Andrew Kötting

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Andrew Kötting (born on 16 December 1959) is a British artist, writer and film-maker.


Kötting was born in Kent. He studied BA Fine Art at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design, London, 1984; MA in Mixed Media, Slade School of Art, London 1988. In 1989 he collaborated with Leila McMillan in setting up BadBLoOd & siBYL studios in the French Pyrenees. He is currently a teaching Professor in Video Arts Production at the University for the Creative Arts.


One of his first attempts at filmmaking, according to a Premiere profile, "involved inserting iron filings in the shape of religious icons into his penis and then drawing them out again". For his degree film, a short called Klipperty Klop (1986), Kötting ran round and round a Gloucestershire field pretending to ride a horse.

Over the next ten years, Kötting directed a number of experimental shorts, often produced via the London Film-Makers Co-op.

Kötting's first feature-length film was Gallivant (1996). A "highly idiosyncratic" documentary, it records a journey the director took clockwise around the coast of Britain accompanied by his 85-year-old grandmother, Gladys, and his seven-year-old daughter Eden. Eden was born at Guy's Hospital, London, in 1988 with a rare genetic disorder – Joubert syndrome – causing cerebral vermis hypoplasia and several other neurological complications. The growing closeness between these two and the sense of impending mortality give the film its emotional underpinning. Gallivant was premiered at the Edinburgh Film Festival, where it won the Channel 4 Best New Director prize.

Kötting's second feature, This Filthy Earth (2001), was loosely adapted from Émile Zola's novel La Terre, the film is set in a rural community somewhere and sometime in the north of England. Kötting summed up his aim as "trying to show the landscape in its full beauty and brutality". Since then he has completed Mapping Perception (2002), a short 'science, film and art project' inspired by his daughter Eden. Kötting still sees himself as essentially a performance artist. "Even to this day," he says, "I wouldn't think of myself as a feature film-maker. I'm just making longer pieces of work."

Most recently Kötting has returned to working within the gallery context see his in the Wake of a Deadad . a piece of work which led to his being shortlisted for the Derek Jarman Award 2008.

His film Ivul, screened at the 53rd London Film Festival in 2009, is set in the French Pyrenees. Alex Ivul (Jacob Auzanneau) is the boy in a family of three sisters, a Russian father (Jean-Luc Bideau) and mother (Aurelia Petit). Alex is close elder sis Freya (Adélaïde Leroux), who is about to leave for Russia. They play taboo games before she leave and when his father finds out he banishes him to the trees by declaring that he should not set foot on the floor again. Alex takes this command literally. In very brief terms, the core themes examine family relationships and his father's dynamic.[1] The film was released through Artificial Eye in June 2010.[2]

In July 2010, Kötting was an artist-in-residence at the La Rochelle International Film Festival in South West France, creating work and collaborating with the photographer Sebastian Edge, using his self-built camera in the 19th Century process and his Darkvan, a Transit van Sebastian converted into a mobile darkroom.

In 2011 he directed This Our Still Life, which premiered at the Venice Film Festival and was acquired by the BFI for distribution in the UK and Ireland. Andrew Kötting is one of Britain’s most intriguing artists, and perhaps the only film-maker currently practising who could be said to have taken to heart the spirit of visionary curiosity and hybrid creativity exemplified by the late Derek Jarman. His twenty year oeuvre to date has moved from early live-art inflected, often absurdist pieces, through darkly comic shorts teasing out the melancholy surrealism at the heart of contemporary Englishness to four resolutely independent feature films that take landscape and journeys as the springboards for visually striking and structurally inventive enquiries into identity, belonging, history and notions of community. It is his openness, underpinned by an outlaw intelligence and compelling wit that marks out his work as both vital and important. Since 1982, as well as performances, installations and publications, he has made over sixty film, video and installation works that have been shown in cinemas, art galleries and on television around the world and awarded prizes at many international film festivals.

In addition to the feature film, Swandown (2012) Kötting has created multimedia art projects, performances and installations, in collaboration with Iain Sinclair called and 2015 will see the release of By Our Selves in Cinemas across the UK.

He is a Professor of Time Based Media at The University of the Creative Arts - UCA



Matheou, Demetrios, 'Profile, Andrew Kötting', Premiere, Oct. 1997, p. 13 Calhoun, David, 'Britain as you've never seen it before', Observer (Review section), 14 Oct 2000, pp. 8–9 Calhoun, Dave, 'Up to his neck in mud and blood', Independent on Sunday (Culture section), 8 Dec 2000, p. 2 Kötting, Andrew, 'It's a Dirty Job', Guardian (Section 2), 2 Nov 2001, pp. 10–11

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