“It is important that people feel connected and entertained, particularly with all the uncertainty that is happening around us. I want compulsory.gallery to be our safe space, a way that people can check in and fuel their creativity during this period of isolation but also beyond. We will be working with our partners and talented network to get work seen, promoting unsung voices and to challenge creativity at the core by inspiring others.” – Chris Toumazou, founding partner of Compulsory production company.
The photography below is a taster of compulsory.gallery‘s work you’ve been missing …
Prom Season by Adam Banks (Curated by Cèline Roustan)
We quizzed Compulsory’s head of new business / development Stephanie Walton about the objectives of the gallery:
Was the compulsory.gallery born out of lockdown time or was it a back-burner idea you’d been sitting on?
The gallery was something we were already developing but once we started to get a picture of what the next couple of months were looking like we decided it was time to put the idea into fast track. The structure and objectives of the space shifted in line with what was important to us during this time and what we thought would be most relevant to the rapidly changing situation.
The Illuminated Man by Duane Michals (Curated by Aoife McArdle)
Will you keep the gallery rolling after the pandemic period is over?
Definitely! We’ve really enjoyed the process of creating a space for work and people we admire that are outside of our day-to-day business. It’s becoming a rapidly growing community of curators and artists and we want to keep that flame alive. It will shift, naturally, as the world shifts back into a new ‘normal’ but we’re excited to see how it can grow.
Outtake by Chris Von Wagenheim (Curated by Katharina Hingst)
How did you go about selecting the curators – who are not the “normal” go-to talking heads?
We created a lot of lists of people we hugely respect in different fields and started inviting people to share their ideas. We wanted to make sure that each week had a mix of people from different walks of the creative fields not just those immediately connected to us.
We also wanted to create a real place for community building within our industry so there will be voices in the mix from other production companies too. It’s not an exercise in self-promotion for us, it will be a very rare sight to see a piece of COMPULSORY produced work on the gallery but we do have some work we’d like to premiere on there when the time is right.
By Tom Wood (Curated by Lauren Ford)
What was behind the decision to present the featured pieces for only several hours?
One of the big things we noticed once WFH started taking effect was how difficult it was to keep track of the time. We (COMPULSORY) all found ourselves shocked at how quickly, or slowly, hours were passing. And the difficulty splitting work life and home life. So we wanted to make sure that the gallery was something that helped to create a sense of movement in the days. Between Midnight and 1pm the site is filled with one piece of still imagery, at 1pm it changes to our daytime viewing, hopefully people are taking this opportunity to break for lunch and take a much needed break. We’ve asked all of our curators to think about this section as a window into another world. A little bit of escapism. And from 6pm we change again to evening viewing. Hopefully everyone is winding down around then. We tend to show something longer, possibly a bit darker/weirder. The results so far have been incredible.
The films showcased from compulsory.gallery are:
Lean Back directed by Nwaka Okparaeke
Curated by director Akinola Davies
“Nwaka is one of those artists that leaves you with confidence that the next generation of filmmakers will be incredible. An artist who is unflinchingly focused and committed to her craft. Her photography initially caught my attention but it’s her film work that I’m even more excited about – her fearlessness is inspired.”
Yuki – Sentimental Journey directed by Nagi Noda
Curated by director Florian Joahn
“The best stories are told with one word.”
Flowers and Bottoms directed by Christos Massalas
Curated by director Giulia Mucci
“Flowers and Bottoms is a film about the culture of Chatroulette, online hook-ups and the fetishism of social media. It smells of sea and sweat, set to a great soundtrack from the 70s Japanese band “Four Leaves”.
Gaika, Third Place directed by Gaika
Coming up this weekend
Zambia’s 70s Rock Scene created by Bandsplaining
Curated by Lee Fairweather
“Obsessed with Zamrock and everything about it which this informative doc sums up perfectly whether you are familiar with the music or not. Guaranteed you’ll be digging for more info on the genre and making Zamrock playlists after watching this.”
Charcoal Sky directed by Zia Mohajerjasbi
Curated by cinematographer Nicholas Wiesnet
“What I look forward to most.”
Voices of Parkland directed by Jeff Vespa
Curated by actor Tony Revolori. This feature length documentary executively produced by Judd Apatow will make it’s online premiere on compulsory.gallery in the coming weeks. Follow www.instagram.com/compulsory.gallery for updates.