Black Sun Cinema: A Day of Experimental Film at Triskel Christchurch

Presented in association with Triskel Christchurch, Black Sun, Cork’s weirdo/outer limits music/film event, is presenting a day of unsettling experimental film, a host of rare cinematic shadows flickering mysteriously at the darker fringes of the mind. On a Sunday afternoon this August (date will be confirmed next week), adventurous souls seeking haven from the harsh summer light will find sanctuary in Triskel’s Christchurch Cinema as three programmes of hauntingly dreamlike avant-garde visions fall through the church’s muffled darkness to take possession of all present:

- American underground legend James Fotopoulos’ feature The Nest (2003) “offers up a bleak and cryptically funny assault on suburban anomie… Fotopoulos creeps around the edges of character and drama, conjuring moods of paranoia and dread that suggest the carefully ordered routines of daily life are a kind of opiate administered by sinister forces. Shooting in harsh 16mm color, Fotopoulos renders The Nest in a typically Spartan, forbidding style that makes it seem as though he is some extraterrestrial visitor photographing humans for the first time.” (Scott Foundas, Variety) Ideal mind-warping viewing for admirers of David Lynch who think they’ve seen everything...

- Frans Zwartjes is arguably Holland’s preeminent experimental filmmaker. His highly stylised, poetically claustrophobic films achieve a unique level of sensual intimacy in their renditions of sexual and domestic tension, and voyeurism. These wordless works draw on performance art but are equally distinguished by their oneiric visuals, disconcerting editing rhythms and hypnotically minimal sound design. Once Zwartjes has caressed the surface of your eyeballs, you will never see cinema in the same way again. Black Sun will present a mini-retrospective of five of his most accomplished short films from the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.

 - And three of Ireland’s most uncompromising contemporary experimental filmmakers, Rouzbeh Rashidi, Dean Kavanagh and Black Sun film programmer Maximilian Le Cain, will be on hand to present a series of their more disturbing short films. Strange atmospheres, tense self-portraits, troubled meditations on the ghostly power of cinema itself… Filmmaking at its most eerie and obliquely personal.

 Although best known as an experimental music event, Black Sun is also Cork’s only year-round platform for screening experimental film. For over two years, Black Sun’s film programmes have given Cork an all-too-rare taste of the more far-out side of cinema. It has established an impressive track record of world-class film programming, introducing Irish audiences to the work of several major underground filmmakers for the first time. This is the first of what will become regular Black Sun events devoted exclusively to film.

Record Store Day Celebrations at PLUGD - Triskel, Cork

Plugd Records celebrates the first anniversary of its new home at the Triskel Arts Centre on Record Store Day April 21st 2012.  Be sure you join in the party at the Triskel Arts Centre with The Jimmy Cake, Melodica Deathship and Nanu Nanu!

My little family (cub pictured, ddmurph out of shot) will be in store from 7-8pm on Record Store Day to spin some of our wildest and weirdest black stuff so make a whole day of it and see ye down there over the course of the day!

More details here:

The Jimmy Cake/Melodica Deathship/Nanu Nanu @ Triskel



Review - Lydia Lunch / Wölflinge - Triskel Christchurch


Photo by Bríd O' Donovan

To help mark the celebrations for the fifth anniversary of The Black Mariah gallery here in Cork, I was invited to open for Lydia Lunch with a short performance. The space was very different to any other place that I've worked in before and I felt very alone in the piece, apart from hearing some cameras clicking halfway through.

Kieran O' Keeffe was there to review the show for

When I hear that tonight’s Lydia Lunch spoken word event will be opened by Wölflinge, it makes perfect sense. Once – and possibly still – an adjunct of the extended United Bible Studies collective, for many years a creative force in her own right, and renowned for pushing the boundaries here in our back yard with Black Sun and multiple collaborations, Vicky Langan aka Wölflinge is about the only local act who could effectively complement the show tonight, or with the kahunas to do so. Plus as tonight’s event is hosted by The Black Mariah gallery, both performers typically stretch across the grey area between music show and performance art. It should make for an interesting evening.

Wölflinge appears unannounced from the darkness at the back of the stage, unassuming as ever; readies an array of pedals, and preps for the performance by partially disrobing. Bare breasted, and contact mic in mouth, the crowd are soon pulled into a kind of uncomfortable intimacy with the performer, as every gulp of saliva and flutter of breath from inside her mouth is amplified to the level that you would normally only hear if the sound was coming from your own head.

Small jars are produced and held at ear level, upturned, allowing the contents – a thick, viscous, inky black liquid, to pour slowly out and cover the naked skin. Breathing, shallow and deep, is accompanied by various clicks and pops from the mic. This performance seems to follow on from recent collaborations with First Blood Pt II where the two are locked in close quarters and at times almost primal screaming into each other’s mouths. Tonight’s solo performance is more vulnerable, and is like an assault on the senses which culminates suddenly when the bodily sounds are thoroughly distorted into a fierce howl, before dissipating, and Wolflinge, now an exhausted figure streaked with black on her skin leaves the stained surroundings of the stage and steps back into the darkness from whence she came. I glance at my watch: the entire performace took no more than fifteen minutes. Impressive for the levels of intensity reached so quickly, most of the audience don’t seem to know what to make of it. Its wordless evocation of female agression and physical vulnerability is a fitting counterpart to the vocal diatribe we are about to experience. “The body is an experimental canvas, full of puss and cum”, we’ll hear later, and that take is foreshadowed here.


Read the rest of the review here: 

Lydia Lunch / Wölflinge – Triskel Christchurch, 12.04.12



Marcin Lewandowski exhibition at the Triskel, Cork.

John Wiese compacting my brain at Black Sun at the Triskel, 2012. Photo by Marcin Lewdandowski

Cork is lucky to have a photographer like Marcin Lewandowski stalking about. His photographs always floor me, and any time he's taken photos at a Black Sun event, I'm always amazed at how he manages to capture intimate moments with such stealth, craft and near-invisibility. It's worth noting then, that as part of their first anniversary celebrations, the Triskel Arts Centre are showing photographs of the many events that Marcin has photographed there over the last 12 months. Go and see for yourself!