THE INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF MOVING IMAGE ART IN INDIA
Bangalore November 27 – December 1, 2013
Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan, 716, CMH Road, Indiranagar,
Bangalore 560 038
Dharmaraya Swamy Temple Rd, Halsurpete, Nagarathpet, Opp.Bruhat
Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike Office, N.R. Square, Bangalore 560 002
27th November | Wednesday | 11pm, 2pm, 6.30pm | 113mins | Badami House
Directed by Pattabhirama Reddy India 1970 35mm archival print 113min
Samskara (funeral Rites) is the story of a rebel Brahmin who throughout his life has violated the basic laws of his caste. He has taken meat, he has desecrated the temple; and suddenly he dies. Can he be cremated? Has he the right to a decent Brahmin funeral? The villagers meet, take sides, and Praneshacharya , their leader, is given the responsibility of taking the decision. The film concerns itelf with his torments, his nagging doubts. What man has the right to judge another? Who of us is without sin?
Shot entirely on location in a mountain village in Mysore, with a cast of unknown players, Samskara is directed by Pattabhi Rama Reddy, himself a well-known poet and producer of Telugu films. For him, the film represents a complete breakaway from the florrid sentimentality of traditional south Indian films, and is more in the tradition of Satyajit Ray.
The film based on a story by U.R. Ananthamurthy, by the same name, brought together many artists like theatre actor Snehalata Reddy, writer, P. Lankesh, artist S.G. Vasudev and Girish Karnad. Directed by Pattabhirama Reddy, it pioneered the parallel cinema movement in Kannada. The film won the National Award for Best Feature film in 1970 and the Bronze Leopard at Locarno International film festival in 1972. This is a special 35mm print found at the Arsenal archive in Berlin, Germany, presented at Experimenta courtesy Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan. Some of the screenings will be followed with interactions with U.R. Ananthamurthy, Konarak Reddy (son of Pattabhi Rama Reddy), Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, Director of the Living Archive Programme at Arsenal Institut of Film & Video Art.
28th December | Thursday | 3:30 pm | 60mins | MMB
ARTIST PROFILE 1 – MARGARET TAIT
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
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION 1
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 (2011), 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 EXHIBITION OPENING
Presented by Goethe-Institut/ Max Mueller Bhavan
BEYOND THE ONE (WORK IN PROGRESS: Documentation of the film process) BY ANNA MARZIANO bangaloREsident @ Experimenta Film Society-Srishti Institute 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 Institute 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) BY LUDWIG SCHÖNHERR
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
ARTIST PROFILE 2 – STUPID STRUCTURES, HAPPY STRUCTURES LUDWIG SCHÖNHERR
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 singleand 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.
29th November| Friday | 2:00pm | 60mins | MMB
THE SEVENTH GATE – FOUR FILMS AND AN ARTIST TALK BY CHRIS GEHMAN
“The seventh gate is the gate of projection, which will take off all veils that have been upon the most Holy place, where we may enter, as all knowing in wisdom’s mysteries and wonders.” Jane Leade. Toronto-based artist Chris Gehman has been making experimental films for more than twenty-five years, and several of his works use animation as the vehicle for experimentation. This short screening will feature four of his 16 mm films, along with an entertaining artist’s talk on his work, and his ideas about contemporary developments in experimental animation. Gehman tends to approach each film as a unique object exploring a particular set of ideas, images and methods – he has always resisted the idea that an artist must repeat and refine the same basic idea. His films play with found images and sometimes with narrative, as well as with the mechanics and structures of filmmaking, and behind their experimentalism lies a mischievous sense of humour.
1. Chris Gehman ‘First Dispatch from Atlantis’ Canada 1993 16 mm 5 min
Gehman’s first collage animation, made while he was a student at Ryerson University, is described as “a journey through the lands of the dead.”
2. Chris Gehman & Roberto Ariganello ‘Contrafacta’ Canada 200016 mm 15 min
Using images from medieval artworks, and quotations from the writings of Christian mystics and poets, Contrafacta creates a web of related images and events without a simple connective narrative. A “painstakingly crafted medievalist tale… Birth, death, plague and the farming of souls all rub shoulders in this episodic surrealist fable. In a dance of grace and punishment where miracles are commonplace, we follow the descent of a royal egg which hatches the changing shape of the world” (Mike Hoolboom, Images Festival). “The horror of an incomprehensible world ruled by an unfathomable God is expressed through sublime cutout animation; medieval art moves to a creepy and funny soundtrack, inadvertently inventing a new genre: spiritual slapstick” (Daniel Cockburn, “Cinéma Naïveté”).
