Come l’animale serba la verità delle cose sensibili semplicemente divorandole, cioè riconoscendole come nulla, così il linguaggio custodisce l’indicibile dicendolo, cioè prendendolo nella sua negatività.
Ogni ontologia (ogni metafisica, ma anche ogni scienza che si muova, ne sia più o meno cosciente, nell’abito tracciato dalla metafisica) presuppone la differenza tra indicare e significare e si definisce, anzi, proprio attraverso il punto in cui situa il limite fra di essi.
Ho trovato una terra trovando i compagni,
una terra cattiva, dov’è un privilegio
non far nulla, pensando al futuro.
Perché il solo lavoro non basta a me e ai miei,
noi sappiamo schiantarci, ma il sogno più grande
dei miei padri fu sempre un far nulla da bravi.
Siamo nati per girovagare su quelle colline,
senza donne e le mani tenercele dietro alla schiena.
Top Ten Films
The Three Disasters (Jean-Luc Godard)
France, 2012, 17 min
A critical visual poem in the core of the digital civilization.
Logical Song (Ange Leccia)
France, 2013, 32 min
An installation at the Mac/val, thanks to which film becomes a room for deep love.
Get All That Ant? (Spoken by Roger Waters) (Anthony Stern)
UK, 2013, 80 min
Portrait of London 1950-1975, in still pictures, film and video, by a great artist who lived, loved and worked at the core of the pop culture genesis.
That Guy – Aquele Cara (Dellani Lima)
Brazil, 2013, 19 min
It’s nothing: in direct cinema, some hours in the life of Jonnata Doll, ragazzo and leader of a band in Fortaleza, Brazil
It’s everything : the richness, depth, explosions and funny speeds of a psychic life, the paths of creation, and how a true poet mutates the industrial products into precious songs of life.
Federsee (John Skoog)
Sweden/Germany, 2013, 8 min
“A film that looks at the traditional folklore surrounding the celebration of Fasnet in the small Schwabian town of Bad Buchau which is haunted by the violent story of a father drowning his family in the nearby lake, Federsee. ‘Leave to us Germans the horrors of delerium, the dreams of feverishness and the kingdom of ghosts. Germany is a country which suits old witches, dead bears’ skins, golems of each sex…’ Heinrich Heine, Die Romantische Schule II, 1833” (John Skoog).
The Costel Pendulum – Le pendule de Costel (Pilar Arcila)
France, 2013, 68 min
In black and white S8 and video color, a depiction of and by the Rom themselves of their daily life, this old nomadic life that Europa never succeeded to fully admit.
The Silent Majority Speaks (Bani Khoshnoudi)
Iran, 2010, 94 min
In the great tradition of Armand Mattelart’s The Spiral or René Vautier’s Frontline, a deep political analysis of one century of revolt and repression in Iran, and the various roles of images in this collective history. Clandestinely made and signed by “The Silent Collective”, the film was finally publicly released only in 2013.
Shakespeare Must Die (Ing K.)
Thailand, 2012, 176 min
Shakespeare is born again thanks to the translation and adaptation of Ing K, he suddenly becomes a great weapon in the struggle against the Thai dictatorship.
Mille Soleils (Mati Diop)
By Mati Diop, France, 2013, 45 min
Entire renewal of the form of a film portrait, as Innisfree by José Luis Guerin was for his time.
Leviathan (Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor)
Sea, 2012, 87 min
A turning point in the history of cinematic depiction, liberated from a human point of view.
Nella storia dell’umanità, nella storia delle opere culturali dell’umanità ci sono due grandi regimi di significazione possibili. Da una parte ci sono opere che danno sensi dichiarati sensi manifesti, sensi che chiameremo apodittici, perché si designano essi stessi come tali, opere che comportano sistemi di segni che si danno essi stessi come operazione di significazione; è questo il regno delle arti così dette convenzionali. (…) Di fronte a questo impero di segni dichiarati c’è l’impero non meno vasto dei segni naturalizzati, razionalizzati, travestiti, che non si manifestano come segni e passano attraverso un falso codice, il codice del naturale; questo impero della pseudo-natura è il più alienato dei due imperi di segni, dato che per ogni segno travestito è un segno alienato; dirò addirittura che il travestimento del segno è la forma stessa dell’alienazione del segno. Le nostre moderne società, il cui modello culturale è di origine borghese, praticano essenzialmente questo secondo regime di senso, praticano dei codici inconfessati. (…) In che modo il cinema può liberarsi dalla società nella quale è nato, come può risolvere questo problema dei segni manifesti e vergognosi, come può uscire dal modello naturalistico dell’arte borghese, come può passare a un ordine di segni volutamente arbitrari, in una parola: come può diventare una arte? Vorrei concludere con questa domanda, ricordando che disalienare il segno manifestandolo, manifestando il codice di cui esso fa parte, mi sembra essere oggi il compito veramente politico, insisto sulla parola, di ogni arte nuova.
Nicole Brenez on Experimental Cinema
An experimental cinema considers cinema not in terms of its uses or conventions but rather its powers.
