THE 'AND': PLACE OF ACTION

Recently on a street in Berlin. From my kitchen window I saw a group of people: some of them, wearing a blue jacket and cap, were holding up a banner — the kind of protest banner I have seen in the same street many times before, since I live in a street where the leftist party and labour unions often organize demonstrations. I couldn’t read what was written on the banner. It was clearly not hand-made, and again, it reminded me of previous demonstrations I had witnessed. The traffic light turned green, the group crossed the street and it appeared as if they’d move on with their protest. But only now, when the small crowd dispersed in different directions, I realized that the ‘blue’ group was part of an advertisement campaign. They had applied the visual instruments of protest; they had used the image of protest as an advertising strategy.

We think we’re already participating in a revolution just by watching its images. But it is more complicated. Facebook, Flickr, YouTube and an increasing number of biennales and exhibition spaces demand that something should be exposed: we are living in a time of an excess in exhibiting that is monitored by economics. We need to be clear about the fact that exhibitions of images — in films, shows, newspapers, in the cinema, on the street, on the Internet — turn those images into a manifestation which can be both a trademark and a revolutionary instrument. How can we clearly distinguish what is what in this blurred relation? The posters in the street won’t be our means of action. Withdrawing our images from the public sphere won’t help us. We need to speak out and to exhibit images. We need to be clear about the conditions in which an image is presented in order to understand that the image does not represent an elsewhere, but that it produces the real at the very moment of its exposure, including us who are watching it. We can learn from the films of Jean-Luc Godard, Anne-Marie Miévielle and Jean- Pierre Gorin that reflection on the means of exposure changes the image from an information carrier to an arena for the production of knowledge. The AND between the manifestation AND the insecurity of an image is our place of action. It reminds us that making images AND watching them is “not a show, but a struggle” (Patricia Lumumba, 1968).

2PM OPEN FILM LIBRARY OFF SCREEN by Catarina Simão (Portugal), who is an architect and independent researcher. In 2009 she initiated the on-going project Off Screen — on the Mozambique Film Archive. It was presented at Atelier Re.al in Lisbon, Serralves Museum in Porto, at the Dockanema 1th Cinema Symposium in Maputo and recently at Manifesta 8, Cartagena. She is the author of articles and other contributions associated to her project topic, such as political images and archival and relational practices involving cognitive processes.

3PM SCREENING FOR DISCUSSION with Filipa César (Portugal), who is an artist and filmmaker whose work reflects on the porous nature of the relationship between real-memory and cinema-memory. Her installations suggest possible settings for an expanded production of moving images, which actively engage the spectator in his or her role as perceiver. César has recently exhibited at the SF MOMA, San Francisco 2009, 12th Architecture Biennial, Venice; 29th São Paulo Biennial 2010 and Manifesta 8, Cartagena.

5.30PM PERFORMANCE LECTURE by The Otolith Group, who is an artist led collective founded by Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun in London in 2002. The Group’s work is formally engaged with exploring the legacies and potentialities of documentary practice, the essay film, postcolonial archives, cosmopolitan modernisms and science-fiction. Apart from numerous group exhibitions, their work is on display in a large-scale solo show at MACBA/Barcelona until May 2011. In 2010 The Otolith Group were nominated for the tenth Turner Prize.

8PM CINEMATIC EVENT with Jean-Pierre Gorin (France), who is a French filmmaker best known for his projects with Jean-Luc Godard. He was a student of Louis Althusser, Michel Foucault and Jacques Lacan, who influenced the film projects with Godard. In 1968, Gorin and Godard founded the collective Dziga Vertov Group. After leaving France in 1975, he became a member of the faculty of Visual Arts at the University of California in San Diego. Gorin has continued to make films — most notably a Southern California trilogy of essay films.


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