iREPRESENT (iREP) is a touring film festival founded by three Nigerian culture figures to promote independent documentary films and global awareness about the role of documentary films in deepening participatory democracy.It stages a festival every year, and will run Training and Screening regularly.
Resonance and Silence Synesthetic aspects of film and
video Goetz Collection at Haus der Kunst 13.04.2012 - 09.09.2012 Press Viewing
Hour on Thursday, April 12, 2012, 11 am
For the third exhibition of the cooperation between The Goetz
Collection and Haus der Kunst, film and video works were selected in which
acoustic aspects are as important as visual ones. Thereby the relationship
between sound and image constitutes a broad range. These two elements are
linked most closely in silence, in the still or silent image, which
approximates other media such as painting and photography.
The fascination with combining image and sound has a long
tradition. The term "synesthesia", from the Greek words meaning
"together" and "sensation", came into use in the
mid-nineteenth century and describes the ability to hear colors and see sounds.
This tradition continues in various ways in contemporary film and video art.
In "Sabbath 2008" (2008), Nira Pereg shows
preparations for the Jewish Saturday in an orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem.
The streets are being blocked off with metal barriers, which make a loud
screeching sound as they are pulled across the road. This sound is isolated and
becomes a kind of commentary in its overexaggeration.
In a manner that is both systematic and humorous, in his work
"Telephones" (1995; presented in 1999 at the Venice Biennale),
Christian Marclay combines film scenes with famous actors in a way that it
looks as if they were calling each other. In combination, the different ringing
sounds, the sounds from the cradle and of the rotary dial and the bits and
pieces of conversation, become a new composition of film and video art.
In "El Gringo" (2003), Francis Alÿs depicts his
confrontation with a group of dogs on a street from the first-person
perspective. The dogs bark aggressively at him as he tries to pass them; they
finally bite his arm and at the camera. The camera is left on the ground at
last. The viewer remains alone with it, like a severed sensory organ, and has
to endure the sight of the dogs sniffing and edging at the camera until the
image turns black.
Gary Hill's "Blind Spot" (2003) shows a 30-second shot
filmed with a hand-held camera in a street in Marseille. The scene is
increasingly slowed down until the elongation produces unpleasant sounds, and
is segmented with black and silent sequences. Teresa Hubbard and Alexander
Birchler also work with interruptions in the image flow in "Gregor's Room
II" (1998/99). From a constant height, a camera circles a room in which a
man is packing things into boxes. Through the openings - doors and windows -
the view expands, only to be blocked by black segments a moment later.
Proximity and distance to the event is alternately established and eliminated.
The film is shown in a soundless version.
In the aesthetics of a documentary, Tacita Dean makes film
images of old monuments that have long since lost their function. In her 16mm
film installation "Sound Mirrors" (1999), one sees buildings made of
poured concrete along the British coast of Kent. These constructions should
serve as a military early warning system by amplifying the sound of approaching
airplanes. In Dean's work, however, the sounds from the surrounding natural
environment, rather than from airplanes, are superimposed with the sounds of
the projector. What usually creates the acoustic background now enters the
foreground and is charged with meaning.
The absence of acoustic stimuli can trigger acoustic memories
and establish links to other media. In "Ruurlo, Bocurloscheweg, 1910"
(1997), David Claerbout makes use of this possibility. In a black and white
photograph of the village - whose name is the same as the work's title - he
shows a tree gently moving in the wind, while everything else remains static.
The absence of sounds initially gives the impression that we are looking at a
photograph; the viewer only slowly registers the movement.
Hans Op de Beeck uses the absence of sound to establish a
connection between the medium of film with that of painting. In
"Colours" (1999), he places people in a rigid stance against various
monochromatic backgrounds, in the manner of the Old Masters. The images also
reveal Op de Beeck's exploration of the topos of the living image. In
"Uomoduomo" (2000), Anri Sala also offers a possibility of a portrait
in film through the absence of sound. The rigid shots, made with a hand-held
camera, show an old man. Placed in the center of the picture, his face can't be
seen and there is virtually no information related to his identity. He is
slumped over and asleep in a church pew; his body repeatedly threatens to fall
over, but he catches himself each time. This "in-between" state
between falling over and maintaining balance is typical of Anri Sala's work.
Six of the selected works focus on music without making the
visual elements of the work seem illustrated. In Tim Lee's work "The
Goldberg Variations" (2007), one can hear the eponymous work by Johann
Sebastian Bach. Lee refers here to Glenn Gould, who recorded the variations and
the aria separately in his ideal conception and then combined them in a single
track. Lee translates this piece of montage in individual black and white
close-ups of his right and left hand playing piano, with the hands shown on two
separated displays. Using hard film cuts, the shots of his hands are joined. An
irritating sequence accompanies a continuous melodic flow.
Wolfgang Tillmans' first video work "Lights (Body)"
(2000-2002), relates to his early photographs of techno clubs. The close-up images
of the disco lighting, which moves to the rhythm of a remix of "Don't Be
Light" by Air, is reminiscent of a typical club night in the 1980s or
1990s. "Light" can mean both "light" (i.e. the noun) and
"light" (i.e. the adjective). With respect to this dual meaning, the
rhythmic movements of the lights can be regarded as both physical liberation
from gravity through dance, as well as a reference to the volatility of life.
