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ANIMATION GOES MSU!

Animafest Zagreb in the Media façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art, 23 May – 8 June

The world’s finest site-specific works on a prominent media façade

The exploratory, playful and unlimited nature of animation art has long taken animated film outside of movie theatres and spread it across the remaining spaces of our daily culture. World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb in its 24th edition once again supports the integration of animation into all the practices of life suitable for aesthetic pleasure and cognitive adventure. The best proof of the interest Animafest fosters for animation “outside the theatres” is the programme ANIMATION GOES MSU! – the media façade of the Museum of Contemporary Art, 23 May – 8 June, will show 16 site-specific animated works from all over the world (Japan, Australia, China, USA, Croatia, Austria, Canada, Serbia, New Zealand). These are the winners of a large competition for site-specific animation, selectedon behalf of the now traditional collaborators, Animafest and MSU, by Daniel Šuljić and Leila Topić. Led by the criterion of original creative approach and animation technique creativity, the Animafest art director and the curator of the Collection of Film, Video, Photography and Media Art with the MSU inspected the 50 submitted applications and chose the works that best fit with MSU’s three-part media façade. The selected works include Big Hands Oh Big Hands, Let It Be Bigger And Bigger by the Chinese multimedia artist Lei Lei, the authors of this year’s Animafest trailer, who will thus present himself more than once to the Zagreb audience. A similar is valid also for Dirk de Bruyn, a master of expanded and experimental animation who has for 35 years been connecting evocative sound nuances and lavish colours in his works with intriguing performances. And while the Novi Zagreb passers-by will see de Bruyn’s OptSnd#1, the author himself will participate at the symposium Animafest Scanner 2014 at the Large Hall of Školska knjiga, with a speech on experimental filmmaker Neil Taylor. Another symposium participant to ‘appear’ on the façade is Austrian Holger Lang with his film Review. Attention should be paid also to the talented Croatian filmmakersTea Stražičić (02V0IT0A0), Maja Kalogera (with two works, New City and Awakening of Particles) and Juliana Kučan (Passage). Ivan Mršić (I Can Hear You With My Eyes) represents New Zealand, and Tom Mikulić (A Tribute to the First Computer-Animated Animafest Trailer Z’84) Australia. Mikulić is a pioneer of computer animation and animation designer for the Olympics and Eurosong. With this work he looks back at Animafest embracing modern-day technology 30 years ago. The Estonia-based Japanese artist Alimo presents himself with the work Open Play, Forgetting Eye, Jonathan Hance from the USA with It Occurred To Me While Walking Down The Street, Filip Roca (Serbia) with Chromosome, Parissa Mohit (Canada) with Where Have I Seen This Before and Ben Ridgway with three works compiled in one (Tribocycle / Cosmic flower unfolding / Continuum infinitum).

The screenings begin on 23 May at 8pm, which makes the programme ANIMATION GOES MSU! the first Animafest 2014 event.

One of the peaks of not only Austrian, but also global media art is definitely Ars Electronica – the leading international festival, research centre and futurist museum of the area, founded in 1979 in Linz. Ars Electronica, led by the slogan “Art, Technology and Society” presents itself at Animafest 2014 in the Animafest Pro segment with Expanded Animation. To the invitation of the Austrian Cultural Forum in Zagreb, the programme will be presented by the professor of digital media with the University of Linz and curator of Ars Electronica, Jürgen Hagler. Expanded Animation includes 10 different screenings about installations, media facades, films about filmmaking and dance performances from the festival component of Ars Electronica’s activities. Check out how video mapping creates augmented reality, how animation functions in an urban jungle and how in sound sculptures, how to create spectacular cyber installations etc. Interesting making-of films, alongside professor Hagler’s speech will reveal the tech wiz secrets that are rarely spoken about at festivals. For instance, we will be impressed by the unusual study of human motion, Forms, inspired by Marcel Duchamp, the new appearance of the Centre Pompidou in Metz inspired by oceanographic achievements, a media façade in Seoul with neon lights of the metropolis and evocation of bio-luminescence, or impressive projections on Weimar’s historical landmarks. Film lovers may wish to see Rear Window Loop, which condenses in three minutes Hitchcock’s classic, while tech freaks will not miss Black Rain, which uses cutting-edge cameras and satellites to show explosions in the Sun. Ars Electronica is a proper laboratory of the future – a view on tomorrow from the perspective of artistic imagination and technology implementing it in reality.

