- Sat 29 Sep 2018
- Len Lye Centre Cinema
- Free entry
- Donations appreciated
- Wheelchair spaces available
We screen Peggy Ahwesh’s The Blackest Sea (2016), Mati Diop’s Atlantiques (2009) and The Otoloth Group’s Hydra Decapita (2010) as part of the Projection Series #11: An Oceanic Feeling programme, curated by Govett-Brewster’s 2017 International Film Curator in Residence Erika Balsom.
Peggy Ahwesh The Blackest Sea 2016
The Blackest Sea takes Peggy Ahwesh’s longstanding interest in found footage into the age of the internet and the Anthropocene, transforming animated news clips produced by the Taiwanese company TomoNews into an eerie indictment of contemporary existence. Accompanied by the melancholic grandeur of Ellis B. Kohs’ Passacaglia for Organ and Strings, water is contaminated, schools of fish float dead to the surface, and boats of migrants capsize at sea. Recognisable images of recent atrocities reappear as digital animations drained of specificity, as Ahwesh calls out the airbrushing of reality, questioning the cute digestibility of that which should sear our minds and stick in our throats.
10 min., digital video, colour and sound, exempt, courtesy of EAI
Mati Diop Atlantiques 2009
Young men discuss journeying to Europe by pirogue, speaking of the journey in the past tense, even though they are still in Africa. Does the crossing lie ahead or behind, in reality or fantasy? Beginning and ending with dreams tied to the sea, this penumbral film breaks time’s arrow, pleating at its centre when a death is reported but not seen. At a time when cameras are everywhere, capturing bare life and mass death on the shores of Fortress Europe, Mati Diop turns away from any spectacle of suffering, finding in fiction and obliquity means of confronting an ongoing humanitarian catastrophe.
16 min., digital video, colour and sound, exempt, Courtesy of LUX
The Otolith Group Hydra Decapita 2010
In Hydra Decapita, the dehumanisation of chattel slavery metamorphoses into a speculative space of posthuman possibility, as the artists draw upon the mythos of the 1990s Detroit techno group Drexciya, who imagined that the unborn children of drowned pregnant slaves would mutate and be able to live underwater. Images of the ocean’s surface, references to J.M.W. Turner’s The Slave Ship, and the work of an invented transcriber who listens for ‘silent voices’ resonate together, creating a constellation that is at once a requiem and a reparative fiction that looks forward to a future of more liveable lives.
31 min., digital video, colour and sound, exempt, courtesy of LUX
Pick up your complimentary brochure, Projection Series #11: An Oceanic Feeling, from front desk which includes an essay by the curator Erika Balsom and details on each of the films, or download it here.