Photo by Ben Bentley 2014

Photo by Ben Bentley 2014

Kit Monkman

Kit Monkman makes films, installations and public artworks that investigate the relationship between the audience and the performer.

Most recently Kit has devised and directed a new, feature-length, film version of Macbeth

Working with long time collaborator Tom Wexler under the banner of KMA, Kit and Tom have developed a new genre of interactive work that has built them an international reputation. Their large scale works (e.g. Congregation (2010)), which seek to create emotionally resonant, impromptu public theatre by encouraging, and developing, interactions between people in public spaces using digitally-controlled projections, have been exhibited in numerous public spaces including Shanghai World Expo, Tate Britain, and Trafalgar Square.

Beginning with eng-er-land, their successful 2005 dance-theatre collaboration with choreographer Darshan Singh Bhuller, Kit and Tom have also designed for numerous contemporary dance shows including DV8's To Be Straight with You. Throughout these collaborations their work has developed and retained a distinct visual aesthetic.

Kit and Tom have also adapted their experimental visual approach for use in large scale music events. They recently designed Paolo Nutini's UK Arena Tour (previous clients have included Prince, London Grammar and The Brit Awards).

I want to make films that reignite the imaginative participation of the audience, films that celebrate theatricality, make-believe, and thrive on the viewers’ co-creation of what unfolds.

There has, I feel, been a gradual shift away from our ancestral heritage – the telling of stories around the camp fire, a shared enchantment in the dark that brings to life a diversity of inner visions. We seem to be in danger of confining the role of the audience to that of spectator – or consumer.

It’s as if the 21st century world mistrusts the power of the interior, human imagination. Perhaps that’s because market forces can’t monetise individual creative thought; perhaps globalisation engenders homogeneity; and perhaps the ubiquity of the camera tends to privilege material reality ‘out there’ over the more significant – though far less marketable – imaginative life ‘in here’.

I believe there’s an opportunity to present a new type of experience on film, one that reconnects with the origins of our storytelling arts and treats the audience as active participants in the creative endeavour.