Committed Cinema: John Gianvito and Paul Chan

When 24 Sep 2013 - 23 Oct 2013
Where Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive
2575 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94704
United States

BAMPFA is pleased to announce a new ongoing series, Committed Cinema, which will feature artists whose films and videos arise out of political conviction and aesthetic innovation to explore vital and urgent issues of our times. They provide us with a cinema that is thought provoking and intelligent, often opinionated, and always undaunted in its inquiry. If cinema can create a desire for another reality, these films foster an aspiration for a more just and humanitarian one.

We open our series with John Gianvito, a filmmaker and curator living and teaching in the Boston area, who has long created politically engaged cinema. He has made films about the Gulf and Afghanistan Wars and toxic pollution from military bases in the Philippines, as well as a chronicle of American progressives. He has championed a cinema that matters, that, in his words, “connected me more profoundly to this existence that enmeshes us,” against what he calls the “cinema of alienation and distraction.”

Our second guest, Paul Chan, defies easy categorization. He has commented, “I think that art can be any number of things at once, and they can all be contradictory.” A New York–based activist artist, Chan exhibits his videos, animations, and other media internationally in cinemas and galleries; founded a press that primarily publishes artists’ writings and writings on art in digital and paper forms; and produced a site-specific theatrical production in New Orleans. Always surprising, Chan is drawn to situations that are confusing and perverse, and to making art that disrupts the order of things.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013
7:00 p.m. Waiting for Godot and Beyond
Paul Chan (U.S., 2005–10). Paul Chan and Ted Purves in conversation. Documentation of artist/activist Paul Chan’s staging of Waiting for Godot in Katrina-devastated New Orleans, plus videos exploring the state of America, post-9/11. (90 mins, plus conversation)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013
7:00 p.m. From Baghdad to Badlands
Paul Chan (U.S., 2010–13). Paul Chan in person. Introduced by Apsara DiQuinzio. Chan’s video essay on Iraq just prior to the American invasion, plus other projects by the artist/activist, including his new experimental press Badlands Unlimited. (90 mins)

For more information please click here

Image credit: Paul Chan, Waiting for Godot in New Orleans, 2007. Courtesy of the artist