— Delphine Bedel

Curating: The Experience of Atopia/Film Programme

Saturday 27 September, 20.00
Lokaal 01, Breda / Breda Photo 2008

Film Screening:Mounir Fatmi, Jérôme Schlomoff, Ayako Yoshimura. Schlomoff and Yoshimura will introduce their film.
Curated by Delphine Bedel

These films present unexpected perspectives on the inescapable process of urban transformation, from the city of Amsterdam to the French suburbs or the megalopolis. Often made out of still images, and constructed on visual and poetic narratives, these films reflect upon urban palimpsests and globalization.

In the frame of the photography festival Breda Photo 2008
Lokaal 01, Breda
Kloosterlaan 138, NL-4811 EE BREDA +31 (0)76 514 19 28

Mounir Fatmi Horizontal Fall

France, 2006-2008. Work in progress. DV, sound ,10′
“Filmed in the neighborhood of Val Fourré in Mantes-la-Jolie, in the suburb of Paris in 2000, it was initially meant to be a film about social housing projects in this area at the end of the 60’s. The tower architecture and urbanism had recently been declared obsolete and inadequate, and was then designated for destruction. Halfway through the filming of this urban situation, the intervention of the City agenda provided a sudden collapse of ideology and shift in perspective for the film. The city council launched an unexpected soundtrack on all the speakers of the city few minutes before the destruction of two towers. The soundtrack was a Muslim prayer and readings of the Koran. Architecture was becoming a religious issue. How do we look at this footage after 9/11? I used to present it as a working document on my research during conferences; and I will present it now as a draft of the future film.” -M. Fatmi

Jérôme Schlomoff Amsterdam Reconstruction.

The Netherlands, 2007, black and white 35 mm on DV, sound, 20′
A walk through the cultural ruins of the city of Amsterdam. Using a 35mm film tray with a pinhole, Schlomoff captures the empty halls of the Stedelijk Museum, the Rijksmuseum, Gallery W139, and the cinema of Maison Descartes. It is surprising to see how quickly you recognise the function of these rooms, even without the art works. The lay-out, the white walls and the filtered light streaming in from above immediately carry you into the sacred world of the visual arts. To highlight the power emanating from all these buildings for the arts, Schlomoff draws a parallel with the dynamics of the Amsterdam harbour, where ships and cranes dance to the rhythm of the filmmaker’s voice as he counts down the seconds he needs to expose each frame.
“At first I just wanted to make movies but I didn’t have a camera so I decided to build one myself, using the concept of the camera obscura. I made my first camera entirely out of cardboard. Later I found an old aluminium charger of 35mm film in a second hand store. I had it altered so that I could forward the film manually, frame by frame. I replaced the shutter with the pinholed sheet of brass. This charger can contain 100 feet of 35-mm film.  What interests me here is to explore the fragility of the image in order to weaken our certainties. My cinematic vision offers a different image of the human who treads the city and of his imprints on the places that he has abandoned long ago, such as urban and industrial fallows and the deserted countryside.” -J. Schlomoff

Ayako Yoshimura Places – a city

The Netherlands, 2005, DV, 06’20”
A video work made out of still photographs taken from a number of observation points in six different large cities in the world such as Tokyo, Shanghai, São Paolo, Chicago, NYC and Yokohama. All the images are seamlessly joined together creating one big city. Furthermore, all the significant landmarks in each city, such as traffic and signs – the elements that give you the sense of orientation – are erased. What occurs then is the loss of the site/city in favour of globalisation. The last image of the film is connected to the very first one; the work is shown in a loop – as an infinite continuing city – the world of sameness. -A. Yoshimura