THE AESTHETIC OF THE FRAGMENT

When 18 Jan 2014
7:30PM - 9:00PM
Where UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art
322 UNION AVE. Williamsburg, Brooklyn
New York City, NY 11211
United States
Cost $9 suggested donation

These nonfiction films and videos are composed of ambiguously-related parts. These can include excerpted spoken statements and text-as-image passages, historical documents and contemporary iconography, enigmatic narration and visual ellipses. Each work constructs sound-image juxtapositions and concatenations of scenes with various points of connection. Their arrangement and design presumes that the spectator will attempt to generate or find possible meanings-despite or even because of their initial, apparent opacity.

The program proposes that these works comprise a “constellation” model of the essay film/video, whose key elements are a high degree of informational ambiguity and a commitment to an aesthetic of the fragment. In the context of a discussion of essayistic forms, the term constellation is meant to evoke its usage by Walter Benjamin, who referred to ideas as constellations and who attempted to describe the dynamic relationship between particulars and concepts. Benjamin is merely a reference point, however, since our focus will be on the moving image and its unique modes of address.The films in the program are also unified by a tendency to link depictions of place with reflections on history.

Threading together historical episodes and scientific descriptions, Lea Hartlaub’s Bensberg September 2009 is ostensibly about earthquakes and seismographic studies, but in its recounting of odd and unexpected incidents, it becomes cumulatively suggestive. An earthquake, or rather its aftermath, is also relevant to Anna Marziano’s The Mutability of All Things and the Possibility of Changing Some, which offers a portrait of L’Aquila, Italy, and certain of its inhabitants. Like Marziano’s film, I Am Micro, by Shai Heredia and Shumona Goel, juxtaposes a voice-over interview and the representation of a visually striking locale (contrasting the words of an Indian filmmaker with images from an optics and camera company in Jadavpur, Kolkata). In Soon-Mi Yoo’s Dangerous Supplement, a number of its landscape shots are found footage artifacts, filmed by the American military during the Korean War; in the words of the late Mark Lapore, “All the images/places are metaphorically flawed or incomplete, being lost as fast as you can see them.”-Federico Windhausen

Bensberg September 2009 directed by Lea Hartlaub

11 minutes |Germany | 2010 | HD Projection
A detached house on a mountain by Cologne, a station. The earth’s movement is monitored and recorded. An archive in the basement, 54 years stored away in this room. A dial gauge ticking through the old tubes.-Academy of Media Arts Cologne

The Mutability of All Things and the Possibility of Changing Some directed by Anna Marziano

16 minutes | Italy, France | 2011 | HD Projection

This journey into mutability takes place in Abruzzi, Italy, in a territory that was damaged by the earthquake in 2009. By way of fragments of conversations, archive material and readings in public spaces, the film explores the becoming of individual and social bodies. How should one accommodate the perpetual new beginning of things and continue participating in the transformation of a community?-Anna Marziano

I am Micro directed by Shai Heredia and Shumona Goel

14 minutes | India | 2011 | HD Projection

Shot in an abandoned optics factory and centered on the activities of a low budget film crew, I am Micro is an experimental essay about filmmaking, the medium of film, and the spirit of making independent cinema.Shail Heredial & Shumona Goel

Home Movies Gaza directed by Basma Alsharif

24 minutes  | Palestinian Territories | 2013  | HD Projection

Home Movies Gaza introduces us to the Gaza Strip as a microcosm for the failure of civilization. In an attempt to describe the everyday of a place that struggles for the most basic of human rights, this video installation claims a perspective from within the domestic spaces of a territory that is complicated, derelict, and altogether impossible to separate from its political identity.-Basma Alsharif

Dangerous Supplement directed by Soon-Mi Yoo

14 minutes | South Korea, USA | 2005 | HD Projection

Dangerous Supplement looks at the cultural and perspective balance between aerial shots and everyday life on the ground, between blunt intent and incidental evidence and between past and present.-Film Festival Rotterdam

Photo courtesy of the organiser/s

For more information please click here