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American Export: A Tall Tale by Tito & Tita

18 March – 25 March 2020

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Tito & Tita’s new film A Tall Tale (2020) is commissioned by American Export and made site specifically for the Thinktank Planetarium.

Entry to Thinktank Planetarium is via the Level 3 Event Suite (Level 3 Millennium Point). Looped screenings of A Tall Tale will take place on the following dates and times:

• Wed 18 March 6pm-7.30pm includes a Q&A with Tito & Tita led by American Export Curator, Christina Millare
• Fri 20 March 6pm-7.30pm
• Wed 25 March 6pm-7.30pm

Suitable for all ages, free entry.

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Comprised of a series of vignettes following the journey of a giant who lives within close parameters of an active volcano, A Tall Tale is steeped in both myth and magic realism grounded by autobiographical elements. The giant is portrayed by William Biscocho who at 7ft 4”, is characterised by a height significantly above average. Biscocho along with Tito & Tita filmmaker, Gym Lumbera are also residents of the film’s location, Balete in Batangas, Philippines a verdant town situated on Taal Lake. The town boasts panoramic views of the Taal Volcano, which erupted in January 2020, 43 years after its last eruption in 1977. A Tall Tale was filmed during the aftermath of this recent eruption.

Inspired by A Fairy Tale, a poem by Russian absurdist, Daniil Kharms and set within the fertile terrain of a village overshadowed by an awakening volcano, A Tall Tale presents a fantastical fable juxtaposed against a landscape’s very real past and present narratives.

Tito & Tita are a film and art collective. Through installation, film, photography and collective actions they explore the spatial, architectural, performative, and cinematic elements of image- making, often working with small-gauge film formats such as Super 8 and 16 mm.

Centrally concerned with the possibilities of photographic media and its various histories, their name Tito & Tita is Tagalog for ‘uncle and aunt’, suggesting an informal network of artist collaborators. Their films are personal works that deal with individual histories and neuroses and share a tendency towards the playful and experimental with varying degrees of humour and satire. The network’s current incarnation includes Jacyn Esquillon, Gym Lumbera, Jippy Pascua, Miko Revereza, Charles Salazar and Shireen Seno.

Tito & Tita have featured in various festivals, institutions and artist-run spaces including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Toronto International Film Festival, the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Documenta (13), Tate Modern (London), M+ (Hong Kong), MoMA and The Museum of the Moving Image (New York). As a collective, Tito & Tita have also exhibited at the Ishmael Bernal Gallery, University of the Philippines Film Center, Green Papaya Art Projects, Blanc Gallery, Silverlens Gallery, Lopez Memorial Museum & Library and PAN.

American Export is a series of site-specific projects developed for Birmingham City University, the Library of Birmingham, Millennium Point, Thinktank Planetarium at the Birmingham Science Museum and The University of Westminster. Curated by Christina Millare, American Export features newly commissioned and pre existing work by international artists, Hetain Patel, Emma Smith and Tito & Tita, that explore the impact of American cultural and economic ideas on Britain, China and the Philippines – three countries with a distinct and unique relationship with America.

American Export is developed with support from The Centre of Research and Education in Art and Media (CREAM) at the University of Westminster, Grand Union and Arts Council England.