1. The Pre-History of the London Filmmakers' Co-op
2. The Foundation of the London Filmmakers' Co-op
3. The American Underground Film
4. A New Generation: The London Arts Lab
5. A New Constitution
Welcome to the Study Collection's online audio exhibition on the early years of the London Filmmakers' Co-op 1966 - 1968. This exhibition is based on interviews with some of the most influential London Filmmakers' Co-op members recorded by the scholar and Film Co-op activist Deke Dusinberre in 1975 as he worked on his PhD thesis 'English Avant-Garde Cinema' at the Slade School of Art.
Only recently Dusinberre made the audiotapes available to the Study Collection where they are now publicly accessible on CD. This audio exhibition presents clips from these interviews to construct a fresh account of the early days of the London Filmmakers' Co-op. I, Maxa Zoller, a researcher currently working on my own thesis about the presentation of avant-garde film projection in the '60s, will introduce the different sections of this audio show and provide important background information.
The aim of this audio documentary is to re-frame the early history of the Co-op by providing an account made only a few years after the foundation. The comments by Bob Cobbing, Raymond Durgnat, Stephen Dwoskin, Malcolm Le Grice and Peter Gidal shed new light on the history of the Co-op - a history which is generally considered one of artistic radicalism, but not one of friendships and rivalries. These interviews disclose the artists' personal and emotional identification with the construction of a new society in the '60s... however utopian that was.
It is true that Malcolm Le Grice, Peter Gidal, Annabel Nicolson and others were at the core of the Co-op as it has become known today; that is a workshop-based laboratory where theory and a hands-on practice shaped a radical new way of making and presenting film. Thanks to recent exhibitions such as Live In Your Head at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in 2000 and Shoot Shoot Shoot at Tate Modern in 2002 there has been a renewed interest in the history of the Co-op.
However, little attention has been given to the Co-op's pre-history, which started as early as 1953 in suburban London. Interestingly, these interviews help to trace back the development of the London Filmmakers' Co-op from a part-time amateur film society to a full-time filmmakers' collective. You can listen to the entire audio exhibition by clicking on a chapter in the top menu.