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 artist: Ruben Bellinkx (BE)
Admission is free of charge.
Ruben Bellinkx (BE) Stasis (2013, 12’)
Josef Dabernig (AT) River Plate (2013, 16’)
Lydia Debeer (BE) Alexandra (2016, 4’)
Aglaia Konrad (AT/BE) Das Haus (2014, 22’)
Adrian Paci (AL) The Column (2013, 26’)
In the experimental film Stasis (2013), an unidentified number of men engage in a strange interaction with a table. The film begins in a half darkened room with close-up shots of feet, legs and table legs. Slowly the camera zooms out to reveal 33 men in suits; solemnly holding 4 tables, above the ground, with their mouths. The men are motionless and express no emotion. Although these men cannot eat or talk it is obvious a certain dialogue takes place. The presence of each individual is absolutely required to keep the construction/conversation solid and on going. Several male figures are stuck in a structure within the limits of their possibilities. In this movie it’s not any longer about the border between nature and culture like in Bellinkx previous work, but about the fading thin line between the object and the subject where the physical conditions of the subject are being questioned.
Shot in black-and-white Super-16, blown up to 35mm and transferred onto HD video, the short, sixteen-minute River Plate (2013) depicts a group of seemingly unrelated people gathering and sun bathing in a river which bears the damaged traces of industrial construction under an underpass in a seemingly alpine, undisclosed European location. River Plate displays a micro society in a fragmented body-narration. Knees, shoulders, feet and bellies are signifiers of articulated human presence, revealing nothing else against a claustrophobic background of cement, stone and water. At once wry, troubling, and utterly strange, River Plate nevertheless wields an understated lyrical quality which has less do with any kind expressiveness than with a compositional rigour and beauty that strictly governs each shot.
Alexandra (2016) takes place at the Walden Apartment in Barcelona. The author of the film was first introduced to the building by Alexandra, who lives there herself. When Lydia came back with her camera, Alexandra couldn’t leave her to scout the place on her own, since it might disturb the neighbors, so she went along for hours. Always a couple of metres behind, and watched her watch the building. The video is made almost entirely out of stills in which the camera circles around a woman, Alexandra, standing in the Walden Apartment in Barcelona. In the beginning, the spectator watches the building from a distant, almost objective viewpoint, watching from left and right. As time passes the camera comes closer, takes a few steps back, and then, gradually closes in on her. Almost directly on her skin, on the verge of touch. It’s only through the sequence of these stills, through the declining of daylight, that the passage of time becomes clear.
Das Haus (2014)is a work that deepens the exploration of sculptural architecture that Aglaia Konrad conducted with the series of 16 mm films Concrete and Samples. Shot in a house designed by architect Juliaan Lampens in Sint-Martens-Latem (Belgium), the film resumes the artist’s interest in the possibilities of the cinematic medium to generate – rather than capture – an architectural experience. An experience which, in this film, surpasses the visual to mobilize bodily perception and even desire. Architecture and film are constantly looking at each other in a piece in which “angle”, “transition”, “cut”, “sequence”, “frame”, “joint”, “fold “ and “rhythm” are notions that are spread from one discipline to the other as if the camera and editing is reading the space as a composition score.
The Column (2013) is a story of the production of a classical Western column model by a group of Asian workers on a voyage towards Europe. The film is a reflection about the speed with which supply and demand have to be satisfied in today’s economy. A pretext for a poetic voyage between East and West, Paci’s video shows the transformation undergone by a piece of marble from its extraction from a quarry to the long weeks of transport by sea, during which sculptors make it into a Romanesque column. With this sculpture and his video, Adrian Paci manages to turn a reflection on the global contemporary world into a sort of fairy tale.