FLAX Project

Contagious Living & Peeling Wall

DAY 1 – July 2

Contagious Living
Will Benedict and David Leonard, Melanie Gilligan, Tommy Hartung, Camille Henrot, Anna Zett

Will Benedict and David Leonard
Toilets not Temples, 2014
HD Video, color, sound, duration 25’ 31”
Commissioned by Bergen Kunsthall

Anna Zett
Dinosaur.gif, 2014
Video Lecture, 
1280 x 720 px, color, silent, duration
 ca. 20’ (live)

Tommy Hartung
The Ascent of Man, 2009
DV, color, sound, duration 15’36”
Courtesy of On Stellar Rays

Camille Henrot
The Strife of Love in a Dream, 2011
Video, 11 min 40 sec.
Production: Maharaja Films; With the support of Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne; Centre national des arts plastiques and the Mairie de Paris – Département de l’Art dans la ville © ADAGP Camille Henrot. Courtesy the artist and kamel mennour, Paris

Melanie Gilligan
Popular Unrest, 2010
Episode 1
HD video, color, sound, 5 episodes (63 minutes total length)
Co-commissioned by Chisenhale Gallery, London, Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne, Walter Phillips Gallery, The Banff Centre and Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver. Courtesy of Galerie Max Mayer

Followed by conversation with David Leonard and Anna Zett

The film program Contagious Living focuses on the many anomalous and meandering narratives of evolution, biological and cinematic, as well as on disasters in nature and society. The video works in this program speak from the authority of science, documentary, and empirical truth, and use as a narrative vehicle scientific and para-scientific theories, psychological speculations, and peculiarities in the environment and biological world. The screening questions how the artists use various material and technical approaches to track the evolutionary trajectory of cinema and mass media: from Anna Zett’s found-footage of dinosaur movies; to Tommy Hartung’s use of stop-motion animation, miniatures, and sets to explore his ideas of death-cinema; to Will Benedict and David Leonard’s fictional documentary, Camille Henrot’s interpretation of the encyclopedic, and Melanie Gilligan’s sci-fi/horror-inspired television series.

DAY 2 – July 3
Peeling Wall
Cecile B. Evans, Rachel Rose, Neil Beloufa, Rosa Aiello

Cecile B. Evans
How happy a Thing can be, 2014
HD video, color, sound, duration 9′ 30″
Co-commissioned by Wysing Arts Centre and Radar, Loughborough University Arts

Rachel Rose
Palisades in Palisades, 2014
HD video, color, sound, duration 10′ 29″
Commissioned by Sculpture Center

Neil Beloufa
The Analyst, the researcher, the screenwriter, the cgi tech and the lawyer, 2011
Digital video, color, sound, duration 17′
Courtesy of the Artist, François Ghebaly, Los Angeles, and Western Front, BC.

Rosa Aiello
Shame Baby, Baby Shame, 2014
HD video, color, sound, duration 14′ 12″

Peeling Wall presents a series of hidden narratives encapsulated in films, which techniques of disclosure simultaneously conceal information. Evoking the literary structure of mise-en-abyme, the films in this program produce a feeling of intimacy using the first-person perspective as a cover-up for a more grave reality. The video works deal with the representation and misrepresentation of truth through the use of special effects in filming (Rachel Rose), CGI animation (Cecile B Evans and Rosa Aiello), non-diegetic sounds, and a roving disembodied camera (Neil Beloufa), thus forming a process that imposes affect onto inanimate objects. The synthetic reality that these artists create often cracks under its own yearning for the actual, becoming vulnerable and tactile once the image begins to blur, dissolve, clash, and collapse. The artists’ relation to the body and ‘the living’ becomes a transgressive force, which is at the same time physical and ephemeral – life exists in the objects, on the surfaces of things, in movement through space, in off-screen sounds. The way camera treatments are applied to material suggests a hidden humanness in the  way that it hits, tackles and caresses surfaces in the same manner a human hand would.