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Kiss Kiss Kill Kill: The Graphic Art And Forgotten Spy Film

By: FSWL team
Exhibition kiss kiss kill kill

University of Hertfordshire Galleries (UH Galleries) and the Hertfordshire Film Consortium are delighted to present Kiss Kiss Kill Kill, an exhibition, symposium and a series of film screenings celebrating the unique graphic art and forgotten spy films of Cold War Europe.

Centred on the kitsch designs produced across Europe during the Cold War, Kiss Kiss Kill Kill is the first exhibition of a collection of newly restored posters from Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Italy, Poland, Romania, Spain, the U.S.S.R, East and West Germany and the UK. The different graphic styles in the East and West provide an expansive portrait of European taste, national identity and politics of the period, with the brash super kitsch of Italian cinema posters juxtaposed compellingly with the lo-tech golden age of non commercial Czech film poster design.

The posters relate to an entire legacy of films tarnished by state control in Eastern Europe, and the overkill of the Spy Genre in the West. The exhibition will include both leaden communist propaganda and the epically trashy fruits of European co-production.

An international symposium: The Forgotten Spy Films of Cold War Europe - the first of its kind ever staged, accompanies the exhibition. Taking place at UH Galleries in Hatfield on Saturday 18 September 2010, this full day event will include contributions from British and international specialists who will debate the ‘Eurospy’ genre across three thematic strands: Real Life Spies, Kitsch and Transnational Appropriation and Espionage Italia. The day will also include a showing of the forgotten spy classic Danger Route (Seth Holt, GB 1968) followed by a question and answer session.

A showing of Danger Diabolik (Mario Bava, IT 1968), a little known cult classic combining the master criminal, super-spy and psychedelic film genres, will take place at the Weston Auditorium on Tuesday 5 October at 7.00pm with an introductory talk by the curator of Kiss Kiss Kill Kill.

A public lecture, The European-ness of Eurospy by curator Richard Rhys Davies will take place on Tuesday 19 October at 5.30pm as part of Critical Dialogue programme jointly organised by UH Galleries, UH School of Creative Arts and SSAHRI, the Art and Design Research Institute.

Curator Richard Rhys Davies is a former film editor and custodian of the Kiss Kiss Kill Kill Archive, a repository of over 3,000 spy cinema artefacts from the Cold War, including a poster and stills collection, and 16mm film. A key ambition of the archive is to conserve important cultural artefacts that reflect the zeitgeist of their time. The focus is on films and graphic art that fall outside the accepted cannon of “good art”.

UH Galleries, at Hatfield and St. Albans, are amongst the most innovative contemporary art spaces in the UK. Working exclusively with emerging and established professional artists across all media, the Galleries organise a rolling programme of exhibitions, and collaborate with other major cultural institutions across Europe. UH Galleries’ exhibitions, which give artists space to experiment and develop new ideas, have been critically acclaimed in the national, international and specialist press.

Hertfordshire Film Consortium is a Media Education Partnership dedicated to providing quality film education activities across Hertfordshire ranging from film screenings, production workshops, study days, festivals and evening film studies courses.

For full details of the events please visit:



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