Rachel Garfield is an artist and writer whose work is engaged with the role of lived relations in the formation and intersections of subjectivities.
Professor Garfield is the PGR lead and Chair of the Research Development Group in School of Arts & Humanities, which develops strategy and supports research in the School.
Garfield exhibits regularly nationally and internationally. She has published the monographs Women, Experimental Filmmaking and Punk: Feminist Audio Visual Culture in the1970s and 1980s (Bloomsbury, 2022) in its second print, nominated for the Krazna-Krausz award (2022), and Dwoskino: The Gaze of Stephen Dwoskin, LUX publishing 2022, co-edited with Henry K Miller.
Garfield’s art work is engaged in portraiture in film and video. She has a background in painting which also feeds into the concerns of the moving image work, in the formation of subjectivity at the intersections of ‘race’, class and gender. Garfield writes about Modern and contemporary art, painting, video and experimental film
Her work is a personal cinema arising out of the traditions of experimental film, focusing on the lived relationships between people and structures. Her experimental mode explores the form and visual textures of video (through different generations of the camera, from lo fi to high-end cameras). Adopting DIY approaches and disjunctive and collage-like aesthetics from punk and post-punk, she aims to transform the impoverished image into a rich, multi-layered enjoyment of the visual.
Garfield is a member of the AHRC Peer Review College, and co-editor (Academic Section) of the Moving Image Review and Art Journal, published by Intellect.
GarfieldI was PI of a large AHRC funded grant (£970,00) entitled “The Legacies of Stephen Dwoskin’s Personal Cinema” (2018–22),
She is also a supervisor for a British Academy Post-Doctoral Fellow. She built the supervisory and funding application team with Kleio Akrivou in the Henley Business School at the University of Reading entitled “Rethinking Wellbeing: Evaluating the Neoliberalisation of Wellbeing in the Workplace Using Artworks as a Critical Lens”.
Current and recent projects
Partners: The LUX and the BFI, Co-I’s from Glasgow University and the University of Sheffield.
The Personal and the Institutional
One branch of the Dwoskin Project aims to map the world around Dwoskin, using the archive and interviews to come to a new understanding of the institutions of film culture that he helped create and participate in between the 1950s and 2010s. Dwoskin’s diaries and letters, and the substantial number of documents relating to his film work – and other activities – provide a unique insight into the transatlantic underground cinema of the 1960s, and the new space created for experiment by television stations like ZDF and Channel 4 in the 1970s and ’80s.
Another branch of the Dwoskin project sets out to analyse his work through recent theoretical approaches to the body, gender and disability studies. This area of research integrates archival, theoretical, and practice-based methodologies to understand how the personal can be harnessed in the production of politically engaged artwork, with regard to the formation of subjectivity and the body in relation to disability, feminism, and ethnicity.
Digital forensics and Data exploration
The digital forensics and data exploration branch of the Dwoskin Project is concerned with the preservation and examination of the twenty hard drives that encompass Dwoskin’s digital legacy. Dwoskin’s work straddles the transition of moving images from analogue to digital. He was an early adopter of and experimenter with digital cameras and editing software, and left behind a digital footprint that is both rich and diverse.
Analysis of the hard drives, which contain a wealth of material including films, film edits, email correspondence and an unpublished autobiography, will enable a deeper forensic examination of Dwoskin’s unique approach to filmmaking, the networks he inhabited, and his particular struggles to support himself and make films as a survivor of polio. In other words, it will uncover the histories hidden within the digital artefacts.
- a month of screenings/discussions at the BFI
- three commissions of high-profile art works in partnership with the LUX (Evan Ifekoye, Margaret Salmon, P Staff)
- A monthly blog on the LUX website
- A monograph published by the LUX
- Three online screenings/discussions with international speakers with the LUX
Publications, exhibitions, other outcomes
Garfield R, Miller HK (eds) (2022) Dwoskino: The Gaze of Stephen Dwoskin, London: LUX publishing 2022
Garfield, R, (2022) Women, Experimental Film making and Punk: Feminist Audio Visual Culture in the1970s and 1980s. London: Bloomsbury Academic Press, (Nominated for the Krazner- Kraus award 2022)
Garfield, R (2019), Prescient Intersectionality: Women, Film: Moving Image and Identity Politics in 1980s Britain. In Reynolds L, ed., Women Artists, Feminism and the Moving Image: Contexts and Practices, ed. Lucy Reynolds, Bloomsbury, pp. 99-113
Garfield, R, (2018) Maximalism as a Cosmopolitan Strategy in the Art of Ruth Novaczek and Doug Fishbone, in Gilman,S, Gelbin, C eds., Jews on the Move: Modern Cosmopolitan Thought and Its Others, Routledge, pp 193-210
Garfield, R, (2017), Valences of Subjectivity: The Politics of Personal Narrative in Video Art in Feldman, Z.(ed) Art and The Politics of Visibility, IB Taurus, London and New York, pp. 137-166
Garfield, R, (2017), Between Seeing and Knowing: Stephen Dwoskin’s Behindert and the Camera’s Caress, in Mulvey, L. & Clayton S (eds), Other Cinemas: Politics, Culture and British Experimental Film in the 1970s IB Taurus, London and New York, pp 235-245
