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Re-Anima !

Opening + exhibit - PRISME #6

The Re-Anima ! exhibit invites one to a sensitive encounter with works produced through human/non-human collaboration. Static or in motion, these photochemical images and cinematic installations disrupt and scuff our dualist and anthropocentric visions which ordinarily govern our relationship to other forms of existence. The hallucinatory vibration of desertic Andean landscapes, the unsuspected vital drive of a forest floor, a river of light and film unfolding in space or images appearing with the help of iron, sea water or fungi : here, the artists aren’t the only creators, the happily delegate this role to the non-human. These experimental practices, freeing themselves of any sort of hierarchy between beings, displace the threshold of our attention with a poetic and salutary animist intent.

With works by Sidney Gordon, Luce Lebart, Lichun Tseng, Charlotte Pryce and Malena Szlam

OPENING  – wednesday, december 6th – Galerie K-Haus in the Blockhaus DY10

Opening of the exhibit in presence of Sidney Gordon, Lichun Tseng and Luce Lebart

There Must Be Some Way Out Of Here, performance by Alexandra Moralesova & Georgy Bagdasarov
Labodoble, CZ / 30′ / slide projectors, external shutter, live sound, and voice-over : Pasi Mäkelä

The forest as a metaphor of our inner worlds, dialectic relationship between darkness and light.

Overview of the exhibit : 

River of light by Lichun Tseng

River of Light is a site-specific film installation inspired by natural elements and energy flow. Through projection and reflection of light to create constant changes of flow in time and an immersive space shifting between dualities: appearing and disappearing, darkness and lightness, motion and still, black/white and color – nature of nature.

Lichun Tseng is a Taiwanese artist and filmmaker based in the Netherlands. In her works, she is interested in exploring the experience of the vital dimensions of life, absorbing and partaking in it, and grasping its wholeness, in which awareness, observation, and reflective contemplation are profound drives. She approaches her practice mainly with 16mm film, installation, and audio-visual performance in the past years. She is a member of Filmwerkplaats – an artist-run film lab in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.


X̱á7elcha (Lynn Creek) Watergrams et xʷəyeyət (Iona Beach) Rubbings by Sidney Gordon

Sidney Gordon (they/them) is a queer artist and cultural worker, born and raised in Regina SK, Canada (Treaty 4 territory). They hold a BMA in Film + Screen Arts from Emily Carr University of Art + Design in so-called “Vancouver”, where they have lived and worked since 2018. The main focus of their film work is creating experiential embodiment, often portraying and deriving from personal subconscious experiences, while their cameraless photographic practice focuses on questioning authorship through ecological co-creation, relying equally on intention, chance, and response. They are co-founder and curator of XINEMA: a local experimental film series, and a member of the artist-run space and collective Liquidation World.

X̱á7elcha (Lynn Creek) Watergrams

X̱á7elcha’s evolving landscape is captured through a cameraless process of submerging 35mm film beneath the river surface and capturing direct prints of its refractions. Each work is then processed with surrounding plant materials and stop-bathed in river water. Because of this, the photographs are irreproducible, and uniquely site and time-specific.

xʷəyeyət (Iona Beach) Rubbings

Formed at low tide, xʷəyeyət’s ever-changing shore is captured through a cameraless process beginning with rubbing photographic paper onto untampered clay sediments. Each work is then exposed to present daylight, and processed with location-sourced iron and ocean water. Displayed alongside the prints are foraged metal and mineral materials; eroded and precipitated into distinctive sculptural forms. Together, the works depict prolonged geological devestations, as well as the relationship between regenerative sedimentary occurrences and mutable photographic processes.


Mold is beautiful de Luce Lebart

Mold is beautiful de Luce Lebart, 2015.
Mold is beautiful by Luce Lebart, 2015.

“Who is the author of these images altered by time, air, water and manipulations ?  Is it the 1920’s photographer whose name and trace have been erased ? Is it the author of these lines who found and invented them, in the legal sense ? Or is it the microorganisms who transformed these images into objects of aesthetic delight ? The series Mold is Beautiful questions the capacity of photography to move one’s sensibility : these same images are rejected or adored, feared or discarded and finally exhibited. They play upon the multiple lives of analog images : subsequently documents, works of arts, archives or, surely, all of these at once.

For a near-hundred years, these images have been confined and forgotten in a wooden boxes bearing traces of a flood. The microorganisms took hold of them and activated them, vitalized them and transformed them. This encounter between technique (photography) and life (microorganisms) has generated new forms which hold the distinctive feature of establishing a dialogue with the content of the images and prolonging this content, and that is precisely where lies the beauty of this series. The garden, the forest fire, the constellation, the fire works and the clouds are twice-over augmented : novel unknown flowers appear, burnt pieces of wood float around, a new milky way emanates from the distortions of the gelatin while a veil of birds takes off towards the sky… The technical image has become fertile ground for the proliferation of life, a sort of living image and, in any case, an ecosystem image in which coexist living beings and artefacts.”

