Alex Martinis Roe – Alliances (2018, FR/AU, 24')
Clara Pacotte – Cuirasse bientôt cloutée d'or (2018, FR, 46')
Kym Ward – Gestation (2019, UK, 4')
Programme by Sven Dehens
The LOOPS programme presents three films that were screened and presented during the past OFFoff-season. By re-screening these films, we look back on the programmes they were part of, simultaneously reconfiguring their meaning by showing them together, and pointing forward to Art Cinema OFFoff’s future ambitions in Kunsthal Gent.
Our past season dealt with the shared space of cinema, not only by considering the organized space in the films itself, but also by looking at the different ways in which filmmakers, curators, guests and audiences share an actual cinema space. Throughout the season, making films, thinking of cinema and looking at films was interpreted as a way of 'organizing bodies’ in space and time. We were not only questioning experimental uses of shared cinema spaces, but also the potential of a 'reparative cinema'. How can films rethink or reconsider the ways bodies are organized in the public sphere? But also: which bodies does a cinema space welcome and how are they hosted?
From this emerged a research and screening programme that was open to different formats and discourses. Programmes such as Circles of Cinema, Reading (with) Abigail Child, 'it is a strange realism, but it is a strange reality', Broadcasting Radio Triton and Disassemblies 9 combined talks, presentations, readings and a live broadcast with more extended film programmes.
LOOPS aims to make these films and their contexts available again, pointing back and forth, re-taking and re-imagining.
Alex Martinis Roe, ALLIANCES (2018, FR/AU, 24', digital)
In Alliances, Alex Martinis Roe interviews ten committed feminists in the city of Paris. The film is shot in the Centre Pompidou, Université Paris VIII and the surrounding suburb of Saint Denis, analyzing the relation between centre and periphery in the city, and the entanglement of these issues within feminist politics. The interviewees come from different positions, backgrounds and professions. Together, they explore the legacy of the women's liberation movement that began in 1968 in Paris. Each of them has an encounter with a feminist forebear, as her personal link to a strand of feminist history. Through the entwined biographies of these different generations, the dominant narrative used to commemorate the 50th anniversary of 1968 is redressed and connected with decolonial movements. The film points to the necessity to form an alliance – a solidarity-in-difference – between different feminist movements. Martinis Roe investigates how interpersonal relationships and encounters contribute to the development of radical thinking. By examining moments of exchange, joint effort and solidarity, she highlights the power of community, raising the question whether a link exists between various feminist, decolonial and ecological movements.
Alliances was presented during the Circles of Cinema programme, our first programme at Kunsthal Gent, in November 2018. Next to Alex's film, Caroline Godart presented her book The Dimensions of Difference in which she considers film, editing and cinematography as a way to ‘organize bodies in space and time’. Drawing from the writings of Luce Irigaray among others, Godart focuses on sexual difference within cinema and film. The re-programming of this particular film sets up a dialogue with Kunsthal Gent and its strategies of collectivity and shared space.
Alex Martinis Roe (born 1982 in Melbourne) lives and works in Berlin and Canberra. Her work is concerned with the history of feminist groups. She makes connections between various contexts and generations in order to design perspectives of social coexistence. She completes extensive research before making her films, and has developed her own technique for editing stories, making social achievements from the past tangible and activating them in the present.
Clara Pacotte, CUIRASSE BIENTÔT CLOUTÉE D'OR (2018, FR, 46', digital)
In 2074, the narrator of Cuirasse bientôt cloutée d’or discovers the traces of a predominately lesbian subculture of the 2050's and collects the archives of the various movements that preceded her. The film is a prequel to Le parking, Etage 63, a series of independent texts about a fictive community on an abandoned parking taken over by lesbians. The film is also a docu-fiction, supposedly made by the daughter of one of them. It serves as an investigation in the archives of ‘wxmxn’ (a trans-inclusive spelling of 'woman') who later became parts of the Parking community. It promotes insurrection and action, posing as a documentary about the past of the future.
Cuirasse bientôt cloutée d’or was shown during our programme 'it is a strange realism, but it is a strange reality', co-produced with feeelings, an artist-run project space in Brussels hosted by Anouchka Oler and Camille Gerenton, and Elena Betros Lopez. The programme took place at Projection Room in Brussels. It brought together different works and practices examining ‘reparative agency’ or how one can cope with imposed narratives on ones body, be it in fiction or in public discourse. The programme had contributions by Emilie Notéris, Les Insoumuses, Kalinda Vary, Elena Betros Lopez and Clara Pacotte.
Clara Pacotte (1992, FR) experiments with video between fiction and documentary. She's a speculative fiction writer, a field wherein she explores social alternatives questioning gender and community issues. Her book Mnrvwx, on the exploration of a planet with a non-binary civilization, was published in 2017 (ed. Oparo). She is part of The Cheapest University, a Paris based collective workspace. Inside Cheapest, with Charlotte Houette, she co-founded a working group called EAAPES about gender issues and feminisms in science fiction/speculative fiction. The third publication containing EAAPES's research was released in April 2019.
ig: @claravite @eaapes
Kym Ward, GESTATIONS (2019, UK, 4', digital)
Gestations is a video about the correlation between Anglican churches, the colonial history of sugar trade and the glucoses (sugars) that feed our body. Gestations was part of our programme Disassemblies 9: Guts/ Gusts (gestations), co-produced with KIAD.
Disassemblies 9 took place in March 2019 at Kunsthal Gent. The programme consisted of a reading of The Body in the System by Vanessa Agard-Jones, a performance by Toon Fibbe, a sound piece by Katharina Zimmerhackl, a rug contributed by Hana Miletic with Globe Aroma, and films by Sarah Browne, Rory Pilgrim, Karisa Senavitis and Kym Ward. The programme looked at different relations between our internal, biological systems and the global movements of post-colonial capitalism. Disassemblies are a series of disparate events programmed by KIAD. Former events include film screenings, poetry readings, a lecture/tarot reading, a “Hate Party”, a publication/symposium, and performances.
‘Knowledge is a Does’ (KIAD) started as a socially concerned reading group at the Jan van Eyck Academy in Spring 2014. The original members are Alexis Blake, E.C. Feiss, Toon Fibbe, Ilke Gers, Conny Karlsson Lundgren, Hana Miletić, Karisa Senavitis, Kym Ward, and Katharina Zimmerhackl. The group draws its name from an essay of Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, the American literary critic and scholar, most well known for her work in forming the discipline of queer theory. Kosofsky Sedgwick’s articulation of the concept of ‘reparative reading’ came to structure what and how KIAD reads. Without naming their practice as such, KIAD undertakes various kinds of ‘reparative reading’ together, and tries to develop a form of study – of what they read, of the institutional politics around them, and of themselves, that goes beyond a critical deconstruction/paranoid reading. KIAD continues, in new and distant constellations, to come together to make sense of what unfolds today.
Kym Ward (born 1982) lives and works in Bidston, Liverpool, UK. She is one of the founding hosts of the Bidston Observatory Artistic Research Centre, a not-for-profit study centre, focused on providing artists, writers, academics, performers etc with a cheap, temporary place to dictate their own working methods. BOARC hosts Domes FM, the online radio station that hosted our programme 'Broadcasting Radio Triton' during the opening of Kunsthal Gent in January 2019.