3. Chris Gehman & Roberto Ariganello ‘Non-Zymase Pentathlon’ Canada 1995 16 mm 5:30 min
In this film Gehman and Ariganello animate the commercial imagery of post-war North America, culled from the pages of popular magazines like Life, Maclean’s and National Geographic, bringing fragments together in absurd and arbitrary juxtapositions. Animals, people, consumer goods, military equipment, and other detritus float across different planes in an ambiguous film-space. The film is structured into five “events,” preceded by a brief introduction.
4. Chris Gehman ‘Rostrum Press: Materials Testing’ Canada 2008 16 mm 4 min silent
“The urge to destroy is also a creative urge” (Mikhail Bakunin). In this film Gehman uses a traditional Oxberry 16 mm animation stand as a mechanism to test the response of a variety of objects and materials to the downward pressure of the camera. Each shot is essentially a self-contained little film in which the camera moves inexorably closer to its object until contact is made and the object is pressed down towards the rostrum table as nearly flat as possible. Commissioned for the touring program ReGeneration: New Animations on Seminal Films, the film responds conceptually to an isolated aspect of two films by Michael Snow: Breakfast (Table Top Dolly) and Presents, with an additional/ incidental nod to Snow’s Wavelength.
29th November| Friday | 3:30pm | 78mins | MMB
ARTIST PROFILE 3 – JACK CHAMBERS SHORTS
Curated by Lauren Howes, Director, Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC)
Jack Chambers is regarded as one of Canada’s most important visual artists. With a wellestablished career as a painter, he embarked on a short-lived but significant career as a filmmaker in the mid-1960s. Chambers’ artistic practice was described as ‘perceptual realism’ and stood in counterpoint to the dominant abstract styles of his day. He completed five films in his lifetime: Mosaic (1965), Hybrid (1966), Circle (1969) and Hart of London (1970). His films are particularly noted for their formal investigations of the properties of light and for their thematic examinations of the cycle of life and death. His filmmaking style has been compared to that of Stan Brakhage. Jack Chambers is celebrated with an acclaimed international reputation for his unique and impressive body of films. In 1967, issues surrounding copyright payment and rental fees led Chambers to stage a campaign for what he termed ‘fair exchange: payment for services’ and eventually he became one of the founders of Canadian Artists’ Representation (CAR/FAC). After a ten-year battle with leukemia, Jack Chambers died in 1978 at the age of 47.
1. ‘Mosaic’ Canada 1965 16mm 9 min
Mosaic’s carefully tuned strategies of montage are already present in its opening title sequence. Isolating the individual letters of its entitlement, it shows them in succession before gathering them all together. Likewise, Chambers recasts details from his surroundings in a symbolic lyricism that joins the rhythms of mortality and rebirth. Its fragmented collage collects a fly infested corpse, a woman strewing flowers, a runner, an old man standing, and a child nursing from his mother’s breast. An elegant and sophisticated reshuffling of domestic temporality, ‘Mosaic’ boldly anticipates the themes of Chambers’ well-known later work.
2. ‘Hybrid’ USA 1966 16mm 15 min
Hybrid’ shows, in near-documentary fashion, the planting of flowers crosscut with a looming military presence viewed in photographs. This polarity of life and death, still and motion, courses throughout the film until its final eruption into colour drafts between a war-scarred generation of Vietnamese children and a flowering London stalk. A defiantly personal response to a war whose images haunted the public imagery of the 60s, ‘Hybrid’ stands in answer to any who feel an irreconcilable divide between art and politics.
3. ‘R-34’ USA 1967 16mm 26 min
Begun with a softly focused series of close-ups, London artist Greg Curnoe is unfurled in an impressionistic hue that gives way to a cataloguing of his Schwitters-like collages. Chambers proceeds with a strict attention to rhythm, chaining together recycled fragments in a round dance that swings in and out of closing doors, image winking out of darkness, the products of Curnoe’s labour intertwined with his own cooking, combing, taking out the garbage. His montage is not merely content to show an artist at work, but actively mimes the very work it is witness to. 4. ‘Circle’ Canada 1969 16mm 28 min A cinematic document of one year, shot day by day from the same viewpoint.
