January 8 – February 12, 2006
Alexander Kluge, The Blind Director(1986)
16mm film, colour and black-and-white; 113 minutes. Courtesy of the artist, British Film Institute, London, and Goethe-Institut, Glasgow.
The Blind Director (otherwise known more appropriately as The Present Versus The Rest of Time) addresses audiovision at its most basic level. The viewer is placed in the position of having to discover over and over his/her eagerness to consume a story and to be consumed by it. Kluge laments the notion that there is practically only one image that we can relate to, one story, one line of continuity. He effectively transforms our viewing experience by laying bare the devices of cinema, repeatingly forcing us to face the conditions by which technologically mediated modes of narrative and continuity have been absorbed and naturalized, in turn actively impelling us to challenge information and mediation, within an impossible present time.
Andy Warhol, Outer and Inner Space(1965)
16mm film, double-screen projection, black-and-white; sound; 33 minutes.
Courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, Film Circulating Library, New York.
A quadruple portrait of [Edie] Sedgwick told in alternating video/film/video/film. As much as Warhol gives us a portrait of Sedgwick, he has produced a portrait of the emergence of video caught on film, reflecting the new mode of televisual liveness that had erupted into and ruptured the filmic.
— William Kaizen.
Pier Paolo Pasolini, Notes For An African Orestes(1968/69)
35mm film, color, sound; 75 minutes. Courtesy of Cineteca di Bologna, Italy.
Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Notes For An African Orestes,1968/69, one of three films that compose his Notes for a Poem on the Third World, demonstrates a profound irreconcilability and a deliberate resistance to any form of synthesis. His strategy consists of taking notes on film thereby creating works that exist in a sort of suspension in the sense that they announce the coming of something else which isn’t there yet but whose meaning is already being created in the mind of the spectator. The missing film exists between the mind of the viewer and the ‘notes’ that he or she is watching.
François Bucher, Television (an address)—Ernesto Samper Addresses Washington, January 20th. Inauguration Day (2005)
DVD, colour, sound; 20 minutes.Courtesy of the artist.
Bucher invites guests to address the image of television, live, at the moment of its transmission. Here Ernesto Samper, the ex-president of Colombia, delivers a live broadcast to Washington on the day of George Bush’s second inauguration.
Marcel Broodthaers, La Pipe (Magritte)(1969)
35mm film, black-and-white; 3 minutes. Courtesy Maria Gilissen, Brussels.
Ceci ne serait pas une pipe (Un Film du Musée d’Art Moderne) (This wouldn’t be a pipe)(1969-71)
35mm film, black-and-white; 2 minutes. 20 seconds. Courtesy Maria Gilissen, Brussels.
Marcel Broodthaers, La Pipe (Gestalt, Abbildung, Figur, Bild)(1969-71)
16mm film, black-and-white with blue tinting; 4 minutes, 20 seconds.
Courtesy Maria Gilissen, Brussels.
This wouldn’t be a pipe
A white wall. A jet of smoke. A clock surrounded by smoke.
A pipe on its own smoking. A pipe not smoking.
A subtitle underlines these images: FIGURES. It is a transposition of the Magritte painting: Ceci n’est pas une pipe.
Ayreen Anastas, Pasolini Pa* Palestine(2003)
DVD, colour, sound; 60 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
Inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s film Seeking Locations in Palestine for the Gospel According to Saint Matthew(1963), Anastas adapts a new script which attempts to repeat Pasolini's endeavors and resuscitates his missed opportunities.
Harun Farocki and Andrei Ujica, Videograms of a Revolution (1992)
Videotape, colour and sound; 106 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
Farocki and Ujica’s film details the five days in December of 1989 during which a popular uprising in Romania deposed and executed the Stalinist dictator Nicolae Ceauçescu. Questions regarding the intersection of television, violence, and democracy, all structure the terrain on which Videograms of a Revolution unfolds. The television cameras are the main actors in the piece, this is what remains in focus throughout.
Matthew Buckingham, Situation Leading to a Story (1999)
16mm film, black-and-white, sound; 21 minutes. Courtesy the artist and Murray Guy Gallery, New York.
Drawing upon disjunctive narratives and multiple filmic genres—including "serious" documentary, travelogue, and amateur movies—Buckingham stages his reception to four discarded home movies that he found on the streets of New York. Bringing to light larger capitalist and imperialist narratives and probing deeper forms of ideological meaning and ethical consequence, the film emphasizes the inaccessibility of historical truth.
Jeremy Deller and Mike Figgis, Battle of Orgreave(2001)
Video, colour, 60 minutes. Courtesy of Artangel, London and the artist.
Jeremy Deller and Mike Figgis reenactment titled The Battle of Orgreave from 2001 shifts between public and private cultures to expose discrepancies of the British news media and the hidden values surrounding the violent coal miners strike in South Yorkshire in June 1984.
David Lamelas, The Invention of Dr. Morel(2000)
16mm film, colour, sound; 23 minutes. Courtesy of artist and LUX, London.
Inspired by Adolfo Bioy Casares’ celebrated novel The Invention of Morel, Lamelas formally takes up a narrative film tradition related to the nouveau roman movement to retell the tale of a doctor who invented a machine to duplicate Faustina (the woman he loved), in virtual reality.
Phillip Lai, His Divine Grace(2000)
DVD, color, sound; 25 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
Lai's diverse practice negotiates aspects of individuation in relation to the social. This film references esoteric devotional videos and explores this format to look at its subject (the artist's father) and to reflect on our means of interpretation. As a quasi-documentary it purposefully deals with distinctly abstract matter from sensory to philosophical and fluctuates between the particular and the general.
Bernadette Corporation, Get Rid of Yourself(2002)
DVD, colour and black-and-white, sound; 60 minutes. Courtesy of the artists and Electronic Arts Intermix, New York.
Bernadette Corporation is a mock corporate entity founded in 1994 with the premise that it was “the perfect alibi for not having to fix an identity.” Get Rid of Yourself, staring Chloë Sevigny and artist Stephan Dillemuth, explores the extreme end of protest culture as it reconstructs the events surrounding the G8 summit in Genoa in July 2001 and the death of Carlo Giuliani.
It’s a film that refuses political identity, seeking to explore the "potential of community," or simply to relish, in the words of the artists, “the vertigo or joy of its own dispersal in lived time and space.”
Avi Mograbi, How I Learned to Overcome My Fear and Love Arik Sharon(1997)
Videotape, colour, sound; 61 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
Mograbi’s cautionary docufiction How I Learned to Overcome My Fear and Love Arik Sharon plays with the genre of cinema verité revealing at every step the thin line between the fiction and the reality of his persona as a filmmaker seduced by the Israeli prime minister. Mograbi complicates the viewer’s relationship with what he or she is watching by including them in the problem of political identification.
Walid Raad, Hostage—The Bachar Tapes(2001)
DVD, colour, sound; 16 minutes. Courtesy of the artist and Video Data Bank, Chicago.
Raad’s video entitled Hostage—The Bachar Tapes, is just one of many hundreds or possibly thousands of inventions from the fictional archive of the Atlas Group Project. It plays with the conventional formats of the video documentary and the witness testimonial, to document what constitutes an alternative history of Lebanon and in particular, the Western hostage crisis in Beirut in the ‘80s. The video fluctuates between modes of encryption and decryption, retaining a critique internal to itself, never allowing itself to solidify into a fixed entity.