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Secret life, dir. Reynold Reynolds
19 Jun 09
9th ENH: Art at the Festival

The Era New Horizons International Film Festival pays a lot of attention to contemporary art. Two domains - film and the visual arts often meet and overlap here.

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Art has long been present at the Festival. Participants of the ENH can still remember the expositions in Cieszyn, organised by the Warsaw-based Foksal Gallery Foundation. They transformed the town into an outdoor gallery presenting works by respected artists. Wrocław won't miss out on artistic events this year either. They will help the city disclose its little nooks to the Festival-goers.

This year's ENH Festival will be enriched by the new international competition of films about art, supplemented by the section entitled "The Third Eye". The programme includes full-length, original documentaries inspired by different domains and trends in old and contemporary art. The minimalist, James Bening, well-known to the festival audience, in his Casting a Glance filmed the Spiral Jetty, the most famous sculpture by Robert Smithson, erected in 1970 in the middle of the Great Salt Lake. Playing with images and sounds, Benning misleads his viewers/listeners, proving how strongly our perception is determined by what we see.

In his film Rerberg and Tarkovsky. The Reverse Side of 'Stalker' (Rerberg i Tarkovsky. Obratnaya storona Stalkera) Igor Maiboroda speaks about Georgi Rerberg - one of the most talented cinematographers in the history of Russian cinema, co-creator of films by Andrei Konchalovsky and Andrei Tarkovsky. In hindsight, he attempts to find the origins of the conflict at shooting Stalker because of which Rerberg - cinematographer for The Mirror (Zerkalo) and many other films - discontinued his collaboration with Tarkovsky. The French director Olivier Assayas, whose features allowed audiences of the ENH to admire his Asian muse Maggie Cheung, has this time made a two-part project Eldorado - Creation and Eldorado - Choregraphie (section documentaries/essays), an observation of an encounter of two magnificent artists - the French dancer and choreographer Angelin Preljocaj and one of the greatest visionaries of contemporary music, the controversial composer from Germany - Karl Heinz Stockhausen. The filmmaker accompanied them at their work on the ballet Eldorado. To reflect the tense relations between music and movement, to follow the dancers, Assayas created his own choreography for the camera.

The real hero of this year's festival will be found footage, a technique which has been present in the history of cinema since the 1920s and which overtook "normal" cinema by an entire epoch and which is now in its second youth. The Festival audience will have a chance to check how the films made from finished films shot by someone else really work. Along with American film presented in the New Horizons International Competition Mock up on Mu - compiled with fragments of commercial sf films of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s, one of the most exciting examples of found-footage cinema of the past few years by the artist and performer Craig Baldwin, in the Films About Art Competition we will see Double Take by Belgian artist ,Johan Grimonprez. His video-installation Looking for Alfred (2004-2005), a sort of a draft of Double Take referring to Magritte's games of reality and illusions, was shown in Poland (at the LAZNIA Centre for Contemporary Art in Gdańsk in 2006 and at the Centre for Contemporary Art, Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw in 2007) as a part of Adam Budak's collective exhibition Manipulations. On Economies of Deceit. Double Take is precisely a manipulation, a peculiar game, a collage created with recycled wastes of the visual arts of the 1960s, a documentary about Hitchcock which is not actually about Hitchcock but in which Hitchcock serves as a mirror - for the director and the entire period. The selector of the Films About Art Competition, Ewa Szabłowska, called Double Take a Rubik's cube of a film which would make Hitchcock himself feel dizzy.

The Third Eye section will present two artistic personalities: Katarzyna Kozyra and Reynold Reynolds. The latter is fascinated with deadlocks. His macabre works refer to psychoanalysis, reflecting the never-ending emotional tension and horror looming everywhere. Reynolds makes films, produces multi-media installations, and also documentary and experimental projects, balancing on the borderline of film and visual arts. And the Polish artist Katarzyna Kozyra was recognised in the 1990s as the leading representative of the so-called critical art trend, mainly for touching on society's taboos - death, disease, nudity. Since 2003, she has been developing the project In Art Dreams Come True (W sztuce marzenia stają się rzeczywistością), including a series of performances, para-theatrical spectacles, events with audience participation and films. Kozyra is here the director, leading actress and the material in the hands of masters who guide her: Gloria Viagra and Maestro, who help her take on her various roles - an opera diva, a drag queen, Olympia of Offenbach's tale or as the fairy-tale Snow-White.

Apart from films by the artists presented by the Festival retrospectives, the audience will also have the chance to admire their space and film installations in Wrocław: Erotic Space by the Taiwanese Tsai Ming-Liang in the Studio BWA gallery, Cowards, Bend your Knees! (Na kolana, tchórze!) by the Canadian Guy Maddin (in cooperation with Jakub Szczęsny) at the BWA Design Gallery and Struggle, Love and Work (Walka, Miłość i Praca) by the creator of a unique animation technique, director and sculptor Piotr Dumała on the wall of a passage to the White Stork Synagogue. There will be classic exhibitions, too, of course, like an exhibition of photos of Ingmar Bergman by Bengt Wanselius, film posters from the former Czechoslovakia or a series of exhibitions related to the Łódź film school - Postcards from the City of Łódź. We will also see a historical exposition, 100 years of Polish film. 1908-2008.

 

detailed programme of the exhibitions in the programme/expositions tag

 

Agnieszka Szeffel

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