We are thrilled to present researches and works developed in Studio by the artists Emmy Skensved, João Drumond and Pete Fleming. The researches of the artists in Studio on March are accompanied by a critical text by Vincenzo Estremo.
PRIVATE VISION ON MARCH.Notes on Jonas Mekas and other thinks concerning our particular condition.text by Vincenzo Estremo
“In Lithuania, I am known as a poet, and they don’t care about my cinema. In Europe they don’t know my poetry; in Europe, I am a filmmaker. But here, in the United States, I am only a maverick!”Jonas Mekas
In occasion of the March’s residency program at Crippta747, I gathered a group of art-writers, curators, artists to screen a movie in the space of Cripta747. We transformed the gather in a collective meeting for discussion about art and contemporaneity starting from a great model of the past. Following the text you can read the e-mail conversation, we had after. At the meeting took part João Drumond, Pete Fleming, and Emmy Skensved as artists in residence. Annalisa Pellino, Matteo Mottin, and Sergey Kantsedal, as guests. Elisa Troiano, Alexandro Tripodi, Marianna Orlotti, the Cripta747's crew and me (Vincenzo Estremo).
e-mail n 1 Dear all I hope this mail finds you well I am here to remind you to send me just a few impression about our meeting in Cripta747 last March. Our meeting represented, more or less, an informal and illegal showcasing for the work for video and time-based media production of Jonas Mekas. I decided to start with Mekas by reinforcing his idea of distributing, among artists and people in New York, moving images films video and artist film. This idea aims to unveil the identities, ideologies, and imaginaries that are set in motion by video culture today. Our conversation was private but It hopes to have a future, to develop real public programs. I thank you all to have made possible its number zero, something that started exploring the material, spatial and political dimensions of the space of the screening. Please send me some thoughts and short texts about Mekas and moreover about the idea beyond the Anthology Film Archive that we improperly reenacted and more in general about our meeting, hugs to everyone and doesn’t matter how long you want to write I will edit all the texts together.
e-mail n 2 I was invited by Cripta747 to join a group to watch Jonas Mekas “Travel Songs” (1967-1981) and to discuss ideas around the Anthology Film Archive.Seemingly constructed from short clips that could be taken from “dailies” or “rushes” the movement of the camera is unsteady, sometimes out-of-focus, and the film often double exposed or sped up. A similar technique is used by the documentarian Adam Curtis in editing together archive and raw tv-news camera footage. Curtis however introduces a dissociative element through an incongruous soundtrack, rather than with film speed and dark room effects. Both editing techniques relate to a unitary vision of the auteur, either through a diaristic-phenomenological, or didactic, documentary practice.In “Travel Songs” Mekas seems to be exploring a personal nostalgia, an ontology of memory. The “songs” that constitute each new section and location in the film express an experience that is captured but not necessarily remembered. Time is compressed and the exactitude of the relationships between events is lost. So how did it feel to watch these now historical images of Europe in 2019? In the discussion that followed, conversation immediately related the films to current video based social media platforms such as Instagram stories, Snapchat, etc. As image literacy increases, and we become individual experts of directing, editing, and promoting our subjective vision, how does a constellation of digital auteurs tolerate just another series of blurry, “uninspiring fragments of someone's holiday” (to quote one review on mubi.com). Has the collective expertise we exercise when deciding whether to double-tap or watch a new “story” made us less tolerant of “content” that doesn’t immediately gratify our gaze? Or has the proliferation of decentralized pocket videographers and the hegemony of corporate network time-space meant that just like in “Travel songs” and i deliberately repeat myself here; time is compressed and the exactitude of the relationships between events is lost? Are we experiencing nostalgia-in-the-moment within a corporate environment designed to make life imitate advertising? A kind of Deja-vu described by Paolo Virno. Is it this dissociation that is proving so problematic?
e-mail n 3I used what could be my diary form, but also the Mekas’ filmic form, as well as the encounter we had in Cripta747; so it's all a patchwork of different things that I may have done, heard, read during a day, strictly incomplete and syncopated (italics are Mekas phrases or song titles).
wide awakeinside looking outsingle framing in real timefilm the sunrise from the moving train(un-)MEDIATED perceptionweak technology for strong thinkingrandomly on-off
A walktraces of visible PRESENCE in the sleeping cityunfinished sympathyrabbit shit at the end of the undergroundlost lost lost subway NOISE
RAW conversation crossing central parkloads of leavesobsolete and desirable thingsparatactic disorder of a fragmented lifestylePERSONAL is politicalin short
you make me feel mighty REELplaying the drama of the everyday lifeenveloping visual fieldall about truth: photogèniecan there be happiness in the CAMOUFLAGE of a mighty real?exercises over time
sketches notes rewriting the RULESwhere did I live and why? boredom energy of melancholic detailsphotograph the dust falling on the city time-MACHINE remnants
nightswimming deserves a quiet nightevery streetlight reveals the picture in REVERSEanalogic practice in digital agedreaming light movementthe allusive eye
keep on filmin’in order of prioritysyncopated OFFBEAT, weird splinter, voice overthe never ending narrativeEMBEDDED gestures, embodied (un)learninganytime, anywheredance dance dance
e-mail n 4
I spent my time in Turin thinking about presence and what it means to be in a particular place at a specific moment in time. As such, the Jonas Mekas film that we watched together, with its diaristic, travelogue-like quality, resonated with me somehow.I remember the discussion that ensued afterwards gravitated towards ruminations on the documentation of everyday life and how similar Mekas’ tactics are to the way we use smartphones today. Parallels were drawn between the quality of the images he made and certain instagram filters.One scene in particular has remained in my mind since we watched the film – a shot of the Mole Antonelliana, a landmark of Turin. Grainy and dreamlike, this image bears similarities to the mental picture of the city that I took away with me upon leaving.What does it mean to inhabit a place, what remains when one leaves, and what does one take away when they depart?