Experimental cinema involves the entire field of the passions. The so-called standard cinema standardizes the emotions, sensation, perception, and belief. In that cinema you don’t find anything except what you’ve known and felt already. Of course you can love this in the same way you love the same stories, read every evening, read by the same voice, your mother’s. Faced with this considerable restriction of sensible and emotional experience, experimental cinema re-opens the entire field of experience.
An image in avant-garde cinema is something irreducible to one conception. It’s the exploration of all possible conceptions which don’t pre-exist the exploration itself. For example, the industrial cinema falls within Hegel’s formula ‘art is what decorates our internal and external environments’. This ‘impoverished’ conception of art is precisely what the dominant cinema insists on, that it be a psychic and social ornament, what’s called a ‘diversion’, a conception not reprehensible per se but which is a problem because it’s imperialistic because it occupies the entire field of images. Avant-garde cinema explores every other conception of the image.
An oeuvre can be called great if the artist invents his/her own conception of the image according great power, strong symbolic properties, to the image.
Experimental cinema implies the field, the site, of a critical questioning of the world in general, of experience in the political, ethnological, anthropological and metaphysical senses.
Experimental cinema is the field of investigation of the very modalities of our apprehension and in particular modes of vision. The horizon in which this research is inscribed was sketched out by a minor character in Godard’s La Chinoise who posed this very beautiful question: ‘what if reality hasn’t yet been seen by anyone?’
The fundamental problem at stake in experimental cinema and all the practices it implies is to ceaselessly pose the question: What use is it to make an image or not make one? And an inevitable question follows: ‘What is art?’
Experimental cinema stands against the history of dominant images; we can cite Jonas Mekas’ sublime formula: ‘Hollywood cinema is merely a reservoir of material for artists to use later.’ Therefore experimental cinema is a major speculative initiative since its task is also to criticize, change, parody and destroy the dominant images, or to complete them, to reveal what they hide and falsify. This is one of the great undertakings of what’s known as the cinema of ‘found footage’.
What defines experimental cinema, whether it has political, scientific or aesthetic concerns, are a certain number of values: freedom of thought, critical awareness, therefore intellectual, economic, political independence, and an independent mode of existence.
Bresson said it 40 years ago: ‘a great film gives us an elevated notion of cinematography’, an elevated idea of forms is inseparable from the idea that cinema leaves a trace in the world, whether it’s a faithful trace or a contradictory one matters little, it’s a trace which alters our grasp of the world. An example from French cinema is Philippe Grandrieux, who in Sombre and La Vie Nouvelle, works in a significant way with colour and light to a degree that brings him into conflict with his technicians because they’re obliged to make camera movements or lighting set-ups which seem unimaginable to them technically, but which, when realized by Grandrieux, doing his own framing and camera movements, are shown to be extraordinary enrichments of the palette of optical possibilities. They didn’t know what the cinema could do until Grandrieux did it. For example, in terms of texture, he invents new possibilities for haze and blur in Sombre, furthered in La Vie Nouvelle, as well as his work with black in La Vie Nouvelle. It’s one of the greatest films of the present, because it’s about the responsibility of images as images, not bearing themes but as images themselves in a catastrophic world. An image can save the world and not merely diagnose it, you have to see La Vie Nouvelle to appreciate what’s at stake.
In the middle of the 20th century, around 1951, it became clear that the film industry had reduced a potentially limitless apparatus to a single standardized practice and therefore that it was urgent to rediscover other practices, other movements, other logics than that which was producing images for commercial consumption. Therefore for example you see the reintegration of the idea of artisanship in the cinema, bypassing the integrated industrial chain in favor of directly intervening with the hands, the filmmaker’s hands, giving rise to all the practices of painting on film, scratching, direct intervention, etc.
There have been three great decades: the 1890s when all films were beautiful, the 1920s for the unsurpassed invention of montage, the 1970s because of the formal beauty that triumphed.
One of the most precious to me because least recognized paths taken by experimental film is the demand for pure and radical mimesis, descriptive investigation, simple description, the violence of pure analogy, of a pure recording. There are many versions of this, for example the field of scientific film, supreme from a figural viewpoint, Marey’s films, or those of Lucien Bull, continued today by Alexis Martinet, Professor Berthier and many others.
The idea that art will redeem, I find this idea very beautiful, very problematic, you find it in all the sublime thinkers who are references for us on a day-to-day basis, Benjamin, Deleuze, and Godard, who revives them in cinema. Bizarrely, I prefer Adorno’s totally despairing belief [laughs] that art has no mission. Because, for whatever reason that makes us hold on to this idea of mission — it can be a sublime reason like Schiller’s belief that art can, in certain ways, teach us to emancipate ourselves — I prefer to think that an oeuvre doesn’t fix a mission for itself, but that it exists, breaks things open, introduces disorder into what was believed to be an ineluctable political and in particular ideological order, art as catastrophe in fact. [laughs]
METTERE IN AZIONE LA PROPRIA MALDESTRITA’ / RIVENDICARE UN USO CHE NON E’ OTTIMALE / UNA VITA SENZA REGOLE VIENE CATTURATA DALLE NORME / LA POTENZA IN ECCESSO METTE IN ATTO L’USO