supremacy personified by the all-powerful Blue Lady. Thomas’ powerful portrayal is as formidable as the histories it prophesizes and its timely creation couldn’t be more fitting against the backdrop of today’s political unconscious.

Jennet Thomas, School of Change, 2012,

School of Change is a 40 minute sci-fi musical film – an endless loop based in a distorted reality that satirically reflects on our own. Like Lewis Carroll’s Alice, we are led through a School day in the life of the New Girl. She is kidnapped into an alternate world in which mutations in the workings of reason itself are threatening the viability of humanity. As the new girl joins her class, an exact replica of her joins parallel sets of identical classes.

In the presentation at Matt's Gallery in 2012, the viewer walked through an expansive sculptural installation, in which motifs from the film were played out; giant diagrammatic stick figures in the warning colours of yellow and black tower over a school girl inhabiting the world of School of Change.

Jennet Thomas, All Suffering SOON TO END!, 2010,

All Suffering SOON TO END! was inspired by a contemporary evangelical pamphlet. The pamphlet describes the ‘the end of days,’ and is both tender and lyrical in part, then savagely violent and ridiculous.

At Matt's Gallery in 2010, Thomas reconstructed the space into two interconnecting chambers. The first was the Dark Chamber in which a 30 minute film played continuously. Escalating into a series of surprising and rhythmic variations, the film depicts a number of elaborate parallel worlds which become increasingly absurd and disturbing.

The second Purple Chamber entered only through the first, houses a further alternate world, theatrically enclosed in purple tickertape tinsel. Key motifs depicted in the film are exaggerated and distorted — as if by centuries of mistranslation—into sculptural and sound installations, inhabited on occasion by performative presences.

Jennet Thomas, A Tale I Know Nothing About, 2016,

JENNET THOMAS’s film A Tale I Know Nothing About features themes of resurrection, entertainment and death. Inspired by the fantastical Neo-Egyptian Art Deco cinema on Essex Road, once a bingo hall, Thomas weaves a visual poem of pigeon-gods, roving eyeballs, and a dead policeman through animated verses of a Dada-esque nonsense rhyme – a mysterious folk memory that has passed through generations of London playgrounds.