Cineclube EA · Overcoming the forms of the outer world - part 3

Tuesday, June 20, 2023 - 18:30

Auditório Ilídio Pinho

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20 JUN · 18:30 · Free Entrance
Auditório Ilídio Pinho

Program Overcoming the forms of the outer world - part 3

Film program with selections by Matthew C. Wilson, artist in residence at the School of Arts in 2023, made in partnership with the Porto city council InResidence program.

Program 3

In the dance of flickering light and play of shadow, time twists and turns. Darkened spaces, from ancient caves to the cinema, and image-conjuring devices, from the Phantasmagoria’s magic lantern to the television, allow for time and space to be folded, shuffled, and cut into novel configurations. Chronologies crumble and the boundaries between the living and the dead blur. And yet the new arrangement seems perfectly plausible. Control of the reality effects of cinema, and media more broadly, goes hand in hand with control of the very ground of history and knowledge — an ongoing battle, playing out for millennia. What other grounds besides the crumbling ground of modernity are possible? What is the topography of Hauntological time? These films may be maps; despite a film's apparent linearity, it intricately weaves time into a network.

Shokouk (2022) - Pejvak (Rouzbeh Akhbari and Felix Kalmenson)
Black Beauty (one channel) (2021) - Grace Ndiritu
La cabeza mató a todos (2014) - Beatriz Santiago Muñoz
Taxonomic Ambiguity (2022) - Juan Arturo García
You May Own the Lanterns, but We Have the Light (Pt. I Home Alone) (2022) - Haig Aivazian

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Shokouk (2022) - Pejvak (Rouzbeh Akhbari and Felix Kalmenson)

Shokouk: A Cosmicomedy in Four Acts is a dizzying docu-fiction journey that weaves a polyphonic tale of space travel and cosmic imagination. Spanning centuries, from 12th century Persia to the modern-day Baikonur Cosmodrome, the film challenges our understanding of time and space. The film features a staged rocket launch viewed by a crowd performing a 'gossip score', created by Ulyana Toporovskaya and Lera Kim. It reflects on the environmental damage from rocket fuel and the protracted, dispersed violence of decades of launches. We meet a fictitious first cosmonaut, Nikifor Nikitin, and attend a present-day karaoke event hosted by a non-existent Chinese firm, where 12th and 13th century astronomers debate the variable luminosity of Polaris. In the final act, we find ourselves on the abandoned MIR Space Station, listening to the reflections of a cosmonaut stranded for 313 days post the USSR's dissolution. The film closes with a nod to physicist Carlo Rovelli's fragmented concept of time, tying it back to the original staged rocket launch.

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Black Beauty (one channel) (2021) - Grace Ndiritu

Black Beauty (one channel) is an expanded cinema proposal that allows the public to witness and access non-rational states through the creation of art and cinema; as a way of changing their perspective on difficult subjects such as the environment, immigration and, indigenous rights. Black Beauty (one channel) relates to Grace Ndiritu’s wider art project Healing The Museum which serves as a platform for a complex dialogue between differing ideas of viewing the world through the lens of both postmodernism and modernism. There is no coincidence in the fact that a resurgence of interest in Modernism in the western art world is occurring at the same time as countries in the ‘South’ – Brazil, India, China, South Africa– are starting to flex their global economic muscle. Most modern institutions are out of sync with their audiences’ experiences and how global changes have eroded the relationship between audiences and collections. Museums and cinemas are dying. Grace Ndiritu sees shamanism as a way to re-activate the dying art and cinematic space as a space for sharing, participation and ethics. From prehistoric to modern times the shaman was not only the group healer and facilitator of peace but also the creative; the artist and filmmaker.

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La cabeza mató a todos (2014) - Beatriz Santiago Muñoz

Instructions to destroy the war machine with a spell. The form of this spell is precise. With Mapenzi Chibale Nonó.

[the cat explains to Michelle how to construct a spell. Heard in Michelle's voice (through the cat): A spell, or a curse requires an effort analogous to the magic of the spell

if the magic is the total and absolute destruction of the war machinery

if what you want is to release the moorings of the airship

to split them in half like a walnut

the spell requires that a substantial amount of energy be consumed]

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Taxonomic Ambiguity (2022) - Juan Arturo García

In a blend of speculative and historical fiction, the film portrays a significant yet cryptic clash between mainstream science and a suppressed alternative science, painting a picture of colonization's impact on Latin American scientific history across disciplines and centuries. Taxonomic Ambiguity explores the dispute between 18th century botanists, Sebastián José López Ruiz and José Celestino Mutis, regarding the discovery of the cinchona tree in Nueva Granada (now Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Panamá). The bark of this tree, a crucial cure for malaria, shaped the destinies of empires and nations, spurred the scramble for Africa, and was even central to the first pharma cartel in the early 20th century. By destabilizing historical narratives, we can reclaim our compromised epistemic dignity. Furthermore, reshaping the perspective of our own identities allows for a productive repetition of difference and a resistance to Western monopolies of history.

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You May Own the Lanterns, but We Have the Light (Pt. I Home Alone) (2022) - Haig Aivazian

You May Own the Lanterns...Pt.I is a short, black and white film comprised of found cartoons and animations, all re-drawn and re-animated with varying degrees of alterations to the original source material. Drawing from the magic lantern and the evolution of the language and technique of animation, where fantasy and animistic desires, are created through highly rigid and hierarchical modes of production and optical engineering, the diverse found cartoon footage is edited and transformed to paint a picture of a city plunged in darkness, where inhabitants engage in various forms of escapism and confrontation. The plot of the film starts in the guise of a linear narrative where two young adults go out to dance, while a younger child is left behind to devolve into increasingly tempestuous dreams. This is a film about the alchemy of light and the rhythms of things made to flow. Here, ghosts chase cops out of town, and labor and leisure shadow one another in elaborate labyrinthine infrastructures.

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