28th November @ Experimenta 2013

Where I Am Is Here 1 


28th December | Thursday | 3:30 pm | 60mins | MMB


Curated by Benjamin Cook, Director, LUX London

Margaret Tait was one of Britain’s most unique and individual filmmakers. She studied film at the Centro Sperimentale di Fotografia in Rome during the height of the neorealist movement, before returning to Scotland in the early 1950s and founding her own film company, Ancona Films. Over 46 years she produced over 30 films, including one feature film Blue Black Permanent (1992) (at the age of 86), published three books of poetry and two volumes of short stories while living and working as a doctor between Orkney and Scotland.

Tait described her life work as consisting of making ‘film poems’ and refused suggestions that they were documentaries or diary films. She often quoted Lorca’s phrase of ‘stalking the image’ to define her philosophy and method, believing that if you look at an object closely enough it will speak its nature. This clarity of vision and purpose, with an attention to simple commonplace subjects, combined with a rare sense of inner rhythm and pattern give her films a transcendent quality while still remaining firmly rooted in the everyday. With characteristic modesty Tait said of her films they are born ‘of sheer wonder and astonishment at how much can be seen in any place you choose … if you really look’.

1. ‘Three Portrait Sketches’ Great Britain 1951 16 mm silent 10 min
Margaret Tait’s first film made in Italy while studying at the Centro Sperimentale di Fotografia in Rome. The film is an early experiment in portraiture featuring her fellow students Claudia Donzelli, Fernando Birri and Saulat Rahman.

2. ‘Portrait of Ga’ Great Britain 1952 16 mm sound 4 min
A portrait of the filmmaker’s mother filmed at home on Orkney. Another early experiment in portraiture asking the question of how much the camera can reveal of the person.

3. ‘Colour Poems’ Great Britain 1974 16 mm sound 12 min
“Nine linked short films. Memory, chance observation, and the subsuming of one in the other. The titles within the film are: Numen of the Boughs, Old Boots, Speed Bonny Boat, Lapping Water, Insence, Aha, Brave New World, Things, Terra Firma. Memories which affect chance observation. A poem started in words is continued in images – Part of another poem as an addition to the picture – Some images formed by direct-on-film animation – Others “found” by the camera.” M. T.

4. ‘Where I am is here’ Great Britain 1964 16 mm sound 35 min
“Starting with a six-line script (in 1963) which just noted down a kind of event to occur, and recur, my aim was to construct a film with its own logic, its own correspondences within itself, its own echoes and rhymes and comparisons, through close exploration of the everyday, the commonplace, in the city, Edinburgh, where I stayed at the time. ‘Documentary’ or ‘record’ of the city was not intended; I was using it rather as a vase of flowers or bowl of apples might be used for painting a still life. That, that very apple or bloom or street or swan remains is of course a sort of record in a way, for those who see it like that. The music, Hilltop Pibroch, by Hector MacAndrew, is a setting of my poem of that name, and is performed by Hector himself, on the fiddle, and by music-hall singer Lilane (Lilian Gunn) who accompanies herself on the piano accordion.” M. T.

28th November| Thursday | 5.30pm | 63mins | MMB


1. Shambhavi Kaul ‘Mount Song’ India 2013 video 9 min
A current runs underneath. It creeps under the door, makes its way into the cracks, revealing, obfuscating or breaking as clouds in the sky. Mountain, cave, river, forest and trap door; martial gestures, reiterated, stripped and rendered. A storm blows through. A parrot comments from a flowering branch. Here, the surfaces of set-constructions are offered for our attachments.

2. Bee Thiam ‘Kopi Julia’ Singapore 2012 video 7 min
Ikram brings home his classmates to feed Julia, his blood-sucking stepmum. When Julia starts flirting with a classmate Ikram has been secretly admiring, he flies into a rage of jealousy. An adaptation from a short story by Faizal Sulaiman, Kopi Julia is a film tribute to the Malay horror films made in the 50s in Singapore.

3. Anirudh Menon ‘Way Home’ India 2013 video 3 min
The film is about a boy walking home from school. He encounters a snake on his way, which leads to a chain of events that make that evening a significant one for him.

4. Oliveira Adalberto ‘Dique/ Dyke’ Brazil 2012 video 19 min
Where once was a paradisiacal setting, a new soundscape has been provided by disorderly and chaotic urbanization in a city of rest.

5. Payal Kapadia ‘Weapons of Mass Destruction’ India 2013 video 3 min
Weapons of Mass Destruction, an animation film and photograph series, was inspired from a headline in the newspaper about exploding watermelons in China, triggering ideas about genetically modified food, civilisation, war and hunger. Payal was also extremely disturbed by a similar headline on square watermelons being grown in Japan. Using the explosive nature of the most cooling fruit in this video, the artist correlates rescue parcels and bombs – both air dropped.

