In the week leading up to what would have been Jeff Keen’s 100th birthday – 26 Nov 2023 – we have a trail of GAZ Happenings around Brighton:

11th Nov – 23rd Dec

Private View 10th Nov, 6-8pm
John Marchant Gallery is proud to present ‘100 Years of Dr Gaz’ – a centenary celebration of the extraordinary vision of Brighton’s own Jeff Keen (1923-2023).

Keen was relentless in his quest for creative satisfaction, often drawing friends and family into his practice, many of whom appear in various guises in film and photography through extended periods of his career. Keen also had a rare ability to draw as if tracing a line already marked by his mind on the paper, allowing an incredible level of energy and confidence to imbue his work across so many media.

The exhibition will feature large format photographs and film stills, painting, intimate drawings and a rolling presentation of film from the renowned career of one of the UK’s most exciting and pioneering artists.

This exhibition has been organised with the kind cooperation of Stella Keen.

Wed 15th Nov, 8:00pm, Horatio’s Bar Brighton Pier
Brighton – £8.00. Tickets in advance:
Brighton Catalyst Club and Cinecity Special
Catalyst Club special at Horatio’s Bar on Brighton Pier in collaboration with Cinecity 2023. Three guest speakers connecting film, place and this year’s focus: the films of Powell and Pressburger.
Linsay McCulloch will be discussing the 1945 film Detour
Mark Keeble on Black Narcissus
Stella Starr on Jeff Keen’s GAZLANDSCAPES
Jeff Keen was an experimental artist whose work spans from the 1960s to his death in 2012. Daughter and archivist Stella Starr explores Keen’s use of Sussex locations and how they’re almost another character in the films and photos – a genius loci/spirit of place!

Fri 17th Nov, 6.30pm at Fabrica, 40 Duke Street, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1AG
A rare chance to see a special 16mm screening of Jeff Keen’s ‘Mad Love’, 1972-78.
Part of the 21st edition of Cinecity, Brighton Film Festival 10th – 19th Nov:

A collection of jokes, trailers and photoplays, ‘Mad Love’ is a Surrealist extravaganza realised on a shoestring budget. This lush film plays with an intoxicating fast flow of verbal and visual puns with vignette set pieces played out by the Family Star cast to a cache of found Latin American ’78 recordings.

Jeff Keen had a chance encounter with a collection of old 78 speed records at a Brighton flea market and used it as an opportunity to create a surrealist film (naming it after the poetry collection by André Breton). A requiem for B movies and the marginalised popular side of cinematic history.

With introduction by Stella Starr.

Sun 19th Nov, 7.30-9.30pm. The Lord Nelson, Trafalgar Street, Brighton – Free entry:
Synch Pulse
Heralding the launch of a new monthly Sunday evening get-together for the uninitiated and devotees of experimental film and music, with a rummage through the archives of left field and underground movies, presented by Brighton artist-filmmaker and early electronic music historian, Ian Helliwell. The intention is to create an ongoing series of informal gatherings in a central venue – part film night, part social group – within the relaxed atmosphere of a pub. Selecting a different theme for every event, each one will include local and international avant-garde shorts from past and present, reflecting experimental approaches to film and soundtrack making.
Themes so far lined up for future evenings include: animation; electronic music; dance; sculpture; robots; the moon landing; world’s fairs; collage; railways; synthetic sound; and architecture. To inaugurate Synch Pulse, the first event will be themed Cut Outs and Cut Ups, and feature several films by Jeff Keen, marking the centenary of his birth.
Wander in, have a drink, hang out, leave when you feel like it or when ‘last orders’ is called. Watch experimental films made in Brighton and beyond, which you may never get the chance to see again.

With grateful thanks to John Marchant, David Bramwell, Tim Brown at Cinecity and Ian Helliwell for their help in making all this happen!