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Exhibition

Vive le cinéma! Art & Film

Lucrecia Martel, Leopold Emmen, Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Carlos Reygadas and Jia Zhang-ke

5 June — 5 September 2021

Jia Zhang-ke, Close-Up (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Jia Zhang-ke, Close-Up (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut

The filmmakers — Lucrecia Martel (South America), Leopold Emmen (Europe), Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (Africa), Carlos Reygadas (North America) and Jia Zhang-ke (Asia) — were each invited to make a work for the exhibition that exploits the three-dimensional gallery space rather than the two-dimensional cinema screen. For some of them, it was the first time they had created a cinematographic installation that explores the boundaries of their work and of the art of film in general.

To mark the 75th anniversary of the Filmmuseum and the 50th International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR), Eye and the IFFR have selected five film directors from five continents as a way of celebrating the unlimited power and diversity of world cinema, which is so vital for the programming.

Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Bodies of Negroes. I Will Sculpture God, Grim and Benevolent (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Bodies of Negroes. I Will Sculpture God, Grim and Benevolent (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Jia Zhang-ke, Close-Up (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Jia Zhang-ke, Close-Up (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut

Jia Zhang-ke

Jia Zhang-ke (born in Fenyang, China, in 1970) represents the voice of Chinese independent cinema. Films like Platform (2000) and Still Life (2006) often explore the intersection of fiction and documentary. Social observation is another key element in his work. His most important stylistic device is the extended total shot. The individual always forms part of a larger entity — a space, a situation, an era. For Vive le cinéma! he has made a new work based on the ubiquity of surveillance cameras.

Leopold Emmen

Nanouk Leopold & Daan Emmen (both born in Rotterdam in 1968) have been making spatial works together since 2009 under the name Leopold Emmen. Leopold’s films, which include Boven is het stil (2013) and Cobain (2018), have been screened at the film festivals in Berlin, Cannes and Toronto and are celebrated for their consistent artistic character, their restrained expression, and the way space and location determine the story. In Vive le cinéma! Leopold Emmen presents the most pared-down form of cinema, in which light and sound create a physical and spatial filmic experience.

Leopold Emmen, Filmwork for Eye: 5 Scenes at a Walking Pace (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Leopold Emmen, Filmwork for Eye: 5 Scenes at a Walking Pace (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut

Lucrecia Martel

Lucrecia Martel (born in Salta, Argentina, in 1966) rose to prominence as a filmmaker with her debut film The Swamp (2001), and more recently with the hallucinating Zama (2017). Time and space in her work are elastic and infinite, and the sound design often determines the final form of the film. In The Passage, her new installation at Eye, she works with heat images and voices from northern Argentina (qom, quechua, aymara, wichi and guarani), yet another attempt in unmasking the artificiality of race.

Lucrecia Martel, The Passage (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Lucrecia Martel, The Passage (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Bodies of Negroes. I Will Sculpture God, Grim and Benevolent (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Bodies of Negroes. I Will Sculpture God, Grim and Benevolent (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut

Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese

Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese (born in Hlotse, Lesotho, in 1980) is one of the most exciting visual voices around today. He belongs to a generation of makers from Africa whose work questions stereotypes surrounding the continent’s cinema and develops new visual imagery to tell their stories. His film This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection (2019) uses wonderful and penetrating images to tell the story of his grandmother, who is forced to leave her land to allow for the construction of a water reservoir. For Eye he has made an overwhelming installation with multiple screens that focus on the representation of the black female body.

Carlos Reygadas

Carlos Reygadas (born in Mexico City in 1971) makes intuitive narratives of breathtaking beauty about human relationships and the mystery of life. Triggered by the transcendental visual imagery of Carl Theodor Dreyer and Andrei Tarkovsky, he probes the limits of human existence. Spirituality, sexuality, violence and nature are recurring themes in his sometimes provocative, sometimes controversial films (Japón, 2002, Stellet licht, 2007, and Nuestro tiempo, 2018). His installation at Eye was inspired by a gigantic film reel or a pre-cinema device and confronts the visitor with his own view and that of the Other.

