Michelle Williams Gamaker

Michelle Williams Gamaker

The Eternal Return, 2019

HD video still

Michelle Williams Gamaker

The Eternal Return, 2019

HD video still

Michelle Williams Gamaker

The Fruit is There to be Eaten, 2018

HD video still

Michelle Williams Gamaker

The Fruit is There to be Eaten, 2018

HD video still

Michelle Williams Gamaker

The Fruit is There to be Eaten, 2018

HD video still

Michelle Williams Gamaker

The Fruit is There to be Eaten, 2018

HD video still

Michelle Williams Gamaker

The Fruit is There to be Eaten, 2018

HD video still

Michelle Williams Gamaker

House of Women, 2017

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Michelle Williams Gamaker

House of Women, 2017

Production photograph

Michelle Williams Gamaker

House of Women, 2017

HD video still

Michelle Williams Gamaker

House of Women, 2017

HD video still

Michelle Williams Gamaker

House of Women, 2017

HD video still

Michelle Williams Gamaker

Distant Relative, 2018

C-Type print, 59.4 cm x 42.0cm

Michelle Williams Gamaker

Distant Relative, 2018

C-Type print, 59.4 cm x 42.0cm

Michelle Williams Gamaker in collaboration with Sophia Bramley

Our Mountains are Painted on Glass, 2018

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Michelle Williams Gamaker in collaboration with Sophia Bramley

Our Mountains are Painted on Glass, 2018

HD video still

Michelle Williams Gamaker

Line Up – installation view, 2016

3-ply fortified glass and vinyl decal

Michelle Williams Gamaker

O-Lan Plants a Peach Pit (The Good Earth), 2018

Vitrine with film paraphernalia from The Good Earth (1937) and Chinese figurines bought from New China Stores, Fort, Colombo.

Michelle Williams Gamaker and Julia Kouneski

Support System, 2018

C-Type Print, 59.4 cm x 42.0 cm

Michelle Williams Gamaker and Julia Kouneski

Support System, 2018

C-Type Print, 59.4 cm x 42.0 cm

Michelle Williams Gamaker and Julia Kouneski

Support System, 2018

C-Type Print, 59.4 cm x 42.0 cm

Michelle Williams Gamaker and Julia Kouneski

Scaling COPAN, 2009

C-Type Print, 25.4 cm x 20.3cm (box set of 9 prints)

Michelle Williams Gamaker and Julia Kouneski

Scaling COPAN, 2009

C-Type Print, 25.4 cm x 20.3cm (box set of 9 prints)

Michelle Williams Gamaker and Julia Kouneski

Scaling COPAN, 2009

C-Type Print, 25.4 cm x 20.3cm (box set of 9 prints)

Michelle Williams Gamaker is a moving image and performance artist. Her work explores the fiction-making machine of 20C British and Hollywood studio films by restaging sequences to reveal cinematic construction, and recasting characters to propose alternative endings that counter their often doom-laden plight.

Williams Gamaker’s key focus is the development of ‘fictional activism’: the restoration of marginalised brown characters as central figures, who return in her works as vocal brown protagonists challenging the fictional injustices to which they have been historically consigned. Scriptwriting, workshopping with actors, acquiring film paraphernalia and producing props for the intricate staging of her film sets are all vital elements in the re-enactment of the artificial landscapes that shaped Williams Gamaker’s love of cinema.

She is currently completing Dissolution, a trilogy of films comprising House of Women (2017),The Fruit is There to be Eaten (2018) and The Eternal Return (2019) in which characters from Powell and Pressburger’s 1947 Black Narcissus unravel as they become aware of their screen and staged realities.

Fictional activists are mutable subjects that can be played either by Williams Gamaker herself – such as her alter ego Violet Culbo – or by long-term collaborators who take on multiple personas including that of the Indian-born US film star Sabu – or characters such as Kanchi from Black Narcissus(1947), and O-Lan from The Good Earth(1937).

Collaboration is also a crucial element of Williams Gamaker’s work; since 2009 she has worked with American artist Julia Kouneski, revisiting the work of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark’s psychotherapeutic research as inspiration for interventions with the body, architecture and landscape.