In Rodney Graham's "A Little Thought" (2000), shots of
an idyllic summer day are accompanied by a song of the same name which was
composed and sung by the artist. The images of a swan on a lake, blooming
cherry trees and the harmonic sounds, are in discord with the text of the song,
which is about a fatal car crash caused by a driver's failure to pay attention.
Only when seen from the perspective of the camera panning above a street is a
connection to the lyrics established.
In Guido van der Werve's "Nummer drie.take step fall"
(2004) passages accompanied by classical music, and silent sequences alternate
with one another, as does rest with movement. Like a sonata, the work is
structured in three parts: A dance company and an Asian fast food restaurant in
the same building, a street at night and a dancing ballerina in a park. The
grimly portrayed everyday scenes are repeatedly interrupted by seemingly random
In Christoph Brech's video "The Wind that shakes the
Barley" (2008), we see nameless tombstones of deceased, unbaptized
children surrounded by grass blowing, sometimes more intensely, sometimes less,
in the wind. Although the ambient sounds are missing, one has the impression of
being able to hear the hissing of the wind. The suddenly introduced Irish folk
song transmits a melancholic sentiment and appears irritating as it is simultaneously
played forwards, and more softly, backwards.
The exhibited works were selected by León Krempel.
With works by Francis Alÿs, Hans Op de Beeck, Christoph Brech,
David Claerbout, Tacita Dean, Rodney Graham, Gary Hill, Teresa Hubbard &
Alexander Birchler, Tim Lee, Christian Marclay, Nira Pereg, Anri Sala, Wolfgang
Tillmans and Guido van der Werve.
A catalogue will be published by Hatje Cantz; with texts by
Patrizia Dander, Okwui Enwezor, Ingvild Goetz, Sarah Haugeneder, Nina Holm,
Leon Krempel, Karsten Löckemann, Julienne Lorz, Carla Schulz-Hoffmann, Rainald
Schumacher, Susanne Touw, Katharina Vossenkuhl, Eva Wattolik, and Ulrich
For images please visit our download area
If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact
us: Elena Heitsch and Jacqueline Falk
Haus der Kunst Prinzregentenstraße 1 80538 München +49 89 211
27-115 +49 89 211 27-157
Fax email@example.com www.hausderkunst.de Handelsregister München HRB
100018 USt-IdNr. DE 811612530
We formally extend invitation to you to participate in
the 2012 iREP Documentary Film Festival, slated
for March 22-25, 2012. We invite you to propose any of
your filmsthat you deem related to the theme of the festival, Democracy
and Culture: The Documentary Intervention for screening during the
festival (see attached poster).
Conversation during the festival will also be focussed on
this broad theme; and we request that you participate as a
Prof. Jean-Paul Colleyn, director of Institute of
African studies, Paris, has agreed to give the KEYNOTE as well as conduct a
MASTER WORKSHOP during the Festival.
The Workshop session and a segment of
the Conference will, however, consider the potentials of the Nigerian films as
presently constituted to -- in their production scheme -- explore and exploit
the documentary format in its production virtues; hence the workshop is
schematised under the generic theme, IS NOLLYWOOD DOCUMENTARY? The
idea is also to explore the potentials and possibilities of theNollywood movies
to spur the vocation of documentary film making in Nigeria.
The unfortunate situation in the Nigeria
polity has grossly undermined the economic prospects of the
country and consequentially frustrated our ability to raise fund for
the purpose of the festival, but we are resolved to proceed with ourplans
even as we continue to strive to get the support of potential
supporters for the project.
Kindly let us know if you would be available to participate at
the festival on the mentioned dates.
Sgnd: FEMI ODUGBEMI
Executive Director, IREP
DEMOCRACY AND CULTURE – THE DOCUMENTARY FILM INTERVENTION
Emerging realities on the African continent indicate a shift in
the information order and definition of governance. The conversation is fast
becoming a dialogue on the experiences that had brought us here and how the
future can be shaped. A new sense of involvement and pro active participation,
on the part of the people, are becoming the indices of our democracy. How
documentary filmmaking can effectively contribute to this new development is a
critical point of discourse.
It is undeniable that this new sensibility is in large part,
made possible by a new generation of Africans who are finding new voices in the
possibilities that technology provides. Equipped with a new media device, new
voices are springing up with fresh perspectives to known issues, and impulsively
curating a reference for the future in ways that are completely participatory.
If participatory democracy must become a part of our
culture, it must be deliberately cultivated, and film as a popular art provides
a veritable medium with which this new energy can be given a clear direction.
How well is the African filmmaker conscientious to his/her role in creating a
wholesome understanding of these sporadic emerging realities? Can documentary
films help us find a pattern that can become a reference for the future?
Africa is taking a flight into new horizon. A never-before
charted path into a future that is characterized by good governance,
accountability, rule of law, justice, equity, true democracy, and responsible
leadership. Documentary filmmaking can help to midwife this process.