Garfield R, (2016) From The Evacuees to Grandma’s House: Class and Jewish Identity on British Television, in Abrams N (ed), The Hidden Presence of Jews in British Film and Television, Northwestern UP, pp. 130-148
Garfield R, (2015), Anwar Shemza: Negotiating the British Landscape, Anwar Jalal Shemza,in Dadi I (ed), Ridinghouse, London, pp.19-25
Garfield R, (2015), Playing with history: Negotiating subjectivity in contemporary lens based art, in Valman N & Roth L (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Contemporary Jewish Cultures, Routledge NY pp. 320- 339
Peer Review Journals
Garfield, R, (2022) “The Suburban Trilogy: Abigail Child’s Cake and Steak”, Found Footage, Issue 8, Special Issue on Abigail Child, pp 35-37
Garfield, R (2021) Peggy Ahwesh, Steve McQueen and Russell T Davis: reflections on the 1980s under lockdown, MIRAJ, Issue 9.2 ‘Artists’ Moving Image, Isolation and Covid-19’, Volume 9, Number 2, pp. 270-275
Garfield, R, (2016) Maximalism as a Cosmopolitan Strategy in the Art of Ruth Novaczek and Doug Fishbone, special edition Jews on the Move, in Gilman S, Gelbin C (eds.) European Review of History, Vol. 23, Issue. 5-6, pp. 961-977, Routledge
Garfield, R (2016), Deflationary Tactics with the Archive of Life: Contemporary Jewish Art and Popular Culture”, Journal of Modern Jewish Studies, ed. Schloer, J (ed) http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14725886.2016.1242313m, Taylor & Francis
Garfield, R Imagining Multicultural London: Containment and Excess in Snatch, in Vice S & Staehler A (eds) European Judaism, Vol 47, No. 2, (Autumn 2014), Sue Vice & Axel Staehler, Berghahn Journals, pp 60-68
Stephen Dwoskin screenings at Metrograph, New York, 18th/19th June 2022 https://metrograph.com/category/dwoskino/
Screening and book launch of Garfield (2022), Experimental Film and Punk for AEMI in Dublin at the Institute Film Institute (IFI) and in discussion with Alice Butler and Daniel Fitzpatrick (AEMI directors) at the Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin 17th May 2022
e-flux screening of Dwoskin Shorts, From NY Underground to London Artist Moving Image 7th May 2022, and discussion with Mara Mills (NYU) and Jenny Chamarette (UoReading)
Co-Programmed Experimenta: Focus on Stephen Dwoskin, BFI, four screenings, book discussion and study day February 2022
Streaming for LUX as part of the dissemination of the monograph Experimental Film and Punk, February – April 2022
Screening London Short Film Festival. 15 January 2022. As part of the book launch for Experimental Film and Punk at the ICA
Screening and discussion, Force/Fields screening (Rachel Garfield, Anne Robinson, Margareta Kern) and in conversation with Professor Woodward Newcastle University, Star and Shadow Newcastle, 7 November 2019
Screening and in conversation with Ruth Novaczek, Jill Daniels and Rachel Garfield, Jewish Historical Society, Jewish Film Month, Pheonix Cinema, Finchley London. 17 March 2019
Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI), screening, Essay Film Festival Prelude 1: The Cinema of Stephen Dwoskin and Trying to Kiss the Moon, + round table with Jenny Chamarette, Darragh O’Donoghue, Henry K Miller & Alison Butler, 10 February 2018
Bristol Experimental Expanded Film (BEEF), curated screening “Women in Punk” and presented talk, 10 January 2018
Screening, “Screen Journal Dossier: Stephen Dwoskin” launch, Close-Up Cinema 19 May 2016, London
Frankfurtfilmkollectiv, Stephen Dwoskin homage, curated screening, 3 March 2016
“Stephen Dwoskin Ha, Ha!”, The Horse Hospital, 8 November – 6 December 2014
Curated Screening Dwoskin films, 29 November 2014
London Short Film Festival (2023), ICA, London, screening of Art Sex Work film.
“Do They Owe Us A Living” (2022), group exhibition, The Royal Standard and the Bluecoat galleries, Liverpool
Solo exhibition of film trilogy (2022) ‘The Struggle’, Project Place Plus, University of Lincoln, (February-March 2022)
Solo Exhibition, (2021)The Struggle: A Trilogy, Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall, https://beaconsfield.ltd.uk/projects/rachel-garfield-the-struggle-a-trilogy/
Liverpool Irish Festival (2021), streaming the trilogy The Struggle https://www.liverpoolirishfestival.com/events/the-struggle/
http://www.rosa-luxemburg-platz.net/ Tegel: Flights of Fancy, curated by Julie Westerman and Jasper Joseph-Lester, streaming, 1 November 2020 - ongoing
Small Projects For Coming Communities (2019), Hospitalhof Stuttgart, Oncurating Space Zurich https://www.comingcommunities.org/en/scores/scores-navigation/navigation-for-a-younger-self/
Salon for A Speculative Future,(2019) organised by Monika Oechsler and Monica Biagioli, Chisenhale Art Place,
Diagonal Diagram of Dispersed Documents (2017) by Material Conjectures and friends at ArtLacuna (Clapham Junction, London), group exhibition with PIl and Galia Kollectiv, Anne Tallantire, Orphan Drift, Jasper Joseph-Lester, Jonathan Darling, BAW and Bruce Gilbert and Graham Lister,
“Armel Beaufils: Le Regard Des Femmes” (2017) Galerie du Presbytere, Saint-Briac Sur Mer, curated by Kivland S and Elkar C,
“Visions” at the Nunnery, screening of “Opening Up”, 26- 30th November, 2016
100 on 100, (2016) Ben Uri: 100 years in London, Christie’s South Kensington,
“Unsensed” (2015) group show, Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, exhibiting artists: Matthew Flintham, Rachel Garfield, Aaron Guy, Autumn Richardson, Richard Skelton, Matthew Tickle and Yelena Popova.
“Out of Chaos”(2015) Ben Uri: 100 years in London, Somerset House, East Wing
Tegel: Flights of Fancy, screening, book +DVD of art works, Artwords Books, curated by J Joseph-Lester