Born in London, in 1979
Lives and works in London

Education
2006 – 12 PhD Fine Art, Goldsmiths College, University of London
2005 – 06  MA Visual Anthropology, Goldsmiths College, University of London
1998 – 01  BA Fine Art, Middlesex University

International Residencies
2003 – 05  de Ateliers, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Exhibitions/Screenings

2018
Curious Arts Festival, Baltic, Newcastle
The Palace International Film Festival 2018
Library Interventions: Moving Knowledge, Blenheim Walk Gallery, Leeds Art University (co curated by Michelle Williams Gamaker and Nick Norton)
Freud Museum, Solitary Pleasures, Freud Museum, London (curated by Marquard Smith)
Panorama, Dortmund/Cologne International Women’s Film Festival
Transmediale Festival: Face Value – White Balance and On Resentment
History Repeats Itself Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA)

2017
34th Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur (Switzerland)
Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival (November 14 to 19
l’Alternativa 2017 – 24th Barcelona Independent Film Festival
Work Work, Tintype, London
Brown Queers at Scottish Queer Film Festival (SQIFF)
The World Made New at Pi Projects, London
Brown Queers at Leeds Queer Film Festival
Madame B Explorations in Emotional Capitalism, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, Turku, Finland
Video Vortex VI (curated by Rashmi Sawhney) Kochi-Muziris Biennial, India
Concrete Jungle, Annka Kultys Gallery, London (curated by Alexandra White)
Emma and Edvard, Love in the Time of Loneliness, Munch Museet, Norway

2016
Video Screening, Artist’s Films at The Swiss Church London
Trailing Off, ICA, London
Wayfaring, &Model Leeds (curated by Laura White)
Precarity (with Mieke Bal) Arts and Technology Research Lab, Dublin, Ireland

2015
The Making, The Agency, London
the future of architecture and urbanism Jai + Jai Gallery, Los Angeles
Precarity (with Mieke Bal) in The Importance of Being a (Moving) Image, The National Gallery, Prague (curated by Adam Budak)

2014
Cause & Effect (with Mieke Bal) VIVA festival, Valletta, Malta
Madame B Explorations in Emotional Capitalism (with Mieke Bal)
World Premiere Madame B (with Mieke Bal) Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Gallery of Sydney, College of the Arts, Australia
Sala de Arte, EAFIT Universidad, and Sala U Universidad Nacional, Medellín, Colombia, The Post House, Eckerro, Åland, Finland
Emotions and Capitalism Vaal Gallery, Tallinn, Estonia
Madame B: When Love Fails Us Museum Bärengasse, Zürich, Switzerland
Madame B. Explorations in Emotional Capitalism Museum Sztuki, Łódź, Poland

2013
2013 Head-On Punt WG, Amsterdam

2012
Saying It Freud Museum, London (Arts Council of England)
Cosas imposibles Nave Generadores, Monterrey, Mexico
Past Landscape: Among Old Masters Göttingen, Kunstsammlung der Georg- Universität Göttingen,
Eine zweite chance (A Second Chance), vbkö, Vienna
Islands of Madness Galleri Kakelhallen, Mariehamn, Åland, Finland

2011
What Culture Silences Festival on Wheels, Goethe Institute, Ankara, Turkey
Landscapes of Madness curated by Mia Hannula, Aboa Vetus & Ars Nova, Turku
Facing It: Imaging Madness Broadcast Gallery, Dublin Institute of Technology, Dublin, Ireland
La última frontera / The Last Frontier Fundación José García Jiménez, Murcia
Tony Zielgler: The Alienation of Objects Zabludowicz Collection, London
Body/Space Mechanics De Hallen, Haarlem, Netherlands
Adaptation: Between Species The Power Plant Art Gallery, Toronto, Canada
Anachronisms (with Mieke Bal) Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao, Spain

2009
Miss B’s Salon Wartesaal, Perla Moda, Zurich, Switzerland
Mostly it Happens at Night curated by Maaike Gouwenberg, Amsterdam, Netherlands,

2007
2MOVE: Migratory Aesthetics curated by Mieke Bal and Miguel Angel
Hernández Sala Verónicas and Centro Párraga, Murcia, Spain,
Dis-Economy of Life – On Migratory Aesthetics, Travelling Concepts & Organization of Economic Life screenings Cinema Suitcase projects, curated by Marko Stamenkovic, Klub Kulture; MMC Palach, Rijeka, Croatia; Monte Paradizo Hacklab Pula, Croatia; Sofia, Bulgaria; Artpool Art Research Center, Budapest, Hungary; Bucharest Biennial, Romania; TV Buna Dimineata, Romania; O3ONE, Belgrade, Serbia.
The Switch Live Art Performance: Dreaming Confusion Camden Arts Centre

2005
Masculinities curated by Kathrin Becker, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin, Germany,
screening “All About Évike”, Rialto Cinema, Amsterdam,Netherlands,
Cinema Suitcase Unpacked Staten Island, NYC, USA

