Graham Dolphin – 161 Feet (Lesser Free Trade Hall, 1976)

Open daily 29 July – 7 September 2016, 11:00-17:00

161 Feet is the length of Super 8 film shot by an audience member of the two performances by the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall, Manchester in June and July 1976. Invited by the pre-Buzzcocks members Pete Shelley and Howard Devoto, these two performances would prove a defining moment in the development of Manchester’s music scene. Audience members included Mark E Smith, Tony Wilson, Stephen Morrissey, Peter Hook, Pete Shelley, Howard Devoto, Paul Morley, Steve Diggle and Ian Curtis.

Given access to the actual film stock Graham has approached this now historical document as an object, as a witness to a one off event, and explores the physical attributes of the celluloid.

The entire length of the film (161 feet) has been digitally scanned in lengths as a series of images (112) then compiled into a single image which is animated across the vertical plane of the cinema screen. Repeated 8 times, the strips fill the entire screen with each strip running at a different frame rates. This creates a dizzying effect as the eye tries to make sense of the sequential images, disrupting the norm cinematic effect of 24 frames per second used to create seamless motion pictures.

We see the whole of the film stock, the sprockets, edit splices and taped joins, leader film, manufacturers watermarks and the history of its use; scratches, dust and marks. The material quality of the film enlarged and projected to full 4K cinematic scale and resolution the jump between the analogue world of 1976 and the digital in 2016 questions the legacy of punk, what remains and what has been lost and gained through the shifts in means of production.

Commissioned by NGCA and Tyneside Cinema

The exhibition at The Gallery Tyneside Cinema coincides with further presentations of new work by Graham Dolphin at Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art (NGCA), Sunderland and National Glass Centre, Sunderland.




Christian Marclay – translation of sound into visual form
Sol Le Witt – discipline and dedication to the process
Chris Burden – fearless, direct, simplicity across all forms
Raymond Petitbon – dedication to drawing
Plunderphonics – the iconoclastic disregard of culture
Sonic Youth – the sound and championing of their influences
Cornelius – choreography of sound with image
Philip Glass – use of repetition
Agnes Martin
John Cassavetes
John Carpenter
George A Romero
Sun Ra
Tom Friedman – transformation of materials
Robert Longo – drawings
Boredoms – use of drone
Bas Jan Ader – the romance
Rodney Graham – Vexation Island
The Monkees
Monte Hellman – Two Lane Blacktop
Todd Haynes – Safe