Film & Video Umbrella: Patrick Hough

And If In A Thousand Years


Film and Video Umbrella at Firstsite

In a new partnership, Firstsite is presenting a series of artist-created films commissioned and produced by Film and Video Umbrella (FVU), an organisation dedicated to giving the fullest possible expression to the creative voice of the artist.

The partnership begins with the showing of Patrick Hough’s film entitled, And If In A Thousand Years (2017) (22 mins).

Daily screenings in the Firstsite Auditorium: 10am– 12.30pm, 17 June to 30 July.
Please note the film will not run on 2 or 14 July.

Shot on location on the abandoned set of Cecil B DeMille’s epic ‘The Ten Commandments’, Patrick Hough’s film uses the re-emergence of DeMille’s abandoned props from the desert sands to question our understanding of originality and authenticity.

When the film-set had had its day, it was, like the biblical civilisation it evoked, lost to the sands of time – in its case, deliberately buried, in an act of money-saving expediency, under the dunes of the Southern California desert where the movie was shot. Over the years, though, those shifting sands have gradually exposed this piece of epic landfill, bringing souvenir hunters to gather where archaeologists (or Egyptologists) used to tread.

In Hough’s film, shot on location at the site, it is not just fake fragments of the past that are disinterred. What hovers over the place is a spirit of uncertainty; one that questions bedrock values like ‘originality’ and ‘authenticity’ and dusts them with other layers of meaning: the extraordinary ease of reproducibility, the spray-on glamour of cinematic semi-celebrity. This spirit of uncertainty is encapsulated by the figure of a sphinx – once part of the décor of the majestic film-set, now wandering in ghostly limbo; haunting the nearby town like a wildcat on the prowl.

And If In A Thousand Years was commissioned for the Jerwood/FVU Awards 2017: Neither One Thing or Another, a collaboration between Jerwood Charitable Foundation and FVU.

About The Artist
Patrick Hough works with moving image, photography, sculpture and installation. His recent work questions the relationship between humans and objects; exploring links between cinema, technology and museology through archives of historical film props.

Hough is a graduate of the National College of Art and Design, Dublin and the Royal College of Art, London. Recent solo exhibitions include; Hierophanies at The Swiss Church, London; Unobservables at Narrative Projects, London; An Archeology of Cinema at Dagestan Museum of Fine Arts, Russia; Once More, with Feeling! at MOT International Project Space, London and Ouarzazate at PhotoIreland Festival, Dublin.