Skip to main content

Peggy Ahwesh, The Scary Movie, 1993. Film still. Courtesy the artist and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York.

Film scholar Erika Balsom presents a screening of 1990s films by Peggy Ahwesh, a major influence on filmmakers Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer. Since the early 1980s, Ahwesh has forged a distinctive moving image practice in the ruins of originality and authority, embracing improvisatory strategies that prove the critical potential of play.

This screening coincides with Ahwesh’s first UK retrospective at Spike Island, and will serve to launch Ahwesh's first UK monograph co-edited by Erika Balsom and Robert Leckie and published by Spike Island and Mousse Publishing.


The Color of Love, 1994. 10 min, colour, sound, 16mm film on video.
The Scary Movie, 1993. 8 min, b&w, sound, 16mm film on video.
The Deadman, 1989. 35 min, b&w, sound, 16 mm film on video.

This event accompanies Nosferasta, the first UK commission by Brooklyn-based filmmakers Adam Khalil and Bayley Sweitzer in collaboration with Oba.

Part of the European Cooperation project 4Cs: From Conflict to Conviviality through Creativity and Culture, co-funded by Creative Europe and the Royal College of Art.



Peggy Ahwesh is a New York-based experimental filmmaker and video artist born in 1954 in Pennsylvania. Retrospective exhibitions include the Whitney Museum, New York; Anthology Film Archives, New York; Yerba Buena Center for the Visual Arts, San Francisco; Carpenter Center for the Arts, Harvard University; Filmmuseum, Brussels; and Spike Island, Bristol. Festivals include: Berlin; London; Cairo; Toronto; Rotterdam; and Creteil, France. She has received grants and awards from the Jerome Foundation, Guggenheim Foundation, Creative Capital, and Alpert Award in the Arts.

Erika Balsom is a reader in Film Studies at King’s College London. She is the author of An Oceanic Feeling: Cinema and the Sea and the co-editor of the anthology Artists’ Moving Image in Britain since 1989 (2019). She is also the author of After Uniqueness: A History of Film and Video Art in Circulation (2017) and Exhibiting Cinema in Contemporary Art (2013), and the co-editor of Documentary Across Disciplines (2016). In 2017, she was awarded a Leverhulme Prize and the Katherine Singer Kovacs essay award from the Society of Cinema and Media Studies. She is a frequent contributor to Artforum and Sight and Sound