Artists' Film International
Project 88 is pleased to announce its fifth exhibition in association with Artists’ Film International. Organized annually since 2009 by the Whitechapel Gallery, Artists’ Film International showcases artists working with film, video, and animation, selected by 16 partner organizations around the world and presented over the course of a year at each venue. This year’s theme is ‘collaboration.’ In this edition of Project 88’s participation, our selection comprises Desire Machine Collective’s Invocation that will be screened along with Mikhail Kariki's Aint Got No Fear, and Wojciech Bakowski's Analiza Wzrusze? I Rozdraznie? (The Analysis of Emotions and Vexations Part 2). The selected films address the tensions between the individual and the collective that grow out of socio-economic, and political circumstances. Kurikis and Bakowski’s films remind viewers of the often forgotten childhood thrills of debilitating authority and eluding surveillance, whilst forcing us to introspectively delve into the nature and cause of our own feelings in relation to our surroundings.
In light of these notions, Desire Machine Collective’s Invocation proposes a celebration of the psychical world through the dissolution of the physical, mental, and the emotional to transpose ‘the individual self’ into more potent entities. The films collectively compel us to reconsider the way we perceive ourselves, as well as those around us, and effectively make us question the way we build relations within our society. Invocation (2015) Desire Machine Collective – Project 88 Invocation is the world of pure affect, which has different markers, a liquid world of fluid affects. In this world lines transmute- man-woman, human-animal, liquid-solid, mind-body, river-sky, all dissolve into an effervescent and mutable affect. One perceives oneself as different things, and in doing so changes the perception of the onlooker by making an invocation. A choreography of the subconscious unhinged from the shackles of time and place spills onto the screen in flashes sometimes as the dancing jataayu pokhi, the dasavatar performer, and the demon. The place is the tree, the mustard fields, the forest. The body in becoming performs constantly - many masks are changed- many shapes shifted but sometimes all masks are dropped as man stands still reflecting, watching in a daze the river in flux as he moves in a different direction. The fish fins and the butterflies metamorphose into forms and colours as forgotten ancestors and minerals. A ritual is being performed but it is unstable and evasive. Disappearing constantly into the realm of the unknowable and the fluctuation. The placid blues take over once again and we are this time eased into a slow retreat of the hazy waters and the effervescent skies.
Aint Got No Fear (2016) Mikhail Karikis, Whitechapel Gallery, London Ain’t Got No Fear is a film which Mikhail Karikis created with a group of 11 to 13-year-old boys who are growing up in the militarised post-industrial marshland of the Isle of Grain in South East England. In response to the isolation of their village and the lack of space where teenagers can gather, in the last few years kids have been organising youth raves in a local wood, recently raided by the police. Using as their beat the persistent crushing noises of the demolition of a power plant next to their village, the boys of Grain sing a rap song they wrote about their lives, recalling memories of being younger, and imagining their old age and future. Structurally the video oscilates between a music video and observational footage which glimpses into teenage experiences on the edges of urbanity. It follows youths to their secret underground hideaways and features their rackety reclaiming of the local site where raves used to take place. Ain’t Got No Fear reveals a way in which industrial sites are often re-imagined by youths with a form of spatial justice defined by friendship and play, the thrill of subverting authority and evading adult surveillance.
Analysis of emotions and vexations 2 (2016) Wojciech Bakowski, Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw Wojciech Bakowski’s Analysis of emotions and vexations 2 is his latest animated film. It consists of several sequences in classic stop-motion style. The subtle drawings are not, however, set in motion; they remain static. Only some point or a small area of each scene is animated. Bakowski consistently puts the viewer in the role of the listener, showing himself and starting a conversation in the search for familiar words, images and feelings. In this film, Bakowski's imagistic poetry describes the arcane mechanisms of the mind through pulsating drawings and haunting sounds. The landscape of thought that unfolds defies delineations between inside and outside. Memories turn inside the head like projections from the exterior world, while the movement of watery vistas or passing car lights on city streets seem to be provoked by the power of reverie. There is a churning energy to the film, beating in the kinetic elements of his sculpture, in the distant chimes and bluster of his sound, and the weak flickers of lights that blink and extinguish, leaving darkness and the isolation of thought.