Performing the self 

On November 16, 2016 at 7 pm


Benjamin Cook, Director of LUX, presents a selection from their new moving image touring exhibition, THIS IS NOW which explores UK film and video from the ‘post-punk’ era (1978-1985). The UK in the early 1980s saw an explosion in alternative and independent moving image production. Clubbers, art students, new romantics and members of the post-punk scene used cheap domestic technologies to subvert the mainstream media and to find new modes of expression. Independent VHS tapes were released, stridently bypassing censorship, and Super 8 film was embraced as a cheap yet lyrical new medium. The DIY approach of punk was powerfully reborn.

Artists defied conventional ideas about how film should be made and who should make them. Female, gay and black filmmakers pushed forward; squatting flats, clubbing and developing new styles and techniques together. This unlikely cocktail of visionary experimental films and bright, brash pop videos shows how visual culture changed radically at the start of the 1980s. Genre boundaries became blurred and the use of masks and make-up challenged the conventions of identity construction and representation.

Developed in partnership with the BFI National Film Archive, many of the films have been specially restored for the tour.


Cerith Wyn Evans, Still Life With Phrenology Head (1979) — 14 min.

Steve Barron, Human League: Don’t You Want Me (1981) — 
4 min.

John Scarlett-Davis, Chat Rap (1983) — 15 min.

Mike Mansfield & Adam Ant, Adam Ant: Stand and Deliver (1981) — 3 min.

Mike Mansfield & Adam Ant, Adam Ant: Prince Charming (1981) — 3 min.

John Maybury, The Modern Image (1978) — 13 min.

John Maybury, Solitude (1981) — 13 min.

Grayson Perry & Jennifer Binnie, Bungalow Depression (1981) — 4 min.

The Neo-Naturists, The Private View (1981) — 7 min.


Dazibao thanks the artists and LUX for their generous collaboration and its members for their support.

Dazibao receives financial support from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, the ministère de la Culture et des Communications and the Ville de Montréal.