Langan / Le Cain
Over the course of a decade-long filmmaking collaboration, Vicky Langan and Maximilian Le Cain have created a distinctively intimate cinematic universe that has more recently expanded to include live performance. This audio-visual partnership is built on the strikingly fitting match between Langanʼs magnetic, often troublingly intense presence as a performer and Le Cainʼs hypnotically disruptive visual rhythms. It has resulted in sixteen moving image works and two live performances to date.
Langan’s work operates across several overlapping fields, chiefly performance, sound, and film. She both embraces and projects vulnerability, offering an intimate territory loaded with personal symbolism and unguarded emotion. In opening herself emotionally, she creates warm yet discomforting rituals that at once embrace the viewer and remain resolutely private, exploring the limits of what can be shared between people and what must remain mysterious.
They experiment with unconventional modes of film-making, often disrupting viewer expectations with unusual camera play and editing rhythms, eschewing inner narrative and comfortable viewing orientations. Their sound recording is often discordant and strange… They have multiple works together over decades. Watching Langan perform to camera, we have a sense that she is not being controlled by external directives but that an interior force guides her in rapport with Le Cain’s camera. Some of their film works insert footage from Langan’s live public art and make juxtapositions with recordings of domestic scenes, locations in nature or urban environments. Notable works such as Tangled and Far (2013) and Dirt (2012) exemplify this innovative narrative composition.
A Super-8 film that conveys the haunting charge of a privately made home movie of great significance to its creators but unsettlingly mysterious to viewers. Its grainy, black and white texture vividly renders the elemental coastal seascapes where it was filmed. Langan & Le Cain appear as a couple who inhabit this wild terrain as if it were a domestic arena.
Personal Growth (24 mins, 2019)
Double-Blind (36 mins, 2018)
Langan / Le Cain embrace the mood and iconography of classic Gothic literature and cinema to their raw, mysterious and often erotically charged universe. Two isolated storybook characters wander through the remains of a shattered B-movie found abandoned half-edited on a mouldy VHS tape. This was also a live performance at Cork Midsummer Festival 2018.
Inside (70 mins, 2017)
The first Langan / Le Cain feature. It excavates the sensations, desires and elusive chimeras of one woman’s inner life. Taking place in the isolated setting of a remote country cottage, it summons a haunting portrait of a woman adrift in a personal reality formed of her domestic rituals and frustrations. At once lyrical, unsettling and perverse, Inside is a chart of the growth patterns of solitude. In 2020 it was acquired for The Arts Council Collection.
Wilderness Notes (20 mins, 2017)
Originally a section of a three-part work made with Atoosa Pour Hosseini and Rouzbeh Rashidi. The three films all explore psychic, territorial and technological margins. Isolated characters, all locked into masks or fixed personae, navigate desolate zones between dimensions where a sense of being physically adrift and at risk is mapped onto a corresponding inner state. Langan / Le Cain’s contribution is a Western.
Play Ground (16 mins, 2017)
A tribute to the great Dutch filmmaker Frans Zwartjes. Langan & Le Cain play characters locked into patterns of sadomasochistic desire who seem unable to connect in this darkly playful but ultimately melancholy film. It formed the basis of the first Langan / Le Cain live performance.
Brine Twice Daily (20 mins, 2015)
A film that came from the sea, from the depths, and it never truly escapes its salt-encrusted origins. A bizarre romance that is at once an absurd comedy, a horror/adventure B-movie, a cryptic home video and a fading seaside postcard stuffed into a bottle and cast adrift on the ocean.
Dirt (12 mins, 2012)
A phantasmagoric mélange of live performances and elements of gothic horror, resulting in a haunting, intense and sometimes humorous record of Langan's earlier performance persona.
Lullaby (20 mins, 2011)
This study of nocturnal solitude develops into a visually overwhelming, stroboscopic nightmare that nevertheless retains a quiet tenderness all of its own.
Desk 13 (9 mins, 2011)
Reminiscent of Actionism, this is the darkest and most bleakly visceral of Langan / Le Cain's films. An abandoned airport is the setting for an exploration of the flesh.
Wölflinge 17/11/’10 (8 mins, 2011)
A simple visual interpretation of a performance by Langan that breaks down the boundaries between spectator and performer as well as sound and image.
In the Place of Origin (18 mins, 2016)
In the Place of Origin navigates a delicate flow between apparently opposite states: self and other, human and non-human, interior and exterior, construction and dispersion. The uncertain limits of the human body gauge the tensions between elements of the material world that pass as strangers but not without reflecting each other in surprising and unsettling ways, stitched and unstitched by the breath of the wind.
Tangled And Far (12 mins, 2013)
Tangled And Far foregrounds the overlap between intimate domestic detail and its reflection in Langan’s performance work. The private and public projections of her presence and actions collapse into each other in this phantasmagoric continuum of alternate selves and self-images to form a fractured dream portrait.
Wölflinge 12/4/’12 (7 mins, 2012)
A filmed account of an emotionally charged live performance by Langan, who performed as Wölflinge in the first years of her career.
Contact (3 mins, 2011)
An early Super-8 experiment that looks at the tension between film image and material.
Hereunder (12 mins, 2011)
An intense, fragmented (auto)biographical portrait of Langan, which sets her adrift amidst lockers of garden shed bric-a-brac from which she summons an ocean of sound.
Light / Sound (7 minutes, 2010)
Light / Sound chronicles a ghostly sonic encounter between Langan, out hunting for sound with her recording apparatus, and an ancient 35mm projector.