Promotion of the book Visual Music, an anthology of historical and theoretical texts published by 25 FPS Association, accompanies by a namesake film programme, will also fit in perfectly with the expanded animation topic. The programme includes seven films, a part of a rich heritage aiming to express a synesthetic work of art, ranging from classics of abstract animation, like Oskar Fischinger (Motion Painting no. 1), through younger talents like Mirai Mizue (Modern no. 2) and participant of last year’s Berlinale Masahiro Tsutani (Between Regularity and Irregularity) to impressive etudes composed of visual elements to the principles of music, like Chronomops (dir. Tina Frank) and Time (dir. Bart Vegter). The promotion of Visual Music is scheduled for Thursday, 5 June at 1pm, French Institute’s Mediatheque (Preradović Street 5).

Animation in galleries is represented with two interesting exhibitions. The Croatian puppet-film panorama in the central programme of Animafest 2014 is accompanied by the Exhibition of Croatian Puppet Film, curated by Božidar Trkulja, an accomplished filmmaker working in this technique, at ULUPUH Gallery (Ivan Tkalčić Street 14, Tue-Sat 10-20 h, Sun 10-13 h). The exhibition presents puppets and models used to make ten Croatian puppet films, including those appearing in the Animafest 2014 selection, but also exclusives like the unfinished or recently finished works Jure Grando: Štrigun iz Kringe by Martin Babić, Tajni laboratorij Nikole Tesle by Bruno Razum, Arktički pirat by David Peroš Bonnot, and Visina by Sanja Šantak. A special guest is the Slovenian filmmaker Špela Čadež, whose film Boles, winning over 30 awards in the last year, is screened in Animafest 2014 Grand Panorama. Following some rare classics from the time of the Zagreb School of Animation, puppet animation in Croatia saw a renaissance only in the mid-2000s. The exhibition of Croatian puppet film at ULUPUH Gallery, opening on Wednesday, 4 June, provides a sort of insight into this interesting trend in local animation.

Lea Vidaković’striptych Sisters, a puppet film shown in Animafest 2014 Student Competition, will be accompanied by a namesake exhibition at the Matica hrvatska Gallery (Matica hrvatska Street 2, Mon-Fri 13-19 h, Sat 11-13 h). The exhibition, previously displayed at the Royal Academy of Art KASK in Ghent and the Koksijde Chapel, includes a synchronised projection of the triptych and a miniature scale model of a room which is only highlighted in the film, and the visitor is given a full voyeuristic view as a possible key to understanding the film. The exhibition reveals an inspiration with the melancholia of Flemish painters, but also acts as an experiment exploring the possibilities of out-of-frame narration – expanded cinema and animated film in a gallery context. Lea Vidaković, a multimedia artist born in Vojvodina, graduated in Zagreb and now lives and works in Belgium.

Continuing the affirmation of computer video games as an equally worth medium of aesthetic creativity and intersection between animation art and digital technology, launched at the last year’s edition, Animafest 2014 in association with the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing and Academy of Fine Arts again organises a workshop of their making. Connecting the communities of programmers, animators and illustrators in this part of the Animafest Pro section stimulates creativity and competitiveness of young artists and IT experts and gives them a chance to meet the transmedia connection between animation and computing – based on the recent blossom in indie games. Applications for the video game workshop are open between 28 April and 18 May – and can be submitted via the link http://bit.ly/1l67Hj9. The selection results will be announced by 23 May on Animafest’s official website. The workshop takes 20 participants, animators and programmers who will be divided into four-member teams, mentored by research assistant Aleksandra Čereković and artistic assistant Darko Masnec. The last year’s workshop results can be seen on this link http://bit.ly/1ihqHeZ.

Photographs from all events are available on the web page http://animafest.hr/en/press. Programmes can be browsed on http://animafest.hr/en/program.

The 24th World Festival of Animated Film – Animafest Zagreb 2014, short film edition, takes place 3-8 June 2014 at Europa, Tuškanac and Cineplexx Kaptol Centre theatres. With more than 400 films in all its sections, Animafest 2014 offers a complete overview of the international animation scene, from powerful cinemas, great names, Oscar winners and world premieres, to rare works from African countries, young talents and students, to the retrospectives of mastersYuri Norstein and Norman McLaren, a large puppet-film theme programme, to Animafest Scanner symposium and Q&A’s with filmmakers. See you at Animafest!


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