29th November| Friday | 5:30pm | 99mins | MMB
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION 2
1. Joshua Gen Solondz ‘Burning Star’ USA 2012 video 4 min
Dedicated to my father, who asked that I make a more colorful work. Made during my residency at the now defunct Experimental Television Center, Burning Star is a colorful implo/explosion.
2. Ella Raidel ‘Play Life Series’ Germany 2012 video 11 min
It opens with a traditional Chinese sword fight. Two men in armor carefully exchange choreographed blows while twirling elaborately through the air. Upon closer inspection, the chords with which their bodies are lifted into the air become visible. The illusionary character of this martial arts scene is, in general, more than transparent. The camera wanders back and forth between the intently acting players and those who watch them or record the game on camera.
3. Neil Beloufa ‘Party Island’ France 2012 video 9 min
Neil Beloufa’s moving image works look at social interaction and conversation. Set in often mundane or ambiguous settings his characters play out scripted events that reveal subtle consequences and intimate gestures.
4. Chaoba Thiyam ‘Black Pot and Movement’ India 2013 video 13 min
The film is a search for a new movement by two dancers (Mayuka Ueno Gayer from Japan and Surjit Nongmeikapam from Manipur) picking the Longpi (Black) Pot in Manipur as an interface between the body and the region.
5. Köken Ergun ‘Ashura’ Turkey 2012 video 22 min
The Battle of Karbala was a military engagement that took place on 10 Muharram, 61 AH (October 10, 680) in Karbala, in present day Iraq, between the forces of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph and Hussein, the grandson of prophet Muhammad. Hussein and all his supporters were killed; women and children were taken as prisoners. This battle is central to Shi’a Muslim belief in which the martyrdom of Hussein is mourned by an annual commemoration, Ashura. There are approximately 1 million Caferi Shiites in Turkey, most of which live in Istanbul and the eastern border town of Igdir. In Istanbul they inhabit a shantytown neighborhood in the outskirts of the city, which they started building in the late 1970s. The neighborhood is called Zeynebiye, referring to Hussein’s courageous sister, Zeyneb.
6. Kush Badhwar ‘Blood Earth’ India 2013 video 40 min
Kucheipadar village in Odisha is a bauxite-rich block that since India’s economic liberalisation has been the subject of violent conflict between Adivasis and a mining venture. The singing of songs has come to articulate creative forms and political structures that steered the Kashipur resistance movement from subalternity, through solidarity and into dissolution. Blood Earth interweaves the efforts to record song, farming, village life and a political meeting to improvise a junction between voice, music, silence, sound and noise.
29th November| Friday | 7:30pm | 60mins | MMB
SPECIAL FOCUS – JAPAN THE SHADOW WORLD
Curated by Chris Gehman, Independent filmmaker and critic
The practice of experimental animation in Japan has produced many riches. Its history begins at least as early as the 1930s, with the singular 9.5 millimetre films of Ogino Shigeji (preserved by the National Film Center in Tokyo). But experimental film in general, animation included, did not establish an unbroken historical continuity until the late 1950s, with the emergence of a determined generation of young producers dedicated to the creation of experimental films. Animation has shown a definite appeal for graphic designers, painters and others who have seen in the cinematic arts a field in which to employ their skills and aesthetic ideas using media that add time and sound, rhythm and change to the elements with which they can work. The international structural film movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s influenced experimental filmmakers in Japan as well, and produced a sub-genre of films in which frame-by-frame techniques are applied to the exploration of cinematic space. More recently, the naïve and grotesque illustration styles of contemporary drawing and painting – mutant offspring of pop culture – have made their influence felt in the work of many younger animators working in film or digital animation.
These artists come to animation from many different directions, including graphic design, painting, drawing and sculpture, photography, performance art and digital media. The works are diverse, but all exist well outside the conventions of commercial film and television; many of the artists work alone or with just one or two collaborators. Some use the simplest materials imaginable (such as Tsuji Naoyuki’s charcoal drawings on paper), while others mount astonishing and elaborate experiments with film technique (e.g. Ito Takashi’s Zone). These two programs include a number of established classics of Japanese experimental animation as well as important contemporary works.
