The Idealist and The Contrarian, is a series of ten films made in
collaboration between Matthew Burdis and Jon Baker. The films were
made to the following rules.
1. All films will be 16mm colour, silent and 3 minutes in length.
2. When one artist has completed a film reel it must be passed on to
the other artist who will film onto the same reel – creating a double
3. There will be no discussion between artists regarding subject matter
“The rules, set by ourselves as well as the limitations of the medium,
created a mutual way of working together that was important due to
the lack of communication between us.
Having both created a double exposed film collaboratively, yet
separately, we would watch the finished film alone. Each film responds
to the previous film in the series, creating a visual dialogue between us
both: at times pre-empting each other’s decisions, mirroring previous
endeavours and occasionally destroying current ones.”
This work was supported by the Elephant Trust and was influenced by
the artist Sigmar Polke’s 16mm films shown at Tate Modern in 2014.