Bella, Maia and Nick witnesses the reunion of three teenagers surrounded by musical instruments in a room overlooking the sea. They play the instruments or rather play with them, mounting and using them in unfamiliar ways. Together, they try out and abandon ideas, switch instruments, invent others (the windowpane or the wooden cupboard). They stop, start again, get bored, distracted or excited. “We should”, “What if”, “I can’t”, “Try this”, “What else can we do?” Meanwhile, the camera records what happens, what is about to happen or, even, what fails to happen. It stays in the transition “from nothing to something” and in between one attempt and the next. Bella, Maia and Nick looks carefully into the time spanning between already and not yet, which is the time of potentiality. “We should just make funny noises.” Fun is to play and noise is that which is not yet meaningful. A sound to which you don’t pay much attention but which already contains the promise of a rhythm, sound or melody. The editing of the film mirrors the playfulness of the kids for they both wander, avoid the build up of tension and deviate from working towards an aim.
Groundwork was organized by CAST (Cornubian Arts & Science Trust) in partnership with Tate St Ives, Newlyn Art Gallery & The Exchange and Kestle Barton and was funded by an award from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence scheme, with support from Freelands Foundation, Ampersand Foundation, Quercus Trust, Outset Contemporary Art Fund, Cornwall Council and Kestle Barton Trust.
In 2019 Manon de Boer made part 2 of the trilogy: Caco, João, Mava and Rebecca.
With Nick Frantz, Maia Roberts, Bella Stevens
Cinematography and image editing Manon de Boer
Sound recording, editing and mix Laszlo Umbreit
Colour grading Loup Brenta at Cobalt
Co-produced by CAST and Auguste Orts
Supported by Arts Council England, Mondriaan Fund, Elephant Trust, International Musicians Seminar, Prussia Cove, Kestle Barton Trust, Helston Community College Music Department, LUCA School of Arts, The School of Film & Television, Falmouth University