1. Ishida Takashi ‚Gestalt‘ Japan 1999 16mm 6 minutes
Gestalt is already an established classic of experimental animation. An elaborate and meditative film made by continuous repainting of the wall of a room, it creates an ever-shifting representational space that plays with conventions of perspective and effects of spatial perception. One of the most important experimental animators in Japan today, Ishida has presented his work around the world; he has won numerous prizes, including the 2007 Goto Commemorative Culture Award (Fine Art Division). He has extended his animation work by doing site-specific animations over the course of gallery shows, and improvisational painting performances in conjunction with live music.
2. Tsuji Naoyuki ‘A Feather Stare at the Dark’ Japan 2003 16mm 17 minutes
Pitched somewhere between myth and dream, this film was featured at the Cannes Film Festival, and launched Tsuji Naoyuki’s career internationally. His characteristic method involves frame-by-frame animation of charcoal drawings, which are painstakingly erased and redrawn to create movement within the frame, leaving a kind of trail of marks behind. In this ambitious work, the filmmaker builds images of “a pre-world before earth, in chaos, with forces of good and evil” in contention. Originally trained in sculpture, Tsuji’s film practice is firmly rooted in drawing. He has been recognized as one of the foremost contemporary animators from Japan, with numerous retrospectives around the world.
3. Aihara Nobuhiro ‘Yellow Snake’ Japan 2006 video 10 minutes
Aihara Nobuhiro initially worked in the commercial animation industry, but became famous for his independent, experimental works. He is known for the simplicity of his materials – most of his films were made simply using pen and pencil on paper – but also for the wildness, complexity and voluptuousness of his images and ideas. In this film, Aihara’s presents two overlapping views of the same body, blending and diverging; he described this doubling as “part of the labyrinth or the paradox which is going to continue.”
4. Nakamura Tomomichi ‘My Town’ Japan 2007 video 17 minutes
An award-winner at the 2007 Image Forum Festival (Tokyo), My Town represents contemporary currents in experimental animation, combining hand-drawn animation with sophisticated use of digital tools. It offers a deceptive opening, beginning with thin, feeble images, but builds slowly to a frightening pitch through repetition and increasingly complex images, sounds and animation that refer to duplication and the atomic bomb. Drawn over the course of several years while the filmmaker worked in an office job, this film is a major work of contemporary animation.
5. Ito Takashi ‘Spacy’ Japan 1981 16mm 10 minutes
This mind-boggling tour-de-force exploration of cinematic space was created using hundreds of still photographs taken inside an empty gymnasium. Spacy is a recognized classic that established Ito’s name at an international level. It is a kind of cinematic roller-coaster ride and intellectual puzzle at the same time; and it’s the kind of film that no viewer will ever forget! Ito is a professor at the Kyoto University of Art and Design, and one of Japan’s most highly regarded experimental filmmakers.
30th November| Saturday | 2:00pm | 57mins | MMB
SPECIAL FOCUS – JAPAN RECIPES FROM THE JAPANESE KITCHEN
Curated by Chris Gehman
1. Ito Takashi ‘Zone’ Japan 1995 16mm 13 minutes
Later in his career, Ito’s practice shifted from one based on the exploration of representational space, and influenced by structural cinema, to one in which these explorations have a psychological basis. Many of these later works have an affinity with the refined surrealism of the American-born, UK-based animators the Brothers Quay, but they also connect to horror cinema, and films such as Zone may have had some influence on the more subtle films of the recent “J-Horror” genre of Japanese horror films. Zone combines animation with live-action footage to create a claustrophobic portrait of a headless figure trapped in a room haunted by uncanny objects and floating images. An ominous dreamscape.
2. Tabaimo ‘Japanese Kitchen: Three Stories’ Japan 2000 video 9 minutes
“There are many problems in Japan and I am doing nothing about them” (Tabaimo). Upon winning the Kirin Contemporary Art Award in 1999, Tabaimo made an almost instant transition from recent art-school graduate to international star. Her animations are mostly made to be viewed within specially constructed architectural environments, but this variation on the animations made for her installation Japanese Kitchen was commissioned for television and exists as a stand-alone video. Using a deadpan surrealism, Tabaimo explores the anxieties and tensions underlying everyday life in Japan, with the average Japanese represented here by a rather lumpen housewife cooking according to televised instructions.