2004
Elizabitch Filmmuseum, Rialto Cinema, Kamer 301, Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Your Heart Is No Match for My Love curated by Bree Edwards, Soap Factory,
Minneapolis, USA
Lady into Fox de ateliers, Amsterdam

2003
Reality Check British Council/Photographers Gallery, Zagreb, Croatia
Intravention W139/Museum Amstelkring, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Les Rencontres Internationale Paris, France, and Berlin, Germany
Reality Check Gallery Rudolfinum, Prague, Czech Republic; The Arsenals,
Riga, Latvia; Bunkier Gallery, Kracow, Poland,

2002
Reality Check British Council/Photographers Gallery, Moderna Galerija,
Lubliana, Slovenia and 14 Wharf Road, London
Transport Export House, London
Heimlich – Unheimlich curated by Juliana Engberg, RMIT Gallery, Melbourne,
Australia
Heavy Petting De Ooievaar, Den Haag, Netherlands
National Review of Live Art The Arches, Glasgow, Scotland
Light Structures curated by Dryden Goodwin, Tate Britain, London, and Arnolfini, Bristol

2001
Tranz>Tech curated by Dryden Goodwin, New Media Biennial, Toronto, Canada
Youthquake II curated by Jean Bernard Koemann, Gallery W139, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Bloomberg New Contemporaries curated by Chris Ofil, Mike Nelson, and Jennifer Higgie, Northern Gallery for Contemporary Arts, Sunderland, and Camden Arts Centre, London

Selected talks/artist events

Artists Talk, HDK, Hamburg, Germany, May 2018
Material Cultures of Psychiatry conference, Hamburg, May 2018
On the Line, Goldsmiths College, London, March 2018
Inside The Freud Museums with Mieke Bal and Susan Hiller, March 2018
On Resentment, with Ana Texiera Pinto, Aria Dean and Triple Canopy, Transmediale
Parting Gestures at Overtime for Work, Work, Tintype, London Nov 2017
Spectacular Evidence, performance at Artsadmin, March 2017
The Fruit is there to be Eaten Artist’s talk: Artsadmin, November 2016
Reach Out Tate Modern, Clore Corridor and screening room
On Madame B, Stedelijk Musuem, Amsterdam, September 2014
Artist’s talk, Kingston University, London
Artists talk Curatorial School, Valetta, Intenational Visual Arts, August 2014
On Madame B, Universidad EAFIT, Medellín, Colombia, May 2014
Madame B quotation as performance, keynote, Konstrudan Turku, Finland April 2014
Sleep Talking at Project Space Roos Breeuwer, Amsterdam, April 2014
NIAS Keynote lecture, Wassenar, the Netherlands, January 2014
Violet Culbo, Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, November 2011
Innocent Interlopers, Artists& the Ethics of Interaction, FABRICA -Brighton, Nov 2012
Body/Space Mechanics: Kouneski & Williams Gamaker in conversation, De Hallen, Haarlem
Scaling COPAN live event (with Julia Kouneski), Capacete Foundation, Brazil, April 2009
Psychoanalysis and Cinema panel guest, Miss B’s Salon, London, May 2009
Nice Suit panel guest, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, London, February 19, 2009
2MOVE: Migratory Aesthetics panel guest, Belfast, Ireland, May 2008
Border Crossing; Art/Anthropology Exchange Goldsmiths College, London, May 16, 2008
Open Studio: Paul Johnson and Michelle Williams Camden Arts Centre Nov 2002

Awards/Grants
2018 Raven Row Studio award for WOCI Reading Group and DAM Projects
Elephant Trust
2017: Research Support Award, Goldsmiths, London
CHASE Cohort Development Fund for WOCI Reading Group
2016: Research Support Award, Goldsmiths, London
BFI EXPERIMENTA Speed Pitch Award
Cross Channel Film Lab (Le Groupe Ouest)
2015: Film London (FLAMIN) New Approaches scheme (until 2017)
Research Support Award, Goldsmiths, London
2012: Grants For the Arts, Arts Council of England
2011: Basic Stipend, Mondrian Fund (until 2015)
2009: Academic Travel Bursary, Goldsmiths, London
2006: Art Departmental Bursary, Goldsmiths College, London (until 2009)
2005: AHRC Professional Research Masters Award, Visual Anthropology
2003: Millennium Commission Award – UK Lottery Funding
2002: First Base, ACAVA Studio Award, London
2001: Bloomberg New Contemporaries

Public & Private Collections
Arts Council of England
Videos by Cinema Suitcase distributed by Vtape, Toronto (http://www.vtape.org/) and archived at EYE Amsterdam, Netherlands
Private Collections in the UK