Screenings / Performances / etc
‘Psychogeographies' Screening at FRAME Project Room
April 22, 2009 at 4p.m.
Screening of works from the collection of ARGOS - Centre for Art & Media
Compiled by Director Paul Willemsen
Running time 79'14"
The Brussels based Centre for Art & Media ARGOS houses one of the larger European collections of artists' film and video. From its distribution catalogue director Paul Willemsen compiled the theme program ‘Psychogeographies'. The term psychogeography refers to the architectural or geographical surroundings and the way they relate to perception and mental experience. A psychogeographical analysis starts from the exposure of relations, relating a genuine, material environment to an imaginary or possible environment. Each work investigates questions of documentary versus fiction, private versus public, and the real versus the imagined.
A Necessary Music
USA, 2008, col., 29'09"
Roosevelt Island is a small sliver of land situated between Manhattan and Queens, intersected by the Queensborough Bridge. Originally home to New York's largest insane asylum, a small pox hospital, and a range of other 19th century municipal facilities for incarceration, it now houses one of the cities most visible, yet little-known modernist social housing projects. Employing the residents of the island as authors and actors, ‘A Necessary Music' acts both a musical proposition and a proposal for collective production. Gathering together texts written by the participants along with a fictional narration, the film deploys fiction as a tool to frame and activate its site. The project was developed by artist Beatrice Gibson in collaboration with composer Alex Waterman and features narration by Robert Ashley.
N12°13.062'/ W 001°32.619' Extended
Belgium, 2005, col., 8'25"
The title of this video is a reference, through GPS coordinates, to a specific location in Africa, which is abstract at the same time. Two men wander through a deserted site in the middle of the desert, at first sight it's an archaeological ruin. As the images reveal more of the environment, it becomes clear that the construction was built by the twosome, hewn from the surrounding stone. It's like a denial of any conventional view of a city. To Meessen this residual space reflects an inverted image of a planned, urban surrounding. Adding minimal fictitious elements what seems like an ordinary registration of an uncommon practice of city planning in Africa expands into a multidimensional structure, which should be read on a metaphorical level.
What I'm looking for
USA, 2004, col., English spoken, 15'00"
A woman sets out to photograph moments of intimacy. On an Internet dating site she writes: 'I'm looking for people who would like to be photographed in public revealing something of themselves...' Set to the backdrop of Manhattan ‘What I'm looking for', documents this adventure; the connections formed at this intersection between virtual and actual public space. The video is a rumination on the nature of photography and the persistence of vision. It is a short tale of desire and control.
Belgium, 2008, col., English spoken, 8'00"
Can Chandigarh, the paragon of the modernist city, escape from its faith as a living museum? Can this city survive the preservation of the universal modernist fable? In the only city designed by Le Corbusier, the political complex of the Capitol is much more than scenery. The Capitol itself is the "camera". The buildings that represent the different powers keep a constant eye on each other. They channel the visitor's movements and constantly observe him from above. The Capitol as phantasm of political power, is here nothing more than a place where the black deathsuit of modernism haunts. In this unfinished city, a few shadowy characters -a spectral silhouette, voices, sounds- rewrite a fable loved by the architect about the Raven that Wants to Imitate the Eagle. Charles-Edouard Jeanneret, also known as Le Corbusier, is invited to confront his double personality. He is less alone then he used to be while he was alive. Now he is called upon by his haunted images and by the contradictions of modernism. "Dear Adviser" is without a doubt a poetic "address" to the architect and the in Chandigarh superstitiously as "adviser" disguised legislator.
But it is also a user experience document, an appeal for the redistribution of the roles between dead and living. Simultaneously, the film testifies of a pre-modernist belief. Only film that lives its magical function to the utmost, is enable to open the escape lines from the eternal now.
Belgium, 2005, col., English spoken, 18'40"
An evocation of the psychogeography or globalism and a labyrinth world. An associative mosaic of tiny instances in image and sounds, zapping from east to west, from Belgium to Tunisia, from France to Israel, Morocco or Yemen, a reflection of everyday reality, believing, calm and solitude. In a logical way the video shows the next step in the evolution from Ria Pacquée's older work, in which she headed out into the streets with a camera, arranging her images around formal elements. This resulted in visual and auditory puzzles with passing images of lines and colours, shadow and light, wind and sand, amalgams of random fragments, combining into a meaningful whole. Reality as an objective totality, after all, is an illusion: our perception of reality is narrowed down by the viewpoint we pick out, the place we live in, the expressions we see and hear, the life we live. All we see is fragments and pieces of the overall whole, which we refer to as meaning. In the work of Ria Pacquée the relative and the existential converge. Similarly to The Book of Questions by the French author and philosopher Edmond Jabés, which this video quotes from, she embraces the idea that life is not necessarily about knowing and understanding, but that it all starts with breathing, in and out, and the way we reach out to one another. The rest is an appearance of the moment.