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Cinema Metamorphosis


A selection of films which relate to the exhibit Mutations – Migrations, métamorphoses du cinéma, shown at l’Atelier from the 1st to the 23rd of December.
Rebounds, dialogue, prolongation of the study of the potential shifts and reconfigurations of the cinematographic medium and its fundamental properties.

Picture-films in movement, trompe-l’œil, defiance to perception, saturated images, historical references, works calibrated to the very photogram, frenzied rythm, all of which propose an enlarged notion of the cinematographic experience.

The program consists of films made by the artists of the exhibit as well as other film-makers echoing the works shown.

Cavalcade de Johann Lurf
2019 / 35mm / 5’

A water wheel ornate with circular motifs in a succession of shades of grey, black and white and red, green, blue-conveying the tools of gradation used for cinematographic images- at night, in a stream

As we observe the wheel’s motion, the rotating circles seem to change direction and move at varying speeds.

Cavalcade, film reminiscent of the installation and the happening, is the encounter between a wheel (designed by the artist) and a recording system composed of 35mm cameras in stereoscopy, synchronized with strobe lights. Relying solely on the laws of optical physics, the film asks a fundamental question : can we believe our eyes?

As in Film&Form, a repertoire of different historical film formats presented under the form of risographic prints colored on a 1:1 scale, the interest Johann Lurf shows for the fundamental technical specifics of the cinematographic medium and his taste for transposition is made apparent in Cavalcade.


Japon Series de Cécile Fontaine
1991 / 16mm / 6’ 44

For Japon Series, Cécile Fontaine has meticulously separated and reconstituted the different layers of color of found footage representing a performance by buto dancers. In the exhibit, the film is presented as a luminous picture where the static film strips lend themselves to a detailed observation of the obtained plastic effects.  In the theater, it is a whole other viewpoint on the work which is put forward : photograms scrolling at a speed of 24 images per second create a ballet of pure color.


Wall of sound flowers de Francien Van Everdingen
2004 / 16mm / 6’

An interior film where the completion of different everyday chores punctuates the continuous parade of the wallpaper’s motifs and colors.
As an echo to Rebecca Erin Moran’s animated 16mm GIF, Still life with fries, both films share the travelling matte technique, allowing by incrustation the creation of composite images, the staging of everyday objects and a circular vision of time.


Boy’s best friend de Cécile Fontaine
2002 / 16mm / 12’ 07

We find in Cécile Fontaine’s film a number of techniques which make her signature : collage and association of disparate sources, alterations of film layers with household supplies, separation of emulsion. The footage used here are promotional and educational films.

This draws a comparison with Sandra Gibson’s and Luis Recoder’s work  Lightspill (2005) : thousands of meters of this kind of film, discarded by schools and libraries and retrieved by the artists, spilling to the floor, suggesting the idea of waste and obsolescence of these mediums.

Cécile Fontaine’s approach offers a possible road to “upcycling”: from these reconstituted images, she elaborates her own discourse, breathing new life into them.


Arnulf Rainer de Peter Kubelka
1958-1960 /35mm / 6’ 30

At the origin of this iconic work, was a portrait commissioned by the painter Arnulf Rainer from his film-maker friend Peter Kubelka. In line with “metric” cinema theory, Kubelka will answer this commission with a film solely made of a precisely organized string of black and white photograms and an interplay of saturated sound and silence. A film produced without a camera nor an editing table, a film of which the strips will be exposed as a picture, Arnulf Rainer, a highly sensory experience, represents at once a return to the essence of cinema and a possible evolution of its definition.
We can see a certain filiation between Arnulf Rainer and Wim Janssen’s Continuization Loop . Made fifty years apart, the belgium artist creates a wall of film through a large loop of 35mm film, constituted solely of black and white and guided up and down through for more than 150 guide wheels. Through the movement, an image similar to cathode-ray snow appears. Beyond photo-chemical cinema, Wim Janssen’s installation conveys visual elements from the new generation of moving images : video signal and digital’s binary logic.


Train Again de Peter Tscherkassky
2021 / 35mm / 20’

18 years after making L’arrivée (hommage to the Lumière brother’s  l’Arrivée en train du gare de la Ciotat ), Peter Tscherkassky returns to a motif inextricably linked to cinema history -the train- to embark us on a virtuoso and frantic journey of which he holds the secret. With Motion picture, work shown at the Atelier, it is to the Sortie des Usines Lumière that Tscherkassky returns.  By means of cinema’s main components -shadow and light- a photogram of this historical view, projected on a frame made of juxtaposed photosensitive strips of film, is transformed into a novel visual partition.


not even nothing can be free of ghosts de Rainer Kohlberger
2016 /DCP / 11’

In not even nothing can be free of ghosts, impulsion and waves of light, intervals and variations of chiaroscuro alternating with stroboscopic black and white, diffused at a frequency of 30images per second (as opposed to video’s standard 25), defy and transcend the possibilities of our human perception.

This frequency is, in fact, above what the human vision is able to process. The visual impression therefore generated, sorts of hallucinations, of ghosts, belongs to each individual spectator. In the exhibit, Louisa Fairclough’s Can people see me swallowing draws the trajectory of a film almost entirely black and silent through a space. Brief bursts of light and voice appear in a spatial manner at the will of the film’s movement through the projectors and speakers placed in different spots of the room. Through the breath of the projectors, a phantom presence is conjured and the viewer is encouraged to let his visions run freely.