The Otolith Collective and Tate Liverpool invite you to The Song of the Shirt (1979), a special event accompanying the exhibition Keywords: Art, Culture and Society in 1980s Britain.
The Song of the Shirt: A Film in Three Parts (1979)
by Sue Clayton and Jonathan Curling
Film screening and discussion
Tuesday 29 April 2014, 11am-5pm
Free. Booking is essential
Tate Liverpool, Albert Dock, Liverpool Waterfront, Liverpool. L3 4BB
Made at the height of the radical 1970s, The Song of the Shirt (1979) is a poetic black and white feature film about women, sexuality, politics, music, early photography and fashion. Set in 1840s Spitalfields, London, the film looks at the myths, romance and class panic that surrounded the thousands of women who arrived in the city to work in the clothing industry. The film deals with subjects as wide-ranging as the history of the welfare state, issues of free trade and capitalism, as well as significantly contributing to debates on feminist history. The Song of the Shirt combines past and contemporary images to portray the radical potential of these women and that age.
The screening is followed by talks and concludes with a discussion focusing on the insights that The Song of the Shirt offers the new generation of artists and filmmakers.
Laura Mulvey, filmmaker and feminist theorist opens the discussion by exploring the radical practice that produced The Song of the Shirt and other significant films of the time.
Kodwo Eshun, artist, critic and co-director of The Otolith Collective, discusses the aesthetic inventions at work in the use of archive, costume, television, music and photography in The Song of the Shirt.
Sue Clayton, co-director of The Song of the Shirt, presents Fournier Street (2013), her new gallery interpretation of the film's themes which looks at culture, gender and style in East London, through the eyes of the Victorian film heroine.
11.00 Introductory lecture by Laura Mulvey 'British Experimental Film in the 1970s: a Historical and Aesthetic context'
11.45 Screening of The Song of the Shirt Parts 1 and 2
14.00 Screening of The Song of the Shirt Part 3 and Epilogue.
15:00 Talk by Kodwo Eshun on the dramatisation of theory and the activation of archives in 'The Song of the Shirt: A Cinema of Exemplarity'
15.45 Talk by Sue Clayton: 'The Making of The Song of the Shirt, and her new work Fournier Street' on exhibition in the Studio at Tate Liverpool from 28 to 30 April.
16.15 Panel conversation followed by audience discussion, chaired by Laura Mulvey.
The Song of the Shirt is currently on exhibition as part of the Keywords film programme.