Jonas Mekas, a devotee of the film diary format, places his home movies into pensive anthologies lasting anywhere from a few minutes to nearly six hours. Using the words of P. Adams Sitney I want to stress out how much Mekas allowed us to reflect upon the present making use of the memories: “Here again an epistemological aporia is central to Mekas’s theology of memory, where without knowing it, we retain fragments of paradise… This means that, unpredictably, real events can be changed with the resonance of those Edenic feelings of elation, in which we step out of time (“ecstasy”), or compress time” (Sitney, P. Adams. "Mekas's Retrospection." in Eyes Upside Down: Visionary Filmmakers and the Heritage of Emerson. Oxford, Oxford UP, 2008, p. 378.). It is definitively Jonas Mekas with his bind to the aesthetics of exhilaration and his innovative vision of the memory that, we employed to read our personal and working condition, a condition in which private and public vision aims to converge.
The open studio on March 28th opens the third edition of Cripta747 Studio, an international programme of shared studio that in 2019 will host 13 artists and one curator from Canada, France, Great Britain, Italy, Lithuania, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain.
Emmy Skensved is a Canadian artist, based in Berlin since 2007. Her practice spans a variety of media including digital animation, audio, installation, and web design, and touches upon themes of new technology, economic and bodily consumption, subculture and social ritual.With her recent show, Room & Bored, at Polansky Gallery in Prague, She explored the theme of solitude in the digital age. In the exhibition space, She constructed a site-specific installation that encouraged rest and momentary isolation in order to consider how idleness and boredom are necessary for self-reflection and the creative process. Within this built environment, an audio track consisting of a whispering inner monologue took listeners through domestic spaces and communication channels, conceptualizing the ideal habitat for interior introspection.
In residence at Cripta747, She has continued working in this vein, examining the related theme of “presence” and working with both audio and sculptural elements in order to create an installation that relates to the idea of what it means to be physically present in our hyper-connected current day and age.
João Drumond was born on the Portuguese island of Madeira in 1990. His practice materializes into drawings, paintings and other graphic and tridimensional artefacts with a particular interest in language, mental health and environmental issues. After moving to Berlin in 2016 his research focused on water, in particular on water's treatment and supply for domestic consumption and on its geology, questioning the impact of this natural resource on the lives of human populations in a broader scope. Water is a basic human physiological need and has shaped societies, its economies, traditions but also people's mindsets in the form of fears of natural disasters and invasions, mythologies, or island cultures by providing isolation. The way that water influences the weather, in the form of clouds or precipitation, still has an impact in contemporary societies no matter how technologically advanced they are. It shapes what people wear and their moods and is a common topic in day to day conversations. In residency he has drawn upon these issues to research about past, present or future issues related to water in Turin and Italy. Its supplying infrastructures, environmental impact of water waste, its scarcity or abundance on ecosystems.
Pete Fleming, is a British artists living in Oslo. He approaches the digital image from a materialist position. Starting with light and touch, his installations explore the sensual and haptic nature of digital images. He creates situations that embrace my wider conceptual practice of “becoming-with” the digital image, wherein images are not discrete ‘things’ but in the words of Karen Barad “phenomena-in-their-becoming”. This means that images materialize through and within a relationship of interdependence with the rest of the world. He seeks to activate an engagement with images in the making: highlighting material transgressions between bodies and images, or by extrapolating photographic blemishes into sculptural motifs. Through these methodologies he aims to engage the affective capacities of our own bodies in response to a material situation that promotes subtlety, vulnerability, and openness. His work demonstrates an optimism for what is undefined - a position of value and hope in uncertainty.
The researches of the artists in Studio on March are accompanied by a critical text by Vincenzo Estremo, writer, editor in chief of Droste Effect magazine and Professor of “Mass Media Theory and Method” at NABA, Milan
Cripta747 Studio is a programme of shared studios borned in 2017. It aims to foster international mobility, the stay in town of artist and art professionals from all over the world and the growth of the city’s cultural and productive fabric. Every year we provide three workspace to artists, curators and researchers in a context that favours dialogue and pair exchange of ideas and skills between visual arts and other expressive languages.
Thanks to the collaboration with several research centers and cultural institutions, with the Academy of Fine Arts and the University of Turin, the artists, during the research phase, may access the rich archival and librarian heritage of the city and their projects can take advantage and be enriched by the history, geography or personalities that have characterized the city.
Cripta747 Studio Programme is also influenced by the area’s rich heritage of craft. The proximity to artisanal workshops, family-run manufacturing factories and small innovative companies present in the neighbourhood actively contribute to create a stimulating environment and an experimental production approach.
Cripta747 Studio Programme is a project by Cripta747 realised thanks to the support of Fondazione CRT.