3. Keiichi Tanaami & Aihara Nobuhiro ‘Inch-High Samurai’ Japan 2007 16mm 8 minutes
Tanaami Keiichi is a famous and incredibly productive graphic artist, filmmaker and animator, the artist primarily responsible for bringing pop and psychedelic styles to Japanese graphic arts. He made many animations in collaboration with his late friend and colleague Aihara Nobuhiro. In Inch-High Samurai, the two artists indulge their memories of a series of picture books published when they were young, reviving in their own wild style the feelings they remembered from reading these books: “In every book there was enough latent eroticism, horror and malice to make you shiver… We wanted to somehow recreate the surrealistic shock we experienced in our youth” T. K. & A. N.
4. Tsuji Naoyuki ‘Children of Shadows’ Japan 2006 16mm 18 minutes
In this film, Tsuji Naoyuki also takes inspiration from stories remembered from childhood – he refers to it as a short film “based on a fairy tale by Grimm, contain[ing] a similar atmosphere to 1970s nonsense manga.” Here Tsuji reimagines the story of “Hansel and Gretel” as a series of harrowing episodes involving a boy and girl who are threatened first by their own father, and then, upon escaping their home, by a number of other menacing figures. In its own grotesque way, at its own deliberate pace, the film becomes a powerful parable about transformation and survival.
5. Takamine Tadasu ‘God Bless America’ Japan 2002 video 9 minutes
Notorious performance, video and visual artists Takamine Tadasu (formerly of the performance group Dumb Type) has worked in many media. In this unique animation performance, Takamine and his lovely assistant shared a room with a huge clay face for eighteen consecutive days. Before the eye of the camera, they ate, slept, read, made love and made continuous changes to the face, animating it to synchronize with a scratchy, halting recording of the old American patriotic song “God Bless America.” This video is Takamine’s oblique response to the American invasion of Iraq that was impending in 2002.
30th November| Saturday | 3:30pm | 73mins | MMB
INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION 3
1. Nobu Adilman ‘A+’ Canada 2012 video 6 min A+ was commissioned by the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto, funded by the Canada Council for the Arts, and completed in January 2012.The film documents an exceptional diary kept by Moen Mohamed, a dedicated cinema lover who lives in Toronto. Cinema finds its accounts in an uncommon ledger, whose lines and tabulations conceal the greatest love of all.
2. Karl Mendonca ‘Desh Vidhesh (Travels Abroad)’ USA 2013 video 7 min
Shot on Super 8 over six years, Desh Videsh is a biographical diary film that explores the themes of migration, identity and belonging.
3. Anuradha Chandra ‘Pulse’ India 2013 16 mm 15 min
Pulse explores the interplay between the pin-hole and different film speeds. The film harks back to the early days of photography, when long exposures were required to record images that made human activity scarce or only recorded as a trace in the cityscape or landscape. This project creates a record of the felt time or lived time of a space.
4. Joe Hambleton ‘Days of Future Past’ Canada 2012 video 8 min
“Trapped in a rut. Unable to say what I wish to say. I look to Burroughs for an answer. Video is cut up, randomly selected and interwoven with objects from my travels. My process is changed, memories are stirred. Visions of the future appear, a narrative forms. My fears and insecurity about the future come to fruition through an understanding of the past. Together they create a realization of my present. These are my Days of Future Past. Days of Future Past is an experimental video work that utilizes the technique described above in an attempt to alter my process of filmmaking. Multiple scenes were shot across Windsor and Detroit and then randomly selected and organized, creating the structure and tone of the work. During this time, I also began to pick up any objects that had the potential to stir up memories. I imposed these objects onto the original footage as a reference point in each scene’s narrative. Through this process, a realization of the present became strongly apparent within the work.” JH
5. The Youngrrr ‘Another Colour TV’ Indonesia 2013 video 9 min
Another Colour TV is a documentary film showing the interactions of a family in front of their television, a tool used mostly to escape reality. This film captures a real situation of economic and cultural condition in a suburban family of Indonesia.
