The Museum of Contemporary Art Zagreb


Film mutations: the festival on invisible cinema 04

Film Mutations: the Festival of Invisible Cinema is a filmological project on the modes of film presentation and interpretation, or the politics of film curatorship, Gorgona, 1.- 5.12.2010.

In 2010. festival-symposium took place from 1. to 5. December at the MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART, with programs and lectures by world film scholars, Alexander Horwath (director, Austrian Film Museum), Olaf Möller (permanent curator, Film Festival in Oberhausen), Nicole Brenez (professor, University Paris III) and Go Hirasawa (lecturer, Tokyo University Meiji-Gakuin) and filmmakers Lech Kowalski and Klaus Wyborny, who started a debate and reflexion on the modes of non-commercial exhibition and on the ethics, aesthetics and politics of poor, minority curatorship.

In previous years, amid discussions of the digital, of the death and mutations of analog film, of the expectations for the archival and museum destiny of film on celluloid tape, a challenge with which film museums and archives will confront the digital age, of the utopian role of museums in relation to the image market, there was a call for a redefinition of the notion of film curatorship. The symposium on the Politics of Film Curatorship, whose first part took place at 11 a.m., Saturday, 4 December, debated our starting points, in relation to film programs, while the opinions, lectures and conclusions were incorporated in a collection of texts on selected historical and contemporary modes of film representation and interpretation.

In the program by Nicole Brenez Does There Exist a More Futile Activity Than Showing Images?, we discovered a lyrical anarchism of Pierre Clémenti, while Lech Kowalski presented several works, like an early punk film D.O.A.: THE RIGHT ON MATURITY, about the first and last American tour of Sex Pistols, as well as the latest film , THE END OF THE WORLD BEGINS WITH ONE LIE, which had its premiere a month before at the French Cinemateque. In that film, Kowalski deconstructs the staged reality of Robert Flaherty's LOUISIANA STORY (that was commissioned by the Standard Oil Company), by filming the internet actualities of the recent ecological disaster that occurred on that same site (British Petroleum purchased Standard Oil in 1970). Lech Kowalski concluded Mutations with live editing, sampling the chapters of his online film-eye, which attempted to capture the reality that exceeds that of the closed film.

Alexander Horvath, in a program entitled A Sound Selections, proposed a historical turn within certain brief histories, actualizing the disturbing hiddenness of the Austrian director Gerhard Benedikt Friedl whose films KNITTELFELD – A TOWN WITHOUT A HISTORY and DID WOLFF VON AMRONGEN COMMIT BANKRUPTCY OFFENCES he displaced onto an historical avant-garde, while showing us Vigo and Vertov as potential invisible contemporaries.

Olaf Möller revealed to us the secrets of materialist film through his extravangantly entitled program Olaf’s World. A Walk Through The Wondrous Wides Of Unconventional And Non-Confomist Film Aesthetics. The program opened to the question of the politics, aesthetics, and ethics of working with "found" and archival materials: the avantgrade filmmaker Klaus Wyborny will present his HISTOIRE DU CINÉMA and will hold a lecture on the temporal structures of film and the contemporary adaptations of early film narration.

The program by Go Hirasawa, Film & Situations presented Japanese revolutionizing art: from a version of situationism in the film WHITE HARE OF INABA about the radical Japanese neo-avantgarde performance group Zero Dimension, who with their naked bodies and rituals occupied the streets of Tokyo in the 1960s, to the political philosophy of Masao Adachi in his film PRISONER/TERRORIST with cell-texts by Blanqui, Gramsci, Negri.

We inquired into the related question of poor, minor curatorship of performance art. Petra Zanki’s and Tea Tupajic’s three-day performative installation ZERO PHASE - Short insight into the research phase of THE CURATORS’ PIECE - presented their project of “occupying” the thought of Western curatorship.

International project FILM MUTATIONS: THE FESTIVAL OF INVISIBLE CINEMA was established in Zagreb in 2007, in cooperation with influential film scholars and film curators: Jonathan Rosenbaum (Chicago), Nicole Brenez (Paris), Alexander Horwath (Vienna), Adrian Martin (Melbourne), Kent Jones (New York) and Raymond Bellour (Paris). The festival was inspired by their epistolary essays on film which were published in the book Film Mutations: The Changing Face of World Cinephilia, together with pieces and explorations which they inspired, emphasizing that film mutations should be extended beyond the confines of a single project or book.

This project is supported by ERSTE Stiftung.

The program of Film Mutations: the Festival of Invisible Cinema is realized with the support of: Office of Culture, Education and Sport, City of Zagreb; Croatian Audio-Visual Centre; Croatian Association of Film Directors; Ministry of Culture, Republic of Croatia; Goethe Institute, Zagreb; Office of Culture, City of Rijeka.

Partners: The Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb; French Institute, Zagreb; Austrian Cultural Forum; Austrian Film Museum; Multimedia Institute mi2; Croatian Cinemateque; Croatian Film Clubs’ Association; Culture of Change SC; The Academy of Fine Arts; Art-Cinema Croatia, Rijeka.

Ivana Sansević, press,
Tanja Vrvilo, art director, 098 90 65 512,
Jasna Žmak, art editor, 098 17 25 805,
Film Mutations: the Festival of Invisible Cinema is a filmological project on the modes of film presentation and interpretation, or the politics of film curatorship, and that is the main topic of this year’s program and symposium. We speak of politics as a film multitude, of film because the century of film happened, of curatorship because of care for the second life of old media.

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