Takeover: a film program curated by Julian Ross

September 22, 2022 – December 15, 2022

Agnieszka Polska, I Am the Mouth II (excerpt), 2014.

Agnieszka Polska, I Am the Mouth II (excerpt), 2014.

e-flux Video & Film is very pleased to present Takeover, a new online program curated by Julian Ross.

This program explores the experience of letting another being—their voice, or their mind—into our own. Would we become them, or would they become us? The act of letting someone in, or of being the recipient of a possession, can involve a loss of self. But it can also be a trigger for learning, sharing, or becoming.

Watching a film can operate in a similar way. In Sherlock Jr. (1924), Buster Keaton leaps into the cinema screen and enters the onscreen world. Or is it that the onscreen world has entered him? After all, we are in Keaton’s dream, which he has after falling asleep while operating the cinema’s film projector. Film can engulf us and haunt us. In questioning the limitation of understanding film experience as simply reception, Francesco Casetti suggests: “A spectator does not find herself “receiving” a film: she finds herself ‘living’ it.” (2011) Even after the screening is over and we leave the cinema, the film continues to live within us. As film viewers, we are not just a screen but also a projector, taking the film with us into the world.

Takeover will unfold in six chapters, each streaming for two weeks on e-flux Video & Film between September 22 and December 15, 2022.

With films and videos by Ephraim Asili, Kurdwin Ayub, Maïder Fortuné and Annie MacDonell, Simon Fujiwara, Dora García, Gary Hill, Su-Chen Hung, Hsu Che-yu, Myriam Jacob-Allard, Jesse McLean, Jonna Kina, Meiro Koizumi, Natsuka Kusano, Toshio Matsumoto, Agnieszka Polska, Riar Rizaldi, Manuel Saiz, Shireen Senno, Tiffany Sia, Ghita Skali, Lisa Spilliaert, Sriwhana Spong, Pilvi Takala, Isabelle Tollenaere, Joseph Wilson, and others to be announced.

The program opens with I. Tongue Takeover, now streaming September 22–October 5. All films will stream here.


Now streaming: Thursday, September 22–Wednesday, October 5, 2022
I. Tongue Takeover considers the experience of embodying another person, and of letting your mouth be a vessel for their voice. The films in this program show the artist or their subjects lip syncing, where they’ve learnt not only the words but also how they’re said. In Meiro Koizumi’s Oral History, the mouths aren’t lip syncing, but some of them are regurgitating untruths spread by ultranationalist media. Featuring Gary HillMouth Piece (1978); Myriam Jacob-AllardLes quatre récits d’Alice (2019); Kurdwin Ayubpretty-pretty (2019); Joseph WilsonIsn’t It a Beautiful World (2021); Agnieszka PolskaI Am the Mouth II (2014); Meiro KoizumiOral History (2013-2015). Read more about the films and watch them here.

Thursday, October 6–Wednesday, October 19, 2022
II. Voice Takeover considers the act of translation, and how the process of channeling another person’s thoughts through your own voice can feel like a possession. As words in one language haunt your mind, your mouth voices words in another language. Featuring Su-Chen HungEast/West (1984-1987); Manuel SaizSubtítulos: saber sin estudiar (2016); Lisa SpilliaertN.P (2020).

Thursday, October 20–Wednesday, November 2, 2022
III. Mind Takeover explores the blurry boundary between obsession and spiritual possession. When another person overwhelms your thoughts, it can feel like they have taken over your mind. Featuring Hsu Che-yuRabbit 314 (2020); Sriwhana Sponga hook but no fish (2017-2018); Maïder Fortuné and Annie MacDonellCommunicating Vessels (2020); and other films to be announced.

Thursday, November 3–Wednesday, November 16, 2022
IV. Words Takeover explores the act of reading as a summoning. The writer enters your mind, you let them in, and their thoughts hover alongside yours. And when you read them out loud, you become a vessel for their thoughts to enter the world. Featuring Ephraim AsiliFluid Frontiers (2017); Dora GarcíaThe Joycean Society (2013); Jonna KinaSecret Words and Related Stories (2013-16); Natsuka KusanoDomain (2019); and other films to be announced.

Thursday, November 17–Wednesday, November 30, 2022
V. Screen Takeover reflects on contemporary digital culture and how technology and media allow the lives of others to enter our world and, at times, inhabit it. In these works, artists show us the world as seen through a portable device screen, which seems to have been possessed by an invisible person, a virus, or an abstract entity. Featuring Simon FujiwaraHello (2015); Toshio MatsumotoRelation (1982); Riar RizaldiKasiterit (2019); Jesse McLeanWherever You Go, There We Are (2017); Tiffany SiaDo Not Circulate (2020); and other films to be announced.

Thursday, December 1–Wednesday, December 14, 2022
VI. Scene Takeover considers how film and television genres can take over our thoughts and even subliminally dictate how we act in the real world. But it also explores how we can act against expectations, become parasites, and inhabit worlds not necessarily designed for us. Featuring Isabelle TollenaereThe Remembered Film (2018); Ghita SkaliThe Invaders (2021); Shireen SennoShotgun Tuding (2014); Pilvi TakalaThe Stroker (2018).

Wednesday, December 15, 2022: Last day

Julian Ross is a researcher, curator, and writer based in Amsterdam. He is an Assistant Professor at Leiden University Centre for the Arts in Society.