6. Pallavi Paul ‘Nayi Kheti’ India 2012 video 11 min
In the piece ‘Nayi Kheti’ (New Harvest) I have tried to create three impossible, unfeasible conversations. Taken from the fascinating anarchic text ‘After Lorca’, poet Jack Spicer writes to Garcia Lorca nearly twenty years after his death and unlike the book, in the video, amidst relentless velocity of images and sounds, Lorca has to write back. Simultaneously, Paul Henningson, credited with the invention of the pH lamp speaks about the desire of the scientist to reverse the rhythm of the day and the night and reflects on how that dream lacks creativity, because ordained laws of creation too must be challenged. Caught within this question of light and darkness is the image of cinema itself. It has now been scratched out, cut open and remade to the extent that what now exists is only a trail of what we recognized as the filmic. Located as a witness to all these metaphysical, scientific and aesthetic exchanges are the poems of Vidrohi, a vagabond political poet. Nayi Kheti, is not about the persona of Vidrohi, rather I attempt to use his poems as a kind of “dis-location” to test the tensile strength of resistance as a material of life.
7. Scott Miller Berry ‘Ars Memorativa’ Canada 2013 video 20 min
Ars Memorativa is an experimental documentary in four chapters that examines what is left behind when someone passes away and how memory traces emerge from the remaining artifacts and memories. The four people intersected with the directors life in a variety of ways and their stories are shared in a mix of forms: hand processed celluloid, digital animation, audio interview and home movies.
30th November| Saturday | 8pm | IMPROVISED SOUND – INSTRUMENTS AND MUSIC
Live Performance by Akio Suzuki/ Aki Onda/ Niki Neeke/ Indian Sonic Research Organisation
A legendary Japanese sound artist Akio Suzuki has been performing, building instruments, and presenting sound installations for nearly 40 years. His music is simple and pure, exploring how natural atmospheres and sounds can be harnessed and then set free. To experience his art is to lose oneself in the sound that surrounds us. Akio performs on a range of unique self-made instruments including Analapos – an instrument he invented in the 1970s that creates echoes through the acoustic transmissions of a spiral cord stretched between two metal cylinders, De Koolmees – consisting of hollow glass tubes suspended over a frame, and an ancient stone flute (Iwabue) passed down through his family for many generations. Akio has collaborated with artists such as Toru Takemitsu, Takehisa Kosugi, Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, Steve Lacy and John Butcher.
Aki Onda is an electronic musician, composer, and visual artist. Aki was born in Japan and currently resides in New York. He is particularly known for his Cassette Memories project – works compiled from a “sound diary” of field-recordings collected by himself over a span of two decades. Aki’s musical instrument of choice is the cassette Walkman. Not only does he capture field recordings with the Walkman, he also physically manipulates multiple Walkmans with electronics in his performances. In recent years, Aki often works in interdisciplinary fields and collaborates with filmmakers, choreographers and visual artists. He has collaborated with artists such as Michael Snow, Ken Jacobs, Paul Clipson, Alan Licht, Loren Connors, Oren Ambarchi, Noël Akchoté, Jean-François Pauvros, Jac Berrocal, Lionel Marchetti, Linda Sharrock, and Blixa Bargeld.
Niki Neeke has studied classical music, took courses at the School for Art and Design in Basel 93/94 and graduated in Audio-Design in the Elektronic Studio at the School of Music in Basel. Niki works does sound design, music composition and production for silent films, video installations and theater. Niki Neeke performs with his band ‘Octopus’, and in Autonomous Orchestra’ with circuit bent instruments. Also, together with Gilbert Engelhard he designs sound installations that are presented under the label of SONOgames. Niki Neeke has also designed the sound for the ‘Remote Berlin’ series with Berlin based theatre group Rimini Protokol. While in Bangalore, he will also be designing the ‘Remote Bangalore’ performance
Indian Sonic Research Organisation (ISRO) is a collective of artists, musicians, designers, hackers and scientists. They conduct free workshops, clinics and public concerts, and welcome collaborations and offer residencies as well. ISRO also runs a record label which disseminates works by South Asian and South East Asian composers, sound artists and musicians.
