This film programme is a collection of new and old audiovisual works, which takes the viewer on a search for the notion of “place” through language, identity and memory. Selected films unveil stunningly beautiful and personal stories about the search for roots and belonging. These works discover the poetics and performative characteristics of camera movement detecting the tension between space, architecture and the human body. The programme creates a dialogue between well-known artists and young filmmakers who work in the expanded field of contemporary moving image practice.
Guest artists: Rebecca Jane Arthur (UK/BE/AT) and Christina Stuhlberger (BE/DE)
Admission is free of charge.
Anri Sala (AL) Intervista (Finding the Words) (1998, 26’)
Fairuz & El Moïz Ghammam (BE/TN) Oumoun (2017, 14’)
Rebecca Jane Arthur (UK/BE/AT) Ready-mades with Interest (2017, 27’)
Christina Stuhlberger (BE/DE) Malapascua (2017, 26’)
Anri Sala’s first film, Intervista (Finding the words)(1998), depicts the artist himself confronting his mother with a past image of herself. The latter, a former activist among the communist youths of Albania, appears in a film found by the artist, interviewed at a party congress. The film has no sound, and the artist has to call on lip reading specialists to reconstitute the words. When the film is shown to his mother, with her words restored and subtitled on the screen, she is able to confront her youthful ideals and disappointments. It gives her (and the viewer) a dramatic opportunity to reflect on Albania’s history and current chaos. The visitor invests the intimacy of this family, the woman his son has chosen to place between memory and forgetfulness, time, events, ideals.
Oumoun (2017): “Dear Grandma, you’ll be surprised to hear my voice in your language…” Those are the first words in a pre-recorded, spoken letter never sent but instead played aloud in real time by a Brussels filmmaker to her elderly grandmother in Mahdia, Tunisia. In the company of the camera, the lines easily turn into a voiceover that gradually transforms into a dialogue across languages, across cultures and across generations.
Ready-mades with Interest (2017): When the filmmaker found a 1967 concert ticket in Vienna, this set her on a musico-historical journey in Austria that eventually led her back home to Scotland. Whilst she traced the information on the ticket and the history behind it, a letter arrived from her father that prompted a grander investigation into the sociopolitical backdrop of the music played that night. Together, in conversation with her father, they explore a number of eras in Austria, spanning from the Strauss family’s waltz era to the rise of fascism and the stain it left on contemporary politics. The ticket and his letter become ‘ready-mades with interest’ which spark a contemplation on how past and present day intertwine, and upon the tension between the beauty of the waltz and the realities of the time that the waltz persists in. Whilst reflecting upon the ticket, the film becomes a touching portrait of her father as he shares his knowledge and, sometimes light-hearted, memories with her.
Malapascua (2017) is a portrait of three girls and women living on a small island in the Philippines, a quiet attempt to connect with the place and its inhabitants. It’s also the island where my mother is from but I grew up in Germany. I don’t speak her language and my parents raised me detached from her culture, away from the poverty she left behind. Filming with these strong women, I was looking for something we shared, a possibility to connect, despite the vast distances between us.