Orbs. Liina Siib. 2016, Estonia, 3 min, HD video, no dialogue.
On 16 and 17 November, the Tallinn Photomonth artists’ films programme Polar Coordinates will take place at the cinema Sõprus. Ten films from eight countries will be screened during the two-day programme with themes ranging from intimate family relationships to geographic explorations and telepathic cinema. The film programme is curated by the Estonian artist and filmmaker Piibe Kolka and New York based critic and film curator Genevieve Yue. This is the first time that the programme takes place in collaboration with the Black Nights Film Festival PÖFF.
Tallinn Photomonth’s film programme Polar Coordinates, which is part of the PÖFF Expanded programme, focuses on artists’ films that are the product of a variety of collaborations. “Unlike mainstream films, which are typically made by enormous crews, experimental or artist films often imply the painstaking work of a solitary maker. This year’s Photomonth film programme explores works that were created through various partnerships and dialogues in order to reflect upon the different forms of creative collaboration. Authors of many of these films are partners beyond filmmaking duos: they are families, romantic partners, scientists, and activists,” explains the artist and filmmaker Piibe Kolka, one of the curators of the programme.
The first program, A Frame that Holds Us, arises from the intimate spaces of the home, which, in these artists’ conceptions, can mean a physical space, a relation among people, or the recesses of the mind. These are inside-out home movies, playing on the conventions of their traditional forms, depicting unconventional domestic scenes, moments of strife as well as joy. The intimate spaces alternate with “views from the windows,” both literally but also as a framing of one’s world from a remove, an experience made globally familiar by the recent years of confinement and seclusion.
Part I of the Tallinn Photomonth’s film programme, A Frame that Holds Us:
– Is it a knife because…, Eitan Efrat and Sirah Foighel Brutmann, 2022, Belgium, 26 min, HD video, in French and Hebrew, with English subtitles.
– Où En Êtes-Vous, João Pedro Rodrigues? (Where Do You Stand Now, João Pedro Rodrigues?), João Pedro Rodrigues, 2017, Portugal, France, 21 min, DCP, in English and Portuguese, English subtitles.
– Come Coyote, Dani Leventhal ReStack, Sheilah (Wilson) ReStack, 2019, United States, 8 min, HD video, in English.
– Orbs, Liina Siib, 2016, Estonia, 3 min, HD video, no dialogue.
– A Practice for Surrender, Tõnis Jürgens, 2022, Czech Republic, Estonia, 13 min, DCP, in English.
– In a Nearby Field, Laida Lertxundi and Ren Ebel, 2023, Spain, 18 min, 35mm, in Basque, English and Spanish, with English subtitles.
The second part of the Photomonth film programme, A Question that Can Be Answered Yes or No, takes place on 17 November from 19.00 to 21.00 at the cinema Sõprus. The second program traverses the world, collapsing vast distances of time and space through trajectories of desire. Whether working in close quarters or at a far remove, these explorers share with each other their discoveries, frustrations, and joys. There is a yearning for communication that finds an expression in experimental devices, shared motions, and the subtle discrepancies of perspective.
The second evening of screenings will be followed by a Q&A with the artists and curators. Additionally, a public lecture on the subject of feminism and film materiality will be held by Genevieve Yue, one of the curators of the film programme, in the main auditorium of the Estonian Academy of Arts on 20 November at 17.30.
Piibe Kolka is an artist, filmmaker and film worker with a background in anthropology. She is interested in artists’ moving image as a personal enquiry into the bodily, temporal and rhythmic aspects of social realities. She works with video, sound, and performance, artistic research and curatorial practices. She has co-curated artist film programs for Kumu Art Film Festival (2016 and 2018) and at the international group show Point of No Return at NART art residency (2021).
Genevieve Yue is an associate professor of culture and media and director of the Screen Studies program at the New School. She has programmed films at Anthology Film Archives, Metrograph, MassArt, and other venues. Her essays and criticism have appeared in Mubi, Film Comment, Film Quarterly, and Reverse Shot, and she is author of Girl Head: Feminism and Film Materiality (Fordham University Press, 2021). She is based in New York City.
