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25 June 2016: Indefinite Visions Part II


In conjunction with the Whitechapel Gallery, this two-day event curated by filmmaker and theorist Richard Misek and film scholar Allan Cameron brings together academics, filmmakers and artists to explore the indefinite and the illegible in film – from artists’ film and video to experimental film and commercial cinema. Each programme includes a variety of screenings on 35mm, 16mm, and digital, bringing together recent examples of indefinite vision in experimental film.

Light, motion, definition, compression: the conditions of recording, storing and screening moving image works are subject to constant variations that pull them away from perfect visibility. Filmmakers and artists often seek out and work with the resulting visual uncertainty, from the warping of space to the melding of senses; speed to slowness; darkness to glare; and blur to glitch.

Indefinite Visions explores the possibility that an important function of moving image is not to show but to obscure, and that – like the photographer in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Blow Up – the closer and deeper we look at an image, the less clear it becomes.

Emmanuel Lefrant, Anouk de Clerq and Jacques Perconte will be present at the screening to introduce their films, and will be in conversation earlier in the day at the Whitechapel Gallery.

Anouk De Clerq
2015 | 5 min | B/W | 35mm
Introduced by the filmmaker

Simultaneously boundless and intimate, collective and personal, an ode to and an example of a cinematic experience that is becoming increasingly rare, the darkness of a movie theatre in the course of the projection of a 35mm film print.

Coming Attractions
Peter Tscherkassky
2010 | 21 min | B/W | 35mm

Winner of Best Short Film at Venice, Peter Tscherkassky’s Coming Attractions is an homage to silent film’s cinema of attractions. His celluloid manipulation of fragments from advertising footage references sequences from silent films by adhering to their respective cinematic language. A pas-de-deux of form and rhythm, Coming Attractions brings the past to the present by offering a lesson in the history of cinema that is as much food for thought as it delights the senses.

I Don’t Think I Can See an Island
Christopher Becks, Emmanuel Lefrant
2015 | 4 min | Colour | 35mm

A film of symbolically authentic non-Euclidean adventures.

Le Pays dévasté
Emmanuel Lefrant
2009 | 11'10 min | Colour | 35mm
Introduced by the filmmaker

"What do you see?", "A place not suited for humans beings". Le Pays Dévasté relates to the Anthropocene, the current geological age, viewed as the period during which human activity has been the dominant influence on climate and the environment.

Back Track
Virgil Widrich
2015 | 7 min | Colour | DCP

Twenty-five old movies, three men under the spell of one woman, and 3-D. Oscar nominee Virgil Widrich has created a precise and playful noir mystery that also serves as a tribute to period cinematography while simultaneously reconstructing it into a form that distorts the boundaries of the cinematic illusion. Whoever said that experimental film can’t be hedonistic? Red-green 3-D glasses will be provided.

A Thing Among Things
Giovanni Giaretta
2015 | 7 min | Colour | Digital

Giaretta's work is a constant exchange between the things we know and the things we don't know. This video combines a collection of a blind person's visual memories with close-ups of transparent minerals. The images work almost as a set design, open to different interpretations: you see something posing as something else.

Jacques Perconte
2015 | 57 min | Colour | Digital
Introduced by the filmmaker

"I shot the film three years long in Scotland. The path we drive leads to the heart of the Ettrick Forest, a dive into a textile world. A land where man, machinery and nature deal with a complex relationship that draws their future." – Jacques Perconte

Filmmaker and Internet artist Perconte is celebrated for his manipulation and degradation of the digital image. This visually captivating observational documentary of Scotland offers not only images of the rugged landscape, meadows, extensive forests and windmills, but also a detailed study of the meticulous handiwork completed at the local textile mill. Through exploring the nature of the digital record that captures the shape of the landscape, the film identifies images that reflect local everyday life. The physical movement through the area is also a journey into the imagery, which gradually disintegrates into particles of colour and shifting surfaces, subsequently reassembling back into the contours that change as a result of weather and time. Through the emphasis placed on colours and flow in calm compositions, the symbols of the traditional life in the region are revealed.

Jacque Perconte will be present at the screening to introduce his film, and will be in conversation at the Whitechapel Gallery earlier in the day.

Total duration ca. 140 min with an interval

The event is supported by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. An edited anthology entitled Indefinite Visions (eds. Martine Beugnet, Allan Cameron and Arild Fetveit) will be published by Edinburgh University Press in late 2016.

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