Carlos Reygadas, The Eye Machine (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Carlos Reygadas, The Eye Machine (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
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still from the Vive le cinéma! exhibition trailer
Leopold Emmen, Filmwork for Eye: 5 Scenes at a Walking Pace (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Leopold Emmen, Filmwork for Eye: 5 Scenes at a Walking Pace (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut

Video-essays & online platform

In collaboration with the IFFR programme Critics' Choice VII On Positionality, five new video essays have been made to provide context for the works on display in Vive le cinéma! The video essays are available on the Vive le cinéma! online platform, where a digital ‘space’ for each director contains in-depth information, fragments, documents and texts.

Watch vivelecinema.online
poster Vive le cinéma! Exhibition + film, talks & events

Films, talks & events

Accompanying the exhibition is a film programme and five special film evenings with the directors, curated by Dana Linsen and Jan Pieter Ekker, in which the filmmakers in the exhibition take us on a journey through their work.

Lucrecia Martel, The Passage (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Lucrecia Martel, The Passage (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut

Exploding and Expanded Cinema

Since the emergence of cinema, there have been experiments in which filmmakers venture off the beaten track of the ‘ordinary’ narrative movie. As filmmakers and artists, they investigate the language and possibilities of film. That can sometimes lead to innovation within narrative cinema, or to intersections with other art disciplines. Such efforts are sometimes referred to as ‘experimental cinema’, or ‘expanded cinema’, or simply artistic cinema.

The seventh art

In the 1950s the then Filmmuseum, under its first director Jan de Vaal, began to organize weekly film screenings at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. That marked cinema’s incorporation as the seventh art in the rich palette of modern art. In the early 1970s the Rotterdam Arts Council asked Huub Bals to organize an annual festival, and over the intervening 50 years it has grown to become one of the leading platforms for international cinema. Bals never doubted about the close ties between film and art. He is credited with the saying: ‘Film is cinema is art’.

Leopold Emmen, Filmwork for Eye: 5 Scenes at a Walking Pace (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Leopold Emmen, Filmwork for Eye: 5 Scenes at a Walking Pace (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Carlos Reygadas, The Eye Machine (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Carlos Reygadas, The Eye Machine (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut

Exploding cinema

The International Film Festival Rotterdam has been exploring that intersection more explicitly since the mid-1990s, initially under the name ‘Exploding Cinema’. Innovative filmmakers and artists from places and continents that, cinematographically speaking, had been ‘terra incognita’ for a long time had finally found a platform.

Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Bodies of Negroes. I Will Sculpture God, Grim and Benevolent (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Bodies of Negroes. I Will Sculpture God, Grim and Benevolent (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut

Intersection of film and visual art

Since the opening of the new Eye Filmmuseum in Amsterdam-North, it has developed an exhibition programme that investigates what cinema can be beyond the ‘standard’ movie picture. Film as art, film as the seventh art. Exhibitions that focus on the intersection of film and visual art, showcasing both filmmakers and visual artists. Eye has made exhibitions with artists like Ryoji Ikeda, William Kentridge, Hito Steyerl, Anthony McCall, Fiona Tan, Jesper Just, Isaac Julien and Francis Alÿs, and also with film artists like Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Wang Bing, Alex van Warmerdam and Chantal Akerman, and with film directors who had not previously made work for three-dimensional space, among them Béla Tarr. In addition, Eye consistently considers the question of how to exhibit film, as was clearly demonstrated in shows devoted to the work of figures like Andrei Tarkovsky, Michelangelo Antonioni and Oskar Fischinger.

It is notable that over the past two decades the fringe area between film and visual art has gradually become less clearly defined. Not only do many visual artists make use of the medium of film, but conversely, more and more film directors are discovering the use of three-dimensional space instead of the two-dimensional cinema screen.

Leopold Emmen, Filmwork for Eye: 5 Scenes at a Walking Pace (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Leopold Emmen, Filmwork for Eye: 5 Scenes at a Walking Pace (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Lucrecia Martel, The Passage (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut
Lucrecia Martel, The Passage (2021); © Studio Hans Wilschut

In collaboration with:

The exhibition was partly made possible thanks to:

Still VERS movie

Wat is de cinema van de toekomst?⁠

Vijf jonge filmtalenten hebben de films van de kunstenaars van Vive le cinéma! bekeken. In deze nieuwe online serie vertellen ze over wat hen inspireert. Dit zijn Stefanie Kolk, Zara Dwinger, Dylan Werkman, Daphne Lucker en Aramis Garcia Gonzalez.

Bekijk ze hier

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