EDGE OF THE LAND Short Film Night at the Hundred Years Gallery
Commentary about this selection of short films by the curator.
This collection of videos animated or filmed may seem obscure. What transpires once we have immersed ourselves in this series of worlds is a flagrant demonstration of willfulness against the common, the banal, trivia, and to an extent, a system that impedes the motion of our imagination towards the constellation of the psyche, that is, the realm of a profound personal understanding of our world. We detect a latent rebellion although instead of anger, humor and metaphor are employed to dismantle cultural pre-conceptions and intellectual habits.
For example, gender recognition is challenged and subdued because role playing is subverted, the character no longer being based on this flat value but on a complex set of expressions as in Chloe Meunier’s film Marilyn in an obvious way. But this is also apparent in Charlotte Laws’ film 58 : lake over lake . Despite the revelation of a feminine appearance, the body is performing almost as a machine, and paradoxically as a plant, its limbs quasi boneless, intertwined with space and objects in what feels like a void, removing our expectations and prejudices from this parallel vision. Our binary cognition also shifts when confronted with Joachim Reiderer’s Heart Trigger 002.1. We are transfixed by a face, by an emotion we cannot translate. This goes far beyond what we wish to know about a stranger. Portrayal in this case is a demonstration of the failure to bridge the gap between life as it may have been and life as we imagine in the present. This is no longer a man, it is an ontological proposition. In Anna Vacchelli’s Limits, the figure definitely female nevertheless entices us into the realm of a psychological battle, where what appears, once again to be real resides in an intense gestural dialogue with a shadow and we wonder whether the latter is an independent form , rather than a reflection. We may even think of it as a road sign suddenly coming to life and warming us to some impending danger. The abyss between these two elements is emphasized by the attention to movement , not to the body itself. And the tension created contains the memory of a psycho analytical process, the painful attempt to integrate ego into the self. Further more as Anna pointed out, the frame of the mirror/window stands as a sign for the limitation of existence in space and time as much as the limits intrinsic to the mind in relation to metaphysical comprehension. An inherent dichotomy is also enacted in Yuri Pirondi and Ines Von Bonhorst’ s The Guise . The protagonist is a symbol of humanity entangled with a symbol of nature. The message is unequivocal, our relationship to the universe in general and to the Earth in particular amounting to an absurd tragedy. This search for the self or the battle with our alter ego is echoed in Ines ‘s Heteronym and Mateo Pizzarello’s Knots.
Certain notions which have been at the core of cinematic interest as in Jean Cocteau’ s and Luis Bunuel’s movies or found in the theatre of Samuel Beckett and Antonin Artaud, such as time, timelessness, alienation, fragmentation, psychosis, immortality, divinity, poetry, and what I could call a visceral philosophy also expanded upon by animation artists Swankmayer and the brothers Quay, are approached here from an unmistakable 21st century perspective, embodying the ubiquitous internet knowledge of the cosmos, neurology and psychology. These samples contain the seed of a journey from the exterior to the interior making full use even indirectly of a symbology the show is founded upon. That is to say these films reveal a fearlessness of what post modernism called authorship, the personal, original thought in action. This is a simple connection, but an essential one.
Pascal Ancel Bartholdi
Video Program/ Resume
Esteban Gitton ,Producer Francoise Gouilardon/ Beaucoup Films/
(Best short fiction award 2006 and best visual effects 2007,Animex)
Ignored by her mother, a little girl lets her imagination run wild…her world unfolds to meet her mother’s head-on. An optimistic tale of parent/child relationship, but also of the growing gap between one s childhood imagination and rational behaviour.
Ingrid Berthon Moine
In Ma, Ingrid approaches a taboo subject with restrained sarcastic humour. The idealisation of motherhood is wiped off in one simple gesture, brutal and truthful. Because mothers are not designed or predestined, they act as human beings mostly their back to the wall, having to justify every move in order to satisfy social and moral etiquette.
The Visitation of the White Wolf
Inspired by Fellini’s Casanova, the scene in which a voyeur watches Casanova enact love making in a hilarious drama of kamasutra interpretations. In her version the signs have been magnified and everything has become whitewashed. We are entering a poetic monochromatic pastiche in stop motion where innocence is intertwined with perversion.
A very intense and intimate look into the secret second life of a character whose psychology blurs the edges of gender relation .
Ines Von Bonhorst
The journey of a character that seems to come straight out of a pantomime. she evolves furtively through the corridors and rooms of a derelict building. In each new space entered, a masked figure performs some absurd task. she is confronted with herself and a possible yet unresolved escape.
