Ailbhe Ní Bhriain | Inscriptions (One Here Now) , (2018)
(15:05 minutes) Selected by Crawford Art Gallery, Cork
Ailbhe Ní Bhriain’s film draws us into the vertiginous depths of a quarry
interior. The camera traces the deep-time of geological sequences, the scars
left by machinery on the rock surfaces, and the sprayed industrial notations
that codify the commodification and disappearance of landscape. In these
disparate forms of inscription the film finds a metaphor for the
Anthropocene - the current geological era in which human behaviour is
the dominant force shaping environment and climate.
Leticia Obeid | Jano (Janus) , 2015
Selected by Fundación Proa, Buenos Aires
Life can feel like the accumulation of words in a book as we record thoughts and experiences. What if we could reverse, pause or accelerate these in the same way that a book’s pages can be flipped back and forth?
“Janus was a two-faced god in Roman mythology: one face looking to the past and the other to the future. Janus was the god of doorways, beginnings and endings. In this series, the books’ pages behave like Janus, going from past to future of a text or vice versa. Jano is the attempt to revise the minimum portion of time that can be frozen in movement, through image.” (Leticia Obeid)
Yu Guo | Enchantment, (2019)
(12:57 minutes) Selected by KWM artcenter, Beijing
‘jiéjiè’ is a buddhist word describing the protective ‘zone’ created through
a collective consciousness among a group of people. Yu Guo takes this
notion as a perspective through which to look at how we communicate
within heavily mediated urban environments. For Yu Guo in today’s urban
life, every single visual action of viewing functions like a screen
constantly producing new narratives to follow or not. Watching a subway
window is the same as watching one’s phone screen; both containing
a kind of mediated language embedded inside. “jiéjiè ” is the screen
where the two-way rendering of body and media communicate.
The film aims to discuss how “jiéjiè’ works in this new environment
and whether a new language is needed to describe this situation.
Lerato Shadi | Mabogo Dinku (2019)
(6 minutes) Selected by Friends of Iziko South African National Gallery
Lerato Shadi’s work challenges common assumptions to critique Western
notions of history and make visible that which is invisible or overlooked.
In particular, she critiques the assumption that Western history is world
history. In the video, the artist’s hand makes enigmatic gestures and she
sings a folk verse in a South African language. But she provides no subtitles
or guidance on what the words and gestures mean because she is narrating
the un-narratable, the history of her people, marginalised during apartheid
South Africa. The history she was taught at school is the history of the colo-
niser, which she rejects, so what history can she tell?
RAQS Media Collective | Passwords for Time Travel (2017)
(10:02 minutes) Selected by Project 88, Mumbai, India
Passwords for Time Travel consists of a suite of text and image videos that
propose a set of terms that anticipate and rehearse conversations with the
near and distant future. Combining the enigma of a spell with the precision
of a dictionary entry, these unexpected lexical combinations are presented
along with images that elaborate upon the multiple meanings of the texts.
Lisa Tan | My Pictures of You (2017-19)
(23:07 minutes) Selected by Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm
Lisa Tan thinks of the images of Mars as a death mask of Earth captured
millions of years in the future yet witnessed in the present. Compelled by
photographs from NASA’s expeditions depicting Mars’ topography, Tan
senses how the planet’s landscapes could be our own. Their familiarity
transports her to the desert terrain of the American Southwest where
she was raised.
A road trip through the desert frames questions around climate and
extintion referencing Roland Barthes’ seminal text on photo-graphy Camera
Lucida. Barthes’ text pivots around an image of the author’s deceased,
beloved mother as a child in what is known as the ‘Winter Garden’ pho-
tograph. In the film Tan replaces Barthes’ mother for “mother” Earth to
tranform its own pessimism into a joyful affirmation of earthbound existence.
Rhea Storr | Junkanoo Talk (2017)
(11:36 minutes) Selected by Whitechapel Gallery, London
The imagery in Storr’s film unfolds like a language without words.
Junkanoo is a carnival of the Bahamas; vivid shots of festival fringed paper
costumes are accompanied by sighs and clicks, sounds made on the body
to the beats of Bahmian Rake ‘n’ Scrape. The work is part of British-Bahamian
artist Rhea Storr’s investigations in how to represent cultures on film.
Dominka Olszowy | Wanda Wanton (2016)
(9:14 minutes) Selected by Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw
Wanda Wanton is an aspiring artist from Wieliczka, working as a
teacher of Polish language. After work, Wanda devotes herself to a peculiar
passions: she just loves to destroy things, and calls her acts of
vandalism “acts of art” or simply “sculptures”. By bringing her to life, the
artist expresses her own socially unacceptable desires. Wanda Wanton,
first and foremost, casts a spotlight on the relationship between human
and the surrounding matter, and asks a question: can vandalism be an
act of emancipation, freeing an individual from the oppression of the enforced order.
Miguel Fernadez de Castro | Grammar of Gates (2019)
(20:32 minutes) Selected by Ballroom Marfa, Texas
Miguel Fernández de Castro’s video is a dynamic visual and aural collage
that traces the overlapping territories, languages, and conflicts that mark
the border between Mexico and the U.S. within the sovereign Tohono
O’odham Nation. The artist weaves together excerpts from the 1970 movie
‘Geronimo Jones’ with drone and surveillance-like imagery of the landscape
and an affectless recitation of phrases out of ‘A Practical Spanish Grammar
for Border Patrol Officers’.