iEitan Efrat and Sirah Foighel Brutmann
Eitan Efrat and Sirah Foighel Brutmann are working in collaboration, creating works in the audiovisual field, installation and performance. They live and work in Brussels. Sirah and Eitan’s practice focuses on the performative aspects of the moving image. In their work they aim to mark the spatial and durational potentialities of reading of images – moving or still; the relations between spectatorship and history; the temporality of narratives and memory and the material surfaces of image production. Their works have been shown in duo exhibitions in Kunsthalle Basel; Argos, Brussels and CAC Delme; at group exhibitions in Argos; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; Portikus, Frankfurt; Jeu de Paume, Paris and STUK, Leuven. In film festivals such as EMAF, Osnabrück; Atonal, Berlin; Doc Lisboa; Oberhausen Film Festival; Rotterdam Film Festival; Les Rencontres International, Paris and Berlin; New Horizons, Wrocław; Images, Toronto ; 25FPS, Zagreb. Sirah and Eitan are currently teaching at ERG, Brussels.
iJoão Pedro Rodrigues
João Pedro Rodrigues is a native of Lisbon. After studying biology at Lisbon University he attended the Lisbon Film School, where he obtained his diploma. His public film career began at the 54th Venice Festival in 1997 with the short Parabéns!, which won the Special Jury Prize. In the same year he made Esta É A Minha Casa and Viagem à Expo, a two-part documentary. In 2000 he directed his first fiction feature, Phantom, which was screened in the 57th Venice Festival’s Official Competition. In 2005, Odete won several awards including a Cinémas de Recherche Special Mention at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. His feature project To Die Like A Man was selected in 2007 by Cinéfondation forL’Atelier in Cannes and was released in 2009.
Dani ReStack is an associate professor of art at Ohio State University. In 2009 she received an MFA in film/video from Bard College, and in 2003, an MFA in Studio Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She has screened her single-channel videos at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, PS1, Chicago Underground Film Festival, Lincoln Center, and Anthology Film Archives, among others. ReStack on her own work: I show my reality but I don’t consider my work diaristic because I am using the camera for understanding the world rather than simply recording it. Also I don’t consider myself unique – which means using my experience can reflect the viewer’s experience.
iSheilah Wilson ReStack
Sheilah Wilson ReStack was born and raised in Caribou River, Nova Scotia and is currently Associate Professor Photography at Denison University. She has BFA from NSCAD University and MFA from Goldmiths College. Most recently she has been working on projects analyzing the traces between history, story and the land. She uses photography, video, and text as performative and documentary tools to pick through the seams of narrative and image.
Liina Siib is a visual artist and filmmaker who lives and works in Tallinn. She studied printmaking and photography at the Estonian Academy of Arts and has taken longer study trips to London, New York and San Francisco.Over twenty years Siib has made experimental documentary videos and short fiction films, that have been presented as installations and as works of expanded cinema in the art context both at solo and group exhibitions.The topic of her works ranges from social space to different manifestations of people’s everyday practices and daily routines. She deals with characters, spaces and situations that tend to go unnoticed due to their ordinariness or are silenced or ignored. In 2011, her project A Woman Takes Little Space represented Estonia at the 54th Venice Art Biennale.
Tõnis Jürgens is an artist and writer based in Tallinn. He holds a BA in culture theory from Tallinn University and an MA in new media from the Estonian Academy of Arts. He’s also spent a year studying at the Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design in Prague (UMPRUM). In 2022 he was awarded the Eduard Wiiralt scholarship. He is currently a guest lecturer and PhD candidate at the Estonian Academy of Arts. His artistic research practice involves themes such as surveillance capitalism, digital ruins, and apophenia, or the inadvertent emergence of meaning.
Laida Lertxundi is an artist and filmmaker who lives and works between the USA and the Basque Country. Combining conceptual rigor with sensual pleasure in a process she calls Landscape Plus, her films establish parallels between landscape and the body as centers of pleasure and experience.Her films have been screened at numerous festivals such as Locarno, New York Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, London Film Festival, BFI, TIFF Toronto, Gijón, San Sebastián or Edinburgh among others. She’s a professor at École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de Lyon and at Universidad del País Vasco.
Ren Ebel is an artist and writer from Los Angeles, California. He works in a range of media including video, sound, text and drawing. He received his BFA in film and video art from the University of California, San Diego, and his MFA in studio practice from ArtCenter College of Design in Pasadena, California. His art has been shown at Gattopardo Gallery, DESCALE and Now Instant Image Hall in Los Angeles, the Spectacle Theater in New York and Azkuna Zentroa in Bilbao, Spain.His writing—fiction, essays and art criticism—has appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Mousse, X-TRA, Public Parking and Nativa, and in exhibition catalogs for Gattopardo Gallery, OPAF, La Taller Gallery and Artspace Aotearoa.