A historian of photography and exhibition curator, Luce Lebart is curator and french correspondent for Archive of Modern Conflict, a collection and publishing house based in between London, England and Toronto Canada. Archives, the scientific and technical imaginary and the materiality of images are at the center of her work.

ALTIPLANO by Malena Szlam

Still from Malena Szlam’s ALTIPLANO, 2018, 35 mm, colour, sound, 15:30 min. Courtesy Malena Szlam.

Filmed in the Andean Mountains in the traditional lands of the Atacameño, Aymara, and Calchaquí-Diaguita in Northern Chile and Northwest Argentina, ALTIPLANO takes place within a geological universe of ancestral salt flats, volcanic deserts, and coloured lakes. Fusing earth with sky, day with night, heartbeat with mountain, and mineral with iridescent cloud, ALTIPLANO reveals a vibrating landscape in which a bright blue sun forever threatens to eclipse a blood-red moon.

Coupled with a soundscape generated from infrasound recordings of volcanoes, geysers, Chilean blue whales, and more, ALTIPLANO creates evocative visual rhythms through the clash of color and form. Landscapes pulse and stutter, transmuting into spaces that exist in a multitude of times simultaneously. Located at the heart of a natural ecosystem threatened by a century of saltpeter and nitrate mining practices, and recent geothermic exploitation, ALTIPLANO reveals an ancient land standing witness to all that is, was, and will be.

Malena Szlam is a Chilean artist filmmaker based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal, Canada. Her films, performances and installations examine the relations between cinematic practice, embodiment, temporality, and perception. Engaging the affective dimensions of analogue processes, Szlam’s work gives material form to kinetic and lyrical approximations of the natural world. Szlam’s films have been showcased at leading festivals including Wavelengths at Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), New Directors/New Films Festival, MoMA, Media City, Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and CPH:DOX. Her film ALTIPLANO, received several awards, including 25 FPS’s Grand Prix, Melbourne International Film Festival’s Best Experimental Short Film, and TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten 2018.

Discoveries on the Forest Floor by Charlotte Pryce

Discoveries on the forest floor, Charlotte Pryce, 2006, 16mm, couleur, silencieux. © Tous droits réservés par l’artiste / Autorisation de Light Cone

The title Discoveries on the forest floor is taken from an obscure genre of 17th century painting: Forest Floor Paintings (or Sottobosco), which heralded a first attempt to place plant specimens into a “real” environment as opposed to a vase. Inspired by the juxtaposition of the real and the imagined, my film takes the form of three plant studies, in which the plants, images of the plants, and their envisioned environments are intertwined.
The plants were chosen carefully. Physically, they share a certain rootlessness, and that to me was fascinating, but equally importantly I was intrigued by their suggested sentience, awareness, and dreaminess. The first plant Selanginella Lepidophylla, is more commonly known as the “resurrection plant” and can withstand extreme dehydration and detachment from the soil, but blooms miraculously when moistened. It seems to greet the world with a joyous welcome, as if experiencing the drama of life for the first time. The second plant is Lichen, a composite plant of fungi and cyanobacteria, whose texture is crumbly and friable. The name for this section was suggested by The Magical Nature Diary of Opal Whitley. There is a chapter in her book with this title – I was deeply moved by her writing and shared a feeling of comfort in the knowledge of the chatter of these ubiquitous, understated communities.  For the third plant I choose a sundew, the carnivorous Drosera Capensis, whose waterlogged roots struggle to provide sufficient nutrients, so it reaches and grasps at flying insects for physical sustenance, but perhaps also sustenance for its reveries.

Charlotte Pryce has been making experimental films, photographs and optical objects since 1986. Born in London, Charlotte Pryce graduated with a BFA from the Slade School of Art, University College London and completed an MFA in Fine Art/ Film at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her films have screened in numerous festivals including Rotterdam, Oberhausen, Toronto, San Francisco, New York, Hong Kong, Ann Arbor and London. In 2013 the Los Angeles Film Critics Association honored her with the Douglas Edwards Award for Best Experimental Cinema Achievement, and in 2014 she was the recipient of Film at Wits End Award, and in 2015 she received the Gil Omenn Art and Science Award from the Ann Arbor film Festival.  In January 2019 she presented a career retrospective at the Rotterdam Film Festival and her work was performed at the Velaslavasay Panorama in Los Angeles, Bozar in Brussels and the Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Charlotte Pryce draws inspiration from the work of visionary naturalists – notably Rachel Carson and Opal Whitely, and the mysteries and sentience of the non-human world are central to her practice.  She finds resonance for her ideas in early 20th century writers of eco-fiction, and in the mystical tradition of her Welsh/British heritage.  These influences are present in her most recent films Pwdre Ser, Of this Beguiling Membrane, and and so it came about (A Tale of Consequential Dormancy), as well as in her magic lantern show, The Tears of a Mudlark.  Her practice remains anchored in the physical manipulation of substances, and in chemical exploration of the materiality of cinema.