1st December| Sunday | 2:00pm | 60mins | MMB
READY FOR MY NEXT SELF DISPLAY ARTIST TALK BY SUSANNE SACHSSE
“In this talk, I use my recent experiences in film and performance to reconsider my background as an East German actress. Through a discussion of my work with such stage directors as Einar Schleef and Robert Wilson, and such film and performance figures as Ronald Tavel, Bruce LaBruce, and Vaginal Davis, I will address the relationships among actress and role. I hope thereby not only to present my film and performance work, but also to help rethink female agency on stage and screen.“ S. S. Susanne Sachsse is an actress and has belonged to many different theater ensembles, working with Einar Schleef, Heiner Müller and Robert Wilson at the Berliner Ensemble to name just a few of the people she has acted with. Since 2000, she was been working freelance, including on projects at HAU and the Volksbühne. More recently, she has acted in productions and projects by Bruce La Bruce, Ron Athey, Barbara Weber, Milan Peschel, Sascha Bunge and Claudia Bosse. She has also collaborated with Keren Cytter, Heinz Emigholz and Yael Bartana on video, performances and installations. Her film appearances include Bruce La Bruce’s THE RASPBERRY REICH and OTTO; OR, UP WITH DEAD PEOPLE, Christophe Chemin’s SEEKING ME YOU SAT EXHAUSTED, Oskar Roehler’s DER ALTE AFFE ANGST, ALASKA.DE by Esther Gronenborn and DER IRRE by Thomas Wendrich. She is a co-founder of the artists’ collective CHEAP, the band RUTH FISCHER and was a co-curator for “LIVE FILM! JACK SMITH! Five Flaming Days in a Rented World” at Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Kunst and at HAU – Hebbel am Ufer (2009). Her recently directed film ’Serious Ladies’ is inspired by Jane Bowles’ novel “Two Serious Ladies”, as well as texts by Virginie Despentes, and focuses on the following question: What exactly are serious ladies?
1st December| Sunday | 3:30pm | 79mins | MMB
ARTIST PROFILE 3 – JACK CHAMBERS FEATURE ‘HART OF LONDON’
Curated by Lauren Howes
‘Hart of London’ Canada 1970 16mm 79 min Hart of London is composed largely of newsreels, i.e. photographs which are wedded to a particular place and time. For these reasons, they evoke a sense of loss. These images are arranged in patterns which consist of the alternation of icons of birth with icons of death: the juxtaposition of footage depicting the birth of a child with footage depicting the slaughter of a lamb is one evident example. Back and forth, between life and death, the film creates a “real” view of the world around, and gradually, as the real world comes in to focus, there develops an almost subliminal theme of the Hart of London – a deer which was trapped and killed in downtown London, Ontario in 1954. In the second part of the film, the images become symbolic of the pursuit and death of the deer. This theme is repeated again and again in the real images of everyday life.
1st December| Sunday | 5:30pm | 30mins | MMB
ARTIST PROFILE 4 – PANCHAL MANSARAM
Curated by Shai Heredia
Panchal Mansaram was born in 1934 in Mount Abu, Rajasthan. In 1966, Mansaram immigrated to Canada, where he met Marshall Mcluhan and A.V. Isaacs. In this series of films and videos Mansaram’s work captures elements of McLuhan’s prophetic ideas that continue to define and clarify our media-saturated world.
1. ‘Rear View Mirror’ Canada/India 1966-2011 16mm on video sound 13 min
“I had the privilege of meeting Marshall McLuhan, soon after arrival in Canada from India. I was already impressed by his ideas through magazines back home. Encouraged by him I did a mixed media concert at the Isaacs Gallery in Toronto, titled East West Intersect, in 67. Later I started doing a series of paintings titled Rear View Mirror in early 70’s, the title borrowed from McLuhan. I was inspired to do a film on the same subject. It was shown in India and Canada. In 2011, I had reedited this film as part of a show at Ed Video media art Centre in Guelph. As in the case of ‘Rear View Mirror’ we are constantly creating our past, while living in the present. Past appears in present in various forms; paintings, drawings, photos, memories, words, sculptures, films. I have woven some of those remnants thru this medium.” P. M.