6. Pranjal Dua ‘Chidiya Udh’ India 2013 video 22 min
The giant wheels of the city grind thousands between them. A young boy from a chicken farm and a housekeeping girl at a luxury hotel – each one must give the other strength to escape their dismal reality. While nameless chicken continue to feed the city slaughterhouses.

28th November| Thursday | 7:00pm | MMB


Presented by Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan
BEYOND THE ONE (WORK IN PROGRESS: Documentation of the film process)
bangaloREsident @ Experimenta Film Society-Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology

“This film is an open plural meditation on the ways we relate to one another in close relationships, also in light of the determinations we reject/modify/receive from culture and mass media. During 3 months in Karnataka, I dedicated a particular attention to the film process, involving many inhabitants of Bangalore and surroundings in conversation. Different voices cohabit and clash in the space of the film, expanded by images shot on 16mm, S8 and archive material. In the library of the Goethe-Institute/ Max Mueller Bhavan, I propose a space in which it is possible to sit and share some notes and sound-sequences I gathered during the film process, as well as the sound-works created by 12 students who took part in an Interim semester at Srishti School of Art Design and Technology. Their names are Siddhanth Uday Shetty, Medha Gupta, Anisha Sirur, Aparna Marcelin Valan, Shreya Pratyush Vyas, Sneha Ganesh, Devansh Mathur, Rachita Rao, Nimisha, Singhal, Aditi Sivaraman, Rahul Kumar Singh, Karan Sunil Sharma.” A. M.

Sonata for Four Monitors (1968-1970)


This four channel video installation was conceived by the artist, Ludwig Schonherr in 1970 but not realized until 2013. The work consists of four of Schönherr’s “electronic films,” single and multiple frame Super 8 films of television images that are interrupted by bursts of brilliant color. Three of the films are diligently structured by alternations between the television images and a single color (red, white or yellow) whereas the fourth film is freely structured by the interruption of various colors. Schönherr produced the flickering colors by filming colored lightbulbs, which he often neglected to turn off when he returned to filming images from the television, thus resulting in the light bulb’s reflection in the corner of the television image.

28th November| Thursday | 8:30pm | 63mins | MMB



Curated by Marc Siegel, Film Studies Scholar, Department of Theater, Film and Media Studies at the Goethe-University in Frankfurt

The German artist Ludwig Schönherr produced a body of work in film and photography from the 1960s until the late 1980s, but never presented it to the public until 2009, when I curated a series of film programs and an exhibition for the Forum Expanded section of the Berlin Film Festival. The idiosyncrasy of Schönherr’s work, however, is not simply that of its sudden, belated emergence into the public eye. The work of this shy, reticent artist engages with, yet remains peripheral to the dominant artistic currents of its time. This aesthetic position “on the sidelines” echoes Schönherr’s fleeting personal and working relationships with a number of significant figures in the European and American avant-garde of the 1960s and ’70s, including Otto Mühl, Jack Smith, Dieter Roth and Nam June Paik. This program provides an overview of some of Schönherr’s most striking films. Throughout his work he focused on specific technical, formal and representational aspects of the medium, namely the zoom, single-frame technique, the use of flickering color and the depiction of the face.

1. ‘Zoom-Dokumentation’ Germany 1968 video 18 min
This film documents a series of Schönherr’s experiments on the perceptual effects of variations with zoom technique.

2. ‘Face 1 & 2’ Germany 1968 video 9 min
This is one of the director’s many portrait films, this time employing single-frame technique to proliferate images of the face of his wife, the prima ballerina Beatrice Cordua.

3. ‘New York. Ein visuelles Arbeitstagebuch’/ ‘New York. A Visual Working Diary’ Germany 1976-1979 video excerpt 7 min
During a series of stays in New York City in the mid-1970s, Schönherr shot a one hundred hour (!) visual diary (NEW YORK. EIN VISUELLES ARBEITSTAGEBUCH) of impressions of the city juxtaposed with images filmed off the television. In fact much of Schönherr’s artistic and theoretical work was focused on the role of television and television images in everyday life. His series of approximately twenty-five self-titled “electronic films” or “TV Art” are single- and multiple frame films of television images interrupted by bursts of flickering color.

4. ‘Elektronik 18 (Serie A Rot)’/ ‘Electronic 18 (Series A Red)’ Germany 1968/1969 video excerpt 5 min
This is a diligently structured film which alternates two images from the television with two brilliant images of the color red. Schönherr fascination for popular culture and aesthetic preference for bright colors and crisp surfaces lends his work a Pop art quality and evidences the artist’s debt to Andy Warhol.

5. ‘Film No. 57a [Andy Warhol Catalog Film]’ Germany 1969 video 24 min
In another of the director’s explorations of single and multiple frame technique, this time turning his lens to the pages of Warhol’s seminal 1968 catalog from his first European exhibition. Schönherr alternates between catalog images and self-chosen Warholesque visuals (from banana pornography to soup can labels) in a mesmerizing experiment in visual perception.