Thu 21 Mar 2019, 7 pm
No. 11, sub-lane 12, lane 378 Thuy Khue, Hanoi
Through the utilisation of unnatural perspectives and disembodied voices, this next set of 2018 Artist Film International speak to the political truth of the duality of relationships, be them between man and women, human and machine, and human and animal.
Length of programme: 77 mins
1. “The Race” – 10 mins 3 s
2. “Masters of Velocity” – 16 mins 10s
3. “Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries” – 7 mins 45 s
4. “Machine Matter” – 13 mins 55 s
5. “Black Birds Island” – 6 mins 32s
6. “And If In A Thousand Years” – 22 mins 13 s
About the works:
1. CAC Vilnius, Lithuania selection Robertas Narkus and Jokūbas Čižikas’s “The Race” (2015 | 10 mins 3 secs) unpacks the impact of human dependence on tools to inform our understanding and witnessing of life. The piece takes place in a Lithuanian countryside, during the experimental engineering camp that took place during 2015 in Kartena, where a drone is in pursuit of cars, objects and people. The nature-scientific race between technology and village fantasy becomes an alien musical which is told by the drone protagonist. The usage of old Lithuanian proverbs, often viewed as essential truths, are remixed together with the object of desire and proliferated by dance rhythms, news and global, drone related events are made into rap verses. The locations are transforming from cartographical are as to tunnel-vision perspectives and from action shots to slow stalker movement. The psychogeographical flight is subjected onto territories and human-affairs.
What the artists’ says: “[the piece was] created while being very sincerely integrated in the local milieu; and all of the infrastructure of the camp also worked towards it, thanks to the very supportive attitude of the local people.”
2. MAAT, Lisbon, Portugal selection – Musa paradisiaca’s “Masters of Velocity” (2017 | 16 mins 11 secs) filmed on 16mm colour film by Portuguese artist duo, Eduardo Guerra and Miguel Ferrão looks at objects and their environments, utilising dialogue and music to imagine how ‘a chain of events breeds moving thought’ and the role desire plays in identification. Listening to that desire becomes an issue of velocity: entering things implies finding a common rhythm or frequency. The strings heavy soundscape carry you through the piece in a menacing fashion. The interruption of this moving thought is posited by the possibility of entering things, discovering the existence of desire inside them.
3. Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland selection – Mikołaj Sobczak’s “Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries” (2017 | 7 mins 45 secs) uses the energy of the far-right protests is juxtaposed with that of the STAR (Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries) movement in 1970s New York started by famous trans activists Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, as a starting point in a pseudo-documentary. In the piece drag queens occupy Warsaw’s Museum of Natural History speaking to a ‘crisis of masculinity’, its relationship to the market, and how this manifests in popular culture.
What the artist says: “If we could face reality without seeping into historical fantasies then maybe one day we could wake up and see there is no global warming, no goldman sachs, no boko haram.”
4. Project 88, Mumbai, India selection – Munem Wasif’s “Machine Matter” (2017 | 13 mins 55 secs)
A room full of machines breathes with disquieted silence. However, there are some who can smell their memories, and feel the burden of past hopes. Almost nothing moves inside these abandoned jute factories. Wasif’s camera moves very subtly, often gets too close to the ‘object’, and transforms its body into a sculptural figure. The present-day closing of many jute factories in Bangladesh, and exploitation of labor rights continues to mirror the truth of the colonial past, eventually blurring our temporal references. The weight of the dilapidated machines thus, resembles this very truth.
5. Para : Site, Hong Kong selection – Yim Sui Fong’s “Black Bird Island” (2017 | 6 mins 32 secs) Highlights that the handover of Hong Kong to China was not just an important issue to the city, it was also a remarkable history that affects the pigeon existence locally. This piece took video as an observation tool to make commentary based on 2 timelines: field inspection of wild bird’s black spots in Hong Kong (from people’s eye-view); an encounter of a girl being bullied (from bird’s eye view). The jump cut of 2 story lines bridges the history of pigeon and hongkongers that particular reflecting on the suspicious insecurity incur since the handover to China.
What the artist says: “The existing condition of pigeon connects with my experience of living in Beijing and Hong Kong. On documentary and reenactment, bird-history and human history, I use images, contextual intervention and performative elements to depict stories that are triggered by hearing and sensory neurons.”
6. Whitechapel Gallery, UK Selection – Patrick Hough’s “And If In A Thousand Years” (2017 | 22 mins 13 seconds) When the film-set for Cecil B DeMille’s The Ten Commandments had had its day, it was, like the biblical civilisation it evoked, lost to the sands of time. Over the years, souvenir hunters began to gather where archaeologists (or Egyptologists) used to tread.In Patrick Hough’s video, shot on location at the site, it is not just fake fragments of the past that are disinterred. What hovers over the place is a spirit of uncertainty; one that questions bedrock values like ‘originality’ and ‘authenticity’ and dusts them with other layers of meaning: the extraordinary ease of reproducibility, the spray-on glamour of cinematic semi-celebrity.
About Artist Film International:
Artist Film International (AFI) is a collaborative project of which Hanoi DocLab and 17 other international institutions are partners, initiated by the Whitechapel gallery in London in 2008. The 2018 series with the theme of TRUTH will showcase 17, and the 2019 series — GENDER. The 2018 series include Hanoi DocLab’s nominated work of Le Xuan Tien, while the 2019 series is with our nomination for Nguyen Hai Yen’s film.
About “Around the World in 80 Days“:
The 3-month long screening program focusing on artists films and moving image is within Hanoi DocLab’s project “Young Moving Image Curators Program” supported by a British Council’s Small Grant for the Arts and Creativity. ‘Around the World’ is also funded by Indochina Arts Partnership.
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No. 11, sub-lane 12, lane 378 Thuy Khue, Hanoi