2. ‘Intersect’ Canada/India 1967 16mm on video sound 6 min
“The idea of making films came to me after I saw Bengali Cinema by Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak in Calcutta in 1960. I started as a self-taught filmmaker. My first film Intersect was created when I did not know how to go about making a film. My ideas about collage were clear. I wanted to make a film where I could include radio commercials and TV commercials, and the film content. The collage was to be created through editing of various components, including sound. I could foresee the application of this approach in commercial cinema, where spots for radio and TV commercials could be sold beforehand, in order to finance the film. I had discussed this with Satyajit Ray. And he has applied this in one of his films.” P.M.
3. ‘Devi Stuffed Goat and Pink Cloth’ Canada/India 1979 16mm on video sound 16 min
“I came across the elements, Devi, stuffed goat and pink cloth accidentally. I jumped into making a film, the same way I do my other creative work. I started looking for locations. Locations provided cues for further actions and materials. Coming from Rajasthan, certain symbols—palace, Devi, Devtas, colourful odhnees, mysticism, animal sacrifice, and hunting were already there in my psyche. In Mumbai (where most of the film was shot) installations are everywhere— in paanshops, Kabarishops sand sculptures on Chowpatty. Performance is also all around—kids doing all kinds of surreal things. Then one cannot miss the ocean in Mumbai with its vastness. Mumbai is a city in motion, collage in motion, and crowd in motion. One could see films scripts scattered all over. This film could be a rough sketch for a feature film, or simply a film collage. My friend, the artist F.N.Souza, saw it at a screening in New York and loved it. I saw it again yesterday, and I loved it too.” P.M. 18.7.2013
1st December| Sunday | 6:30pm | 20mins | MMB
ARTIST PROFILE 5 – AKBAR PADAMSEE
Presented by Lalitha Gopalan, Film Scholar, Department of Radio Television Film, University of Texas, Austin, USA
1. Akbar Padamsee ‘Syzygy’ India 1969-1970 video 20 min
Akbar Padamsee was born in Mumbai in 1928. Though widely spoken of as a modernist, Padamsee continues to resist easy categorization. Throughout his illustrious career spanning six decades, he has remained fiercely experimental and individualistic. In 1969-71, with the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship funds he set up inter-art Vision Exchange Workshop (VIEW), where artists and filmmakers could freely experiment across various disciplines and practices. It is remembered to this day as a landmark initiative, providing the much needed creative stimulus to several young people who are now internationally well known. Padamsee himself made two short abstract films – Syzygy and Events in a Cloud Chamber, where he animated a set of geometric drawings.Syzygy the combination of two metrical feet into a single unit. The artist, Akbar Padamsee explored this concept in his film as part of his Jawarhlal Nehru Fellowship.
1st December| Sunday | 7:00pm | MMB
The ADOLFAS MEKAS AWARD for cinematic madness, risk taking and the making of spirited mistakes was awarded to KUSH BADHWAR for his film BLOOD EARTH
Madeleine Bernstorff is a film writer, professor and programmer with the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.
Sergio Fant is a film writer and programmer at the Locarno Film Festival.
Shumona Goel is an artist filmmaker based in Bombay.
Festival Director: Shai Heredia
Festival Programmer: Anuja Ghosalkar
Crew: Shreyasi Kar, Kunal Deshpande, Ragini Bhow, Rebecca John, Shiv Sujir
Projectionists:D.R Prabhakar, Ashok, Chandrashekar
Catalogue Layout: Neelima P. Aryan
Design Photography: Shreyasi Kar
Bangalore Street Murals: Vicky Arts
Poster Design: Oliver Husain
Special thanks to Ayisha Abraham, Amar Athle, Angelika Ramlow, Armin, Arshia Sattar, Avinash Veeraghavan, Bhanu Padamsee, C .A. Heredia, Ed Video, George Kutty, Iona Heredia, lswar Srikumar, Kirtana Kumar, Konarak Reddy, MarkusRuff, Nandana Reddy, Sachin Kamani, Sanjay Iyer, Sharlene Bamboat, Shivarama, Sriram Iyer, Hema Priyadarshin, Tara Kelton, Trupti Prasad, Vishoo Kumar and Yashas Shetty.
Arsenal Institut of Film & Video, Japan Foundation, British Council, Department of Information, Bangalore, Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Center (CFMDC), LUX Artist Moving Image, T.A.J Residency, Gallery SKE, Srishti School of Art, Design & Technology.
For EXPERIMENTA 2013 PHOTO GALLERY click here.