Artists' Film International (2018)
Project 88 is pleased to announce its sixth exhibition in affiliation with Artists’ Film International (AFI). Organized annually since 2009 by the Whitechapel Gallery in London, AFI showcases artists working with film, video, and animation that are selected by 16 partner institutions around the world and presented over the course of the year at each venue. The exhibition features films selected by Munem Wasif, whose recent film Machine Matter(2017) is a part of this year’s AFI Program. Wasif’s selection includes Vladimir Nikolic’s There is No Landscape (2014), John Skoog’s Shadowland (2014), Musa paradisiaca’s Masters of Velocity (2017), and Rosa Barba’s Outwardly from Earth’s Center (2007).
The selected films address boundaries between fact and fiction, and the visible and the interpreted to discuss questions concerning perceptions of the ‘truth.’ Nikolic and Skoog’s films address landscapes and the way their filmic portrayals can alter the objective realities they represent through the use of tools including camera angles and sound. In Nikolic’s film, There is no Landscape, a still mountainous landscape in China is rendered into a space of dynamism and drama through narrative schemes. Skoog’s film, Shadowland features varying Californian landscapes that are reminiscent of spaces that do not connote with Californian realities based on their past usage as Hollywood shooting locations for films set in places around the world. In both films, viewers are confronted with the fine line between what is real and what is represented. Light is thrown upon the ability of spaces to be transformed through the use of cinematic manipulation. This compels a deliberation of ways in which information may similarly be manipulated by media apparatuses, reminding viewers to remain critical and vigilant towards their perceptions of knowledge. Barba’s film, Outwardly from Earth’s Center treats landscape slightly differently; it presents a fictitious narrative concerning a space in documentary format. Although the narrative is construed, it is used to represent a very real geological crisis. What is the truth in this case is derived from fabrication. Finally, Musa paradisiaca’s Masters of Velocity examines relations between thoughts and actions through notions of desire, probability, and velocity. Objective and empirical concepts such as rhythm and frequency are challenged by the abstract and idiosyncratic nature of desire. The notion of the truth, commonly associated with what is real or tangible, may be understood subsequently as a qualitative concept determined equally by the psychological, imagined and conceptual. In totality, the films compel us to examine the perceptions, implications, as well as the value of the ‘truth’ as a concept.