Archive Film at Fabrica (16 July 2024, 6.00pm - 8.30pm)
Follow Stephen Giddings as he auditions and acts in a film about addiction, gambling, and mental health, interweaving fiction, interviews, archival footage, real people, and actors, blurring reality and fiction.

Visual artist Melanie Manchot works with a recovery group in Liverpool, who take up roles in a semi-fictional film-within-a-film that explores addiction and mental health from multiple perspectives. It is centred around Stephen, a character recovering from gambling and alcohol addictions. References to the first police crime reconstruction, filmed in Liverpool in 1901, are a reminder that addiction has long existed within the fabric of our culture.

It’s a tough process and emotionally charged scenes reveal inner truths, which gain additional power when the people playing the roles are, in some sense, playing themselves. Visually striking, this film is a startling record of this form of treatment and a reminder of how dextrous the documentary form can be.

Melanie Manchot exhibited Gathering at Fabrica in 2011. The piece was two film works which seek to examine our collective identities and how we behave in public space, and reflect Melanie Manchot’s continued interest in portraiture as a performative event.

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