Luke Fowler

What You See Is Where You're At (2001)

About this artwork

This film focuses on the work of R.D. Laing, the pioneering Scottish psychiatrist, psychoanalyst and writer. Laing helped set up a residential community at Kingsley Hall in London in 1965. Their objective was to provide alternatives to the traditional methods of treating those designated ‘mentally ill’, and in particular those diagnosed as schizophrenic. Residents lived communally with the therapists in an environment free from restraining drug treatments, breaking down traditional doctor-patient hierarchies. Fowler’s work challenges conventional notions surrounding documentary film, incorporating collaged archival film and sound recordings. Excerpts from Fowler’s interview with Dr Leon Redler, an American psychiatrist who worked with Laing at Kingsley Hall, provide some of the voiceover.

Luke Fowler

Luke Fowler

A prominent figure in Glasgow’s contemporary art scene, Luke Fowler’s work explores the limits and conventions of biographical and documentary film-making. This has resulted in comparisons with British Free Cinema of the 1950s, which represented a new attitude to film-making that embraced the reality of everyday, contemporary British society. In adopting the roles of artist, curator, historian, film-maker and musician, Fowler creates impressionistic portraits of intriguing figures. As montages of archival footage alongside new recordings, interviews, photography and sound, Fowler’s films offer a unique and compelling insight into his subject. Fowler was born in Glasgow and studied at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, Dundee, from 1996-2000. He received the inaugural Jarman Award in 2008 and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2012. Recent solo exhibitions include: Common Sense, La Casa Encendida, Madrid (2013); The Poor Stockinger, the Luddite Cropper and the Deluded Followers of Joanna Southcott, Wolverhampton Art Gallery (2012); and Luke Fowler with Toshiya Tsunoda and John Haynes, Inverleith House, Edinburgh (2012).