LIVING DOCUMENT / NAKED REALITY
TOWARDS AN ARCHIVAL CINEMA
January 11 – March 4, 2012
Opening Reception: Wednesday, January 11, 6-8PM
Exhibition Walkthrough with Whitney-Lauder curatorial fellow Jennifer Burris: Wednesday, January 11, 5PM, ICA members only
Landscapes from the twenties clicking by on carousel projectors. Old home movies of life in French-colonized Morocco. A collage of clips from two hundred films, taking us on a drive through glittering LA. These and other projects are part of the exhibition Living Document / Naked Reality: Towards an Archival Cinema presented by the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) at the University of Pennsylvania. This exhibition explores cinema's complex political, formal, and ideological history from the 1910s to the 1960s by showcasing the work of six international artists. Each uses archival material to convey both a critique and a nostalgia for the outmoded film technologies and abandoned idealism of a previous era. Living Document / Naked Reality: Towards an Archival Cinema opens on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 with a reception from 6-8pm, and will remain on view in ICA's Project Space through March 4, 2012.
In their influential manifesto, "Toward a Third Cinema," filmmakers Fernando Solanas and Octavio Gettino state: "The capacity for synthesis and the penetration of the film image, the possibilities offered by the living document, and naked reality, and the power of enlightenment of audiovisual means make the film far more effective than any other tool of communication." Each work in this exhibition explores a thread from this essay which applies to all of them in different ways.
Alexandra Navratil's Sample Frames, an installation composed of four carousel slide projectors, showcases a collection of nitrate film frames produced by the Eastman Kodak Company between 1916 and 1927. Yto Barrada's single-channel video, Hand-Me-Downs, is constructed from fragments of home movies and archival films that reveal the intimate politics of everyday life in French-colonized Morocco. Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc's work focuses on historically specific efforts to re-articulate film technology as an agent of revolution rather than colonization. Tricontinental, A Graphic Survey is an installation of found materials taken from the leftist film journal founded in Cuba in 1966, which first published Solanas and Gettino's essay in 1969. Seen together, these works explore cinema as both a source of archival material and a medium embedded within a modernity premised on imagined utopias.
Artist Alexandra Navratil on her work Sample Frames
Angeles Plays Itself
(Dir. Thom Andersen, 2003, 169 min, color, sound.)
January 14, 1pm @ International House (3701 Chestnut St.)
$9 and $7 for Students/Seniors (Free for ICA and International House members)
Thom Andersen's iconic film essay is a sweeping reconstruction of Los Angeles as seen from the countless Hollywood films that use the city as background, character, and subject. The film delves beyond these structural facades to a story of land grabs, deteriorating public transport, and race riots.
Followed by a discussion between Chris Cagle, Assistant Professor of Film History and Theory in the Film and Media Arts Department at Temple University, Penn's Román de la Campa, Edwin B. and Lenore R. Williams Professor of Romance Languages, and Timothy Corrigan, Professor of English and Cinema Studies at Penn.
Maha Maamoun, Domestic Tourism II (excerpt), 2009. Courtesy of the artist.
to Guns for Banta and Domestic
(Dir. Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, 2010, 29 min, black-and-white, sound.)
(Dir. Maha Maamoun, 2009, 62 min, color, sound.)
Whenever Wednesday, February 15, 7pm @ International House
(3701 Chestnut St.) Free
Retrace Third Cinema director Sarah Maldoror's lost film through Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc's Foreword to Guns for Banta (2010), and experience the complexities of a rapidly changing society in Maha Maamoun's film Domestic Tourism II (2009), composed of excerpts from Egyptian films that feature the pyramids.
Followed by a conversation between Nora Alter, Professor of Film and Media Arts at Temple University, and Eve M. Troutt Powell, Associate Professor of History at Penn.
Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, 1967: A People Kind of Place (trailer), 2011,
video (super 8 film and archival material transferred to HD video), 2 minutes.
Courtesy of the artist.
Performative lecture: 1967: A People Kind of Place
Whenever Wednesday, February 29, 6:30pm @ ICA. Free
Investigate a monumental UFO-landing pad built into the Canadian prairies with Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, who takes this momentary convergence of science fiction and identity politics as the basis for archival research into the beginnings of the idea of multiculturalism.
Followed by a discussion between the artist and Jennifer Burris, Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow.
Artist Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen on her work entitled Centennial Star.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology is also hosting a new series entitled Live from the Archives!, featuring films with archival elements. The first screening of "Elephant in the Dark: Refractions of Muslim Identity" will be held on Thursday, March 15th at 6pm. Admission is free. Visit www.penn.museum/culturefilms.
Artists include: Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc (b. 1977 French-Guyana; lives Paris), Thom Anderson (b. 1943 Chicago; lives Los Angeles), Yto Barrada (b. 1971 Paris; lives Tangier), Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen (b. 1979 Montreal; lives New York), Maha Maamoun (b. 1972 California; lives Cairo), and Alexandra Navratil (b. 1978 Zurich; lives Amsterdam).
Living Document / Naked Reality Towards an Archival Cinema is organized by ICA 2011-2012 Whitney-Lauder Curatorial Fellow Jennifer Burris, and is accompanied by a publication that accompanies Alexandra Navratil's artist book Permanence Vocabulary.
ICA acknowledges the generous sponsorship of Barbara B. & Theodore R. Aronson for the exhibition pamphlet. We are grateful for the support of The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation; The Dietrich Foundation, Inc.; the Overseers Board for the Institute of Contemporary Art; friends and members of ICA; and the University of Pennsylvania. General operating support provided, in part, by the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. ICA receives state arts funding support through a grant from the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. Screenings are in collaboration with International House Philadelphia and UPenn Cinema Studies.
images (top to bottom): Alexandra Navratil, Sample Frames, 2011, installation with 4 synchronized slide-projectors, 81 images on each projector (loop). Courtesy of the artist. Maha Maamoun, Domestic Tourism II (excerpt), 2009. Courtesy of the artist. Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, 1967: A People Kind of Place (trailer), 2011, video (super 8 film and archival material transferred to HD video), 2 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.
Images from Centennial Star: Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, Greetings from St. Paul, 2011, photograph of found ephemera (postcard), archival inkjet on paper, 22 x 30 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, 1967: A People Kind of Place (still), 2011. Courtesy of the artist. Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, 1967: A People Kind of Place (still), 2011. Courtesy of the artist. Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, St. Paul Journal Series, 2011, launching of the UFO landing pad (June 3rd,1967), archival inkjet on paper, 18 x 24 inches. Courtesy of the artist. Jacqueline Hoang Nguyen, The Centennial Star, 2011, photograph of found ephemera (coin), archival inkjet on paper (diptych), 32 x 32 inches each. Courtesy of the artist.