Ben left, Bruce sitting, with Torbjörn Limé
Screening night 11.3.2014. After the busy opening on Friday night when many people were able to see Echo Logo by Phil Dadson and Gordana Andjelic Galic’s Washing installed in the ground floor galleries of the Konstmuseum, our Tuesday evening screening had an intimate feel with twelve guests. Livia Paldi, Director of the Baltic Art Center and composer Simon Vincent from Berlin were among those who joined us for the programme that included two films sourced for the occasion from Denmark and Sweden. Friends He Lost At Sea by Henrik Lund Jørgensen, originally from Denmark who lives and works in Malmö and When the sun sets it’s all red, then it disappears by Lina Selander from Stockholm.
In Friends He Lost At Sea Henrik Lund Jørgensen uses re-enactment as a means of bringing to life two paintings by the Danish impressionist Michael Ancher, Will He Round the Point? (1879) and The Crew is Saved (1894). Employing tableau vivant scenes Jørgensen replaces the Skagen fishermen pictured in the paintings with refugees from other countries, a subtle means of invoking questions about escape and rescue, emigration and social responsibility.
Friends He Lost At Sea Henrik Lund Jørgensen
For her film When the sun sets it’s all red, then it disappears Lina Selander references Jean-Luc Godard’s La Chinoise from 1967 while “exploring images of and stories from 1968, the year of student revolt. Using a montage technique similar to that developed by Godard, Lina Selander unravels the film’s dialogues and images and reassembles them in an open form that generates new meaning. Her work can be seen as an attempt to look beyond the dictums and truths of a legendary period, and to discover the many-layered meanings and ambiguities of the images. This raises questions concerning the relationship between historiography and photography – between word and image. What narratives does the image contain? What words must be removed from the image for us to truly understand what we see? And if they were really removed, what truth could fill the gap? The camera flash burns holes through the alternating montage of stills and moving images. In the middle of each potential statement is a disturbing blank white space – like an attempt to express what we cannot see.” www.differencescreen.net/lina-selander/
Gotlands Konstskola 12.3.2014. Unfortunately none of the students from the Konstskola were at the screening but next day I gave a lecture at the art school and had a chance to show some of the films they missed. After introducing my own work through the importance of context and place, I took the opportunity to highlight the different approaches artists have used to make their films. In Difference Screen these include imaginative/mediated reconstruction as in A Drone Wrapped Up in Flying Carpets by Riaz Mehmood (Pakistan/Canada), narrative Hollywood Daniel Brefin 2004/13, silent visuals Tournant Meng Yeh Chou 2004, tableau vivant Russian KAMA3 Adad Hannah 2012, pictorial inversion Travelling Fields Inger Lise Hansen 2008, audio emphasis Traffic Light in Shadow Tserenpil Ariuntugs 2010, enactment The Day I Disappeared Atousa Bandeh Ghiasabadi, histories Desert Rose Cordelia Swann 1996, collaboration Gulo Elene Asatiani, Eliane Bots, Miroslav Koranda, Sophia Tabatdze 2011, found recording Sometime.Somewhere. Zohar Kifir, text #44, #50 Stefan Riebel 2009, interview Chronicle of a Tape Recorded Over Trinh Thi Nguyen. A common question is how we find films for Difference Screen? There’s no simple answer and the process of selection is inevitably quite subjective. The films we have in DS have come through a network of contacts, recommendations and by looking through archives held for example by Lux in London www.lux.org.uk/ Filmform, Stockholm www.filmform.com/ and Filmoteka at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw http://artmuseum.pl/en/filmoteka. Sourcing films is a time consuming but ultimately rewarding process.
Students at Gotlands Konstskola
After the talk Torbjörn Limé showed me around the art school which offers First and Second year foundation courses preparing students for further education at art schools in Sweden or abroad. In the evening we met Gotlands Museum director Lars Sjösvärd with curators and staff members for an enjoyable after work get together at Marika Bogren’s apartment. Amongst its many treasures the museum has a collection of Picture stones unique to the island www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Picture_stone
My last night on Gotland began with a film screening at the Bio Roxy art cinema of Agnieszka Polska’s The Future Days preceded by The Forgetting of Proper Names. The Future Days was made on location in Gotland following an artists residency at the Baltic Art Center. “In her film Polska describes the future as a space deprived of any attributes other than memory. The mutual influences of the past and the forthcoming events are staged in at once ludicrous and melancholic situation of the ‘heaven for the artists’, where the artists from different generations meet after death. The encounter in the symbolic, phantasmal landscape is followed by the discussions exploring the notion of human desire for methaphysics and the urge toward the sublime and knowledge.” www.balticartcenter.com/filmscreening-the-future-days/
The evening ended with my friends Torbjörn, Eva, Jessica (all painters) and Kristina (film maker and animator) at a concert by Rebecka Törnqvist whose set of jazz pop numbers concluded with six members of the Gotlands big band joining for the finale… a memorable close to a whirlwind week in the Baltic.
Bruce Allan 25.3.2014