Film and Almost Film 2005

10 november, 2005 - 18 december, 2005
Sabatini Building, Auditorium
Berta Sichel and Céline Brouwez
Jem Cohen. Chain, 2004
Jem Cohen. Chain, 2004


Film and Almost Film 2005 features 26 pieces primarily made between 2004 and 2005 by visual artists and filmmakers, both Spanish and international, some known and some unknown. It also includes the premiere in Spain of the film Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) by Miranda July (Vermont, 1974), a North American artist known for her multimedia performance pieces.

The works were either filmed in 35 or 16 mm, recorded on video, created by computers or using webcams over the Internet, exploring digital possibilities and using new film techniques, as in the case of the Belgian Anouk de Clercq (Gante, 1971) and the American Deborah Stratman (Washington D. C., 1967), among others. Of the eight programmes, four feature full-length films: the political documentaries Chain (2004) by Jem Cohen (Kabul, 1962) and Yoav Shamir’s (Tel Aviv, 1970) Checkpoint (2003), the sociological documentary by Ralph Arlyck (New York, 1940) Following Sean (2004) and the first film by Miranda July. While the other four programmes are not organised around any theme, the works relate to each other and create a heterogeneous discourse around similar topics.

Programme 4 presents an example of these metaphorically narrated relationships. It deals with racism and refugees through personal essays or socio-political looks at the external world. The ‘other’ becomes the protagonist of the story, filling the roles of a political refugee (Katja Straub), an immigrant (Laura Waddington) and a foreigner (Nicolas Provost).

Programme 6 reflects on architecture and cities, but even here, each work has its own characteristics, confirming that the practice of art is a perennial confrontation with the autonomy of each piece. Peter Downsbrough (New York, 1940), Matthew Buckingham (Nevada, 1963) and Terence Gower (British Columbia, 1965) speak of the ‘in/different’ spaces that form part of our environment. Other programmes include works by the Brazilians Cao Guimarães (Belo Horizonte, 1965) and Marcellvs L. (Minas Gerais, 1980), by the young Spanish artists Álvaro Negro (Lalín, 1973) and Mateo Maté (Madrid, 1964) and the English artist Rachel Reupke (London, 1971). In Film and Almost Film 2005, a denunciation of televised globalising images gives rise to political reflections on the international environment, specifically the war in Iraq and the situation in Palestine through subtle videos by John Smith (London, 1952), on the similarities and differences between East and West highlighted by Ria Pacquée (Merksem, 1954) and on the Territories of Marine Hugonnier (Paris, 1969).

Despite the fact that these audiovisual works do not adhere to a linear and/or fictional reading, they have a beginning and an end, a concept, a development and a coherent discourse – although they often present an unconventional narrative. With a format unlike that of installations (where the videos are almost always looped), these films demand the viewer’s time. Although it may be less than convenient to present works in an auditorium on a certain day and date, perhaps this is the best format to assimilate both the message and the contemporary nature of these works.

The main goal of Film and Almost Film is to bring together all the manifestations of contemporary audiovisual media and allow the viewer to find inspiration for reflection in the works.