Thu 14 Mar 2019, 7 – 10 pm
No. 11, sub-lane 12, lane 378 Thuy Khue, Hanoi
Linking to the theme of 2018’s Artist Film International Programme, the artists use moving image to explore the positioning of truth as what we know. The films presented here all reference to art history, as well as social history more generally at the core of each piece.
1. “One Moonless Night” – 3 mins 25 s
2. “Actuality Picture / the Magic Lantern” – 30 mins
3. “True Red Ruin (Elmina Castle)” – 9 mins 39s
4. “Outwardly from Earth’s Center” – 21 mins 58 secs
5. “There is no landscape” – 6 mins 45 s
Length of programme: 71 mins 47 seconds
Information on each movie:
Pelin Kırca’s “One Moonless Night” (2016 | 3 mins 25 secs) draws its inspiration from the Mantiq ut-Tayr (The Conference of the Birds, 1177), the narrative poem written by the Persian Sufi poet Farid ud-Din Attar. Exploring the understated realties of the interactions between humanity and nature through the use of fantasy imagery. The song used throughout the piece by the 1990s alternative rock group Morphine, notable for its poetic quality, reinforcing the video’s rhythm and visuality. (Istanbul Modern, Turkey selection)
Tom Ireland’s “Actuality Picture / the Magic Lantern” (chapter 5_N142291-180930 /W59999-71997) (2009-2017 | 30 mins) comprising of 395,927 individual photographs of the planet Saturn, taken remotely by NASA’s Cassini space probe between February 2004 and September 2017. This source material is draw from to present the role of the photograph in attempting to comprehend such vast entities. The artist references the early cinema trope of the ‘actuality film’ –a short non-fiction film genre which predated the documentary and which simply recorded an ‘actuality’, or activity. The resulting silent film is informed by the reflection of light through a lens, directly referencing the ‘magic lantern’, an early projection device thought to have been invented by Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens in the mid-17th century. ( The Whitworth, Manchester, UK selection)
Danielle Dean’s “True Red Ruin (Elmina Castle)” (9 mins 39 secs) repurposes the language of television soap operas and advertisements in this two channel video to tell the story based on the history of the titular castle, notably used to imprison enslaved people before their journey to America. The conversations are largely abstract, due to the dialogue being constructed from partial quotations from various media sources, forcing the audience to take meaning from the tone of voice, as if from a foreign language. In her film, Dean relocates the castle to a historically black neighbourhood in Houston, TX, highlighting parallels between 15th Century imperialism and 21st century gentrification and capitalism. (Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, USA selection)
What the artist says: “I make work, often thinking about our relationships with consumer good, in general objects […]”. “I like to read a lot of theory and history. But I also watch soap operas.”
Rosa Barba’s “Outwardly from Earth’s Center” (2017 | 22 mins) this film centers around the fictional story of the island of Sandon that is in danger of disappearing, and the mythology the locals used to explain this situation. The concept’s background is somewhat realistic since Sandön moves approximately one meter per year. The piece filmed on 16mm film, evoking the sense of experience real archive footage, features fictitious reports from ‘experts’ strengthens the surrealistic atmosphere that creepily offsets the experience of what is first considered a beautiful documentary, but moves into a more abstract form of storytelling. (NBK, Berlin, Germany selection)
What the artist says: “Outwardly from Earth’s Center is a fictitious narrative about a society on an unstable piece of land that is in danger of disappearance. My films are deconstructing and re-contextualizing social and economically loaded topographies. I am trying to emphasize marginal details through sometimes radical reinterpretations”
Vladimir Nikolic’s “There is No Landscape” (2013 | 6 mins 45 secs) integrates the need for access to performance visual in order to experience the performance. Throughout the we are enjoying the beautiful landscape photography made on the mountain Luofu in Guangdong province in China we are listening to the discussion between Marc, the reporter and Mr. Q the expert who are witnessing the artists’ performance. All the voices surrounding an artwork are questioned in the attempt to reach the meaning. The sum of the dialogue potentially proposing that one’s truth is informed by the perspectives we come to experiences with, while also acting as a clear example of how language can be a tool to gain access to others truth. The only other cue to the performance that Marc and Mr Q. are experience being the fragments of Also sprach Zarathustra that the artist is using as a soundtrack. Ultimately the work confronts us with dilemma what to trust: the picture or the interpretative apparatus surrounding it? (Belgrade Cultural Centre, Belgrade Selection)
What the artist says: “my work is auto-reflective, meaning I liked to question my own art practice, motives, ambitions, and the role of an artist in general. That was a constant need to show awareness of the system inside which one is operating.”
On 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.
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