We hosted Difference Screen here in New York on October 15 at ABC No Rio, a scrappy anarchist art space on Manhattan’s lower east side. This coincided with the arrival of friends from the Netherlands who were responsible for bringing me to Bosnia last February, where I first encountered Difference Screen. All in all, it was a happy, drunken event, rife with a sense of reunion and possibility. The program was a showing of five short films: three from the former Yugoslavia, one from Bulgaria, and one from Georgia. By the special request of my partner Vandana Jain (who largely organized the No Rio screening), Gordana Andjelic-Galic’s wonderful film ‘Mantra’ …

ABC No Rio, 156 Rivington St., Manhattan, NYC 15 October Read more »

Tagged with:

Video screenings of works by artists can sometimes be joyless, or tedious affairs in which outsiders struggle to suspend their disbelief for the full duration. This might be because the films were under, or overcooked, or because the artist saw no need to moderate his narcissism in a way that will enlighten others. Most of us are accustomed to well-manicured movies that are the fruits of a budget big enough to rally an army of fully trained professionals. By curating a rich body of work from many European countries, Difference Screen re-splices some of these disciplinary differences and provides a high quality of content that stands for itself. Our visit …

ROOMARTSPACE October 4 London Read more »

Film critic Siranush Galstyan reflects on Difference Screen at Naregatsi 8.7.2014 Film is always some private look, a view of life. And it means difference of views… During its existence cinematography became an archive of mankind that is fixing and keeping the human memory. What do we feel when see a photograph or a film, which represents a place that does not exist anymore or has changed so much that one can not recognize it? A Polish pharmacy that disappeared during war. We watched it on the screen with confused feelings. Pharmacy still exists in the film, on the screen but not in factual actuality… Among different films that were …

Siranush Galstyan / Difference Screen / Naregatsi Art Institute Read more »

What is the continuing relevance and longevity of publicly sited monuments and how are their future lives viewed? A stimulating question Maria, and perhaps as you suggest “only the external interventions or actions of vandalism can animate the forgotten meanings”. Every city, town and village in Britain has at least one monument, not all figurative. There are countless statues of people, predominantly men, who’ve made an impact at some moment of time on their community or country. How do we view our monuments in Britain? They can be missed if they disappear, sometimes stolen for profit, or re-located often inappropriately. Occasionally one is vandalised as a direct political or social …

monuments Read more »

I would like to continue the issue of soviet heritage in post-soviet countries because I am not sure that context is read accurately. I will show the work “Mutation” of Central Asian artist, sculptor and photographer Yerbossyn Meldibekov. This multimedia installation was shown within Venice Biennal 2011 in Central Asian Pavilion and in Art Brussel 2013. Yerbossyn Meldibekov made visual examination of ten archival photographs of one of the squares of Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where during 90 years 10 monuments have been replaced by successive Governments. Due to the big trend in post-soviet artistic discourse Yerbossyn Meldibekov again try to debate on the topic of architectural and monumental heritage in Central …

How accurately is context read? Read more »

Tagged with: ,

Over one hour we were transported to corners of the old Soviet Union and then halfway across the globe to a California which Hollywood has never shown us. Most shocking, and memorable, was the mismatch between the images of black-and-white Las Vegas and the gentle West Coast voice of the narrator, and the story she told of the horrific and seldom told repercussion of the testing of atom bombs in the desert, close by. Individually the films showed personal (and unique) views of distant but part-familiar places in our times. Refreshing and stimulating – in Mid Wales. Iris Nunn

At Tbilisi Center Of Contemporary Art, we had the pleasure to meet Bruce Allan, curator of “Difference Screen” project. After a short introduction, he started film screening – I didn`t expect my ordinary day to become such an interesting journey through different parts of the world… It`s so strange to discover again, the forgotten feeling, that there may be borders, you may sometimes feel as a stranger in the foreign land, people differ in general -but there are so many common, similar things, that make the main message so understandable, so clear. The variety of artistic approach impressed me much: “Travelling Fields” by Inger Lise Hansen , “A Drone Wrapped …

Center of Contemporary Art Tbilisi Read more »

Tagged with: ,

For me, one of the highlights of Artisterium VI in Tbilisi, Georgia was the 3 day programme of artists’ films entitled “Difference Screen”. About 30 different films, from Ireland to Iran, from Norway to New Zealand, it broadened my horizons and opened my eyes to all sorts of different stories from the far corners of the world. There was an interesting panel discussion at the end of each day with the curators Bruce Allan and Ben Eastop, mediated by Gareth Evans of the Whitechapel Gallery in London. One of those discussions led to the question of ‘Art and Politics’ – a thorny subject, or at least a thorny subject where …

Art, Real Life and Transcendence Read more »

I’m waiting at the gate to let people onto Lots Ait island. Every forty seconds a droning plane overhead comes in to land at Heathrow. Lights flashing, passenger portholes visible I think of Bladerunner. Soon I join the audience and I’m in a mellow mood this evening. Barge Ideaal is another remarkable context, this time converting a home to public theatre. The films presented are wide-ranging in style and intent and I have seen some of them before. This gives me a privileged opportunity to reflect and consider. I try to avoid the restrictions of comparison and value judgement. There are actions and re-actions, no fantasies or fictions. As performer …

Barge Ideaal Read more »

What a wonderful warm and generous evening we all enjoyed last Saturday 21st September on Ben Eastop’s boat. I’m still carrying around with me the vision of the phenomenal landscape in which Barge Ideaal is moored. We arrived at dusk to be met at the bridge and escorted across the river to the island and then onto the pontoon to the boat. The scale of the whole thing brought to mind thoughts of the Styx and other Chinese stories of boatmen and portals into another world. Exceptionally beautiful at dusk, this certainly didn’t feel like London as on arrival the reflections in the water revealed enormous cranes, other huge mysterious …

Barge Ideaal, Lots Ait Read more »