Tommy Cuts(Tommy Cottrell)’ The Last Ghost reveals a skeleton in some dark green corner of England. A struggle between amnesia and fabula fantastica is exposed tongue in cheek. In Tommy’s own words: It is this golden gift that is so very fundamental to the continuation of humanity and the rest assured of all human peaceful existence.When I was making this film in 1998 I was soon about to embark on a social economic and psychological change. This is a film that deals with the abstract issues of a personal tragedy and the golden gift. Ghost was shot on location in Gloucestershire with a 35mm camera and late 1980’s film stock.
Luca Mauceri (4 minutes)talks of “the leitmotif that connects all of his machines, the root: not as an actual organic root, but rather a metaphysical entity.” La Racine first appears within a vignette, as if we were peering through a small laboratory window, watching this entity unfold itself, uncertain of its nature, its evolutionary destination.
Anna Vacchelli‘s video Limits begins with a surprising angle, the dancer seen almost horizontally hovers therefore in a de-familiarised space. The angle switches and we are led into the dance until the definition of the human form merges with the motion that emanates from it. This form however seems to fend off something…a shadow, but also, could it be waving, or attempting to break a surface, attempting to reach someone…itself perhaps through a broken reflection?
Maria Pia Fanigliulo (5.02 minutes)invites us into the world of childhood’s imagination in Black Hole; that fine edge between utter chaos and some kind of tangible coherence. Objects become ideas, the apparent disorder turns into a cosmic assembly line. Because in the mind of the maker, everything has its place and the order that appears to make sense must be subverted for this idea to take place.
The character Il Dottore is lifted from the 14th century plague doctors and from the 17th century costume worn by Charles De Lorme. Yuri Pirondi has transported him to the 21st century and tells a story that in a sense derives from the plague of our society, discrimination and intolerance, the segregation and ostracisation of a minority.
Ingrid Berthon Moine
The Important Thing is Love is a lyrical video literally: Words move in several ways, in meaning, in space, in music and emotionally.
In Joachim Reiderer‘sHeart Trigger 002-1, a man seems desperately trapped in a cocoon of silence. We witness the impossible union between a record of life and those who encounter it thereafter. We see him open his eyes, open his mouth, and we imagine a sound escaping from him, but his facial distortions shatter the illusion of a dialogue. This is the solitary confinement of a human being confined to the role of a work of art.
Beber Tarick tells us his inspiration is drawn from the Dulcitone, the title of this work, “an ancient keyboard instrument with an incredibly poetic sound”. The world of apparent solidity fuses its predictable boundaries with the unlimited sphere of figurative hand-drawn transformation. A fish contains the ocean, a head splits into a spiral stair case…there is a coherence only encounter in fantasy. “For me as a painter it was challenging to try to make a short hand-drawn animation. Dulcitone is an ancient keyboard instrument with an incredibly poetic sound . I chose this instrument as a symbol of all lost and forgotten things.”
Yuri Pirondi and Ines Von Bonhorst
A woman is caught up in some surreal bundle of ligaments attached to a tree. She exhausts herself attempting to escape and we understand there is no escape from one’s own self made condition.
A head peers out of the Earth, white as the moon. The brightly coloured tale of a magician encountering his own image, deconstructing the basic geometry of one dimension to reconstruct it in his own way, leaving a conical egg , the beginning of new growth, perhaps an allusion to the philosophical stone.
Pascal Ancel Bartholdi
Eschatocene, First Scene of the Last Act
Pliocene is an added element to what is already new. Eschatos describes an end beyond which point no return is possible. The meaning of time disintegrates in this loop where hands and textures take form in the ritual of nomadic communication. The hand plays the part of a theatrical character implicated in the banality of survival as much as in the mystery of creation.
Adolfo Healer(Jaime Valtierra)
The Art Fascist
The dictator waves, the crowd moves to the rhythm, the artist operates from his hiding place, the colours match and clash, the act of creation is mixed up with the act of idolatry…ovation follows Disney tunes, voices erupt , emotional , or mechanical, the bells ring, god is called out, and chaos eats it all up.
Charlotte Law has created what she calls “a self-portrait in scrap metal, a suspended playground becomes a site to explore…self reflexivity”.There is in her piece: 58 : lake over lake something of an impossible union between human nature, the environment it engenders….and the nature of a realm outside the boundaries of rationality. The film is projected on a sheet of metal.