Close Up

5 May 2016: Sasha Litvintseva: The Spectacle of History


Part of their strand of screenings at Close-Up, Filmarmalade presents a program of moving image work by artist filmmaker Sasha Litvintseva. Litvintseva's films excavate the layers of history embedded in landscape and architecture and propose the possibility of time travel in the present of the image. Her work juxtaposes politics and leisure, remembering and forgetting, the monumental and the pictorial, the global and the personal, the human and the geologic and ultimately the infinite and everyday.

This program will be the first time all of Litvintseva's works will be screened together, and the evening will also include a test screening of a rough cut of her brand new film The Stability of the System, made in collaboration with the sculptor and writer Isabel Mallet.

Sasha Litvintseva
2014 | 49 min | Colour | Digital

"Evergreen explores the crisis of grand narratives in the face of the photographic image. It is a self-deconstructing story of an immortal traveller’s indefinably temporal/spatial journey through inhabited theme parks and museums, islands of time, abandoned cities. A civilisation’s perpetual struggle for perfection and unquenchable documentation of itself, as if driven by knowledge of its looming demise. Heritage as spectacle, spectacle as heritage, nature as both." – Sasha Litvintseva

Exile Exotic
Sasha Litvintseva
2015 | 14 min | Colour | Digital

"Steeped in elliptical history and historical simulacra, Exile Exotic is set at a hotel that is a replica of the Kremlin. Narrating the exotic beginnings of my mother’s and my exile from Russia, the film serves as a platform for us to visit the Kremlin again, albeit by the side of a pool. Soundtracked by an operatic score reminiscent of the song of the sirens making Odysseus stray on his long journey home, our story reverberates throughout the scope of Russian history’s limiting of free movement of individuals. This film is a pilgrimage. This film comes in waves." – Sasha Litvintseva

Immortality, Home and Elsewhere
Sasha Litvintseva
2014 | 12 min | Colour | Digital

"Weaving around a theory of immortality based on the premise that our lives are a summation of all the information we consume and process, gleaned from existing theories from a number of scientific disciplines, the film draws on my personal history’s brush with a global nuclear disaster, to precipitate a meditation on the potential role of an individual in the imaginary film/event of our individual or collective death: as a protagonist, or as an extra appearing in a handful of frames at the very moment of their death. If you could experience everything that ever was, would you still be afraid?" – Sasha Litvintseva

Sasha Litvintseva
2013 | 31 min | Colour | Digital

"A father and his grown children of unnamed nationality, make their way through a landscape where ancient and modern histories transmute into material spectacle and the nights are filled with incessant entertainment. Amidst remains of mutated cultures, bodies are caught in rituals of sun worship, stagnating in a state of passivity. Disco-lights permeate all, and turquoise toenails float above the city. At a shipyard on the edge of town, a group of men are building an ark, labourers actively asserting meaningful influence upon their surroundings, they may or may not achieve salvation as the film and the world around them all are disintegrating toward an Atlantean End." – Sasha Litvintseva

The Stability of the System
Sasha Litvintseva
2016 | 12 min | Colour | Digital

"The reflection-less field as the tomb of all energy, the gravitational effect of such a mass of darkness, deforming space-time and dragging particles and bodies into infinite gaping mouths, this mass spinning inward and down, falling felt in the labyrinth of the inner ear – the spiral sensation again, willing the hypnic jerk that will not come, unafraid of the crash, the eruption, the explosion, the consummation, the communion, the swallowing and spitting out of land, unafraid of the geology of death, unafraid of the death of geology..." – Sasha Litvintseva

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