• For an Open Campus
    Graham Ellard and Stephen Johnstone
    Graham Ellard & Stephen Johnstone

Graham Ellard and Stephen Johnstone, For an Open Campus, 16mm film, production photograph, November 2014, Aichi University of the Arts, Nagoya, Japan. Courtesy of the artists.

The film is the first to look in detail at Junzo Yoshimura's remarkable designs for the campus of Aichi University of the Arts in Nagakute, Japan (1966–71), at an extraordinary moment in its history, as it is currently in a state of gentle decline and about to undergo a substantial rebuilding program in 2015. For Yoshimura, the main stage for the "development of life on campus" was located not just in the buildings he designed, but also in the spaces between them. In developing an architecture of linkage, created through the extensive use of traditional canopied walkways, Yoshimura demonstrated an explicit concern for both the academic and social life of the campus, designing spaces for "rest and mingling," in addition to the functions of circulation and teaching. Shooting over a one-month period, the film centers on the design of the campus and the way students currently use it.

Graham Ellard and Stephen Johnstone have collaborated since 1993. They have exhibited internationally in museums, galleries, and film festivals, including the Tate Liverpool; Centre Georges Pompidou; the Van Alen Institute, NYC; the Chicago Architecture Foundation; eme3 International Architecture Festival, Barcelona; NIMK, Amsterdam; MAXXI, Rome; TodaysArt Festival, The Hague; the Independent Film Show Festival, Naples; and the Triennale Design Museum, Milan. Most recently they exhibited their Graham Foundation–funded 16mm film Everything Made Bronze at the Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, London; at the Satellite Gallery, Nagoya, Japan, as part of the 2013 Aichi Triennale; and at Megi House, Megijima Island, Seto Inland Sea, Japan, as part of the 2013 Setouchi Triennale. Their book Anthony McCall. Notebooks and Conversations was published by Lund Humphries in March 2015.

Focusing on the relationship between film and architecture and exploring the fundamental role of light in articulating modernist architectural space, their film and video work has examined the buildings of Erich Mendelsohn, César Manrique, Basil Spence, Egon Eiermann, László Moholy-Nagy, Franco Albini, and Carlo Scarpa. Their abiding formal preoccupations—the camera's ability to produce ambiguities of scale, depth or shallowness, transparency, and reflection, as well as the intersections of architectural planes, vistas, apertures and screens—center on altered forms of attention and the resulting intensity of looking that comes from using the camera to magnify and study architectural details, fleeting atmospheric effects, and the landscape.

Graham Ellard is professor of art at Central Saint Martins, University of the Arts London. Stephen Johnstone is professor of art at Goldsmiths, University of London.