OJOBOCA, Samuel Delgado & Helena Girón, Ben Rivers, Ralitsa Doncheva, Josh Gibson
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N. Milwaukee
Saturday, May 7, 7 pm, $7-10
“I then took another look into the rearview mirror, on my own. And I discovered, somewhat to my surprise, that when you look in the rearview mirror you do not see what has gone passed. You see what is coming. And the rearview mirror is the foreseeable future. It is not the past at all. The title, the phrase “rearview mirror” appears to distort the situation. Most people think of it instinctively from the sound of the phrase, “It must be the past.” In terms of media, of course, the thing that is occupying the foreground in terms of the rearview mirror is nostalgia. Nostalgia is the name of the game in every part of our world today. Nostalgia is not, well it’s a kind of rearview mirror if you like, but it’s also the shape of things to come.” – Marshall McLuhan
The Nightingale is pleased to present this program of short films that have their own particular ways with looking back, while simultaneously sharing in the projection of what lies ahead. Guided by voices via archival recordings, literary renditions, oral histories, and personal testimonies, these modern mythologies strive toward utopian fulfillments, but also present the threats of shifting ecologies that all too often accompany such palpable yet fragile states of being. Please join us for an evening of Chicago premieres as we travel to the small town of Hüllen-Hüllen, the isolated community of Ye on the island of Lanzarote, the remote volcanic Republic of Vanuatu, the Zelenikovsky Monastery in Bulgaria, and the backwaters of North Carolina in search of simply that which makes us come alive.
Anja Dornieden & Juan David González Monroy, 2014, 16mm, color, 16:37
In 1984, for three weeks in May, what appeared to be a giant cloud shrouded the small town of Hüllen-Hüllen in darkness. Before the end of the month the cloud had dispersed and life seemed to return to normal. One month later, however, the town was hastily abandoned and its residents were nowhere to be found. They left most of their belongings behind in such a way as to make one think they would return at any moment.
The search that followed led investigators to a cave on the outskirts of town. Inside the cave a number of homemade contraptions were discovered. Connected by a variety of mirrors and fitted with a wide array of lenses, they were found to form a large projection device. Even though at first sight it appeared to be either unfinished or broken, it was eventually determined to be in working order. When it was turned on it projected a series of images over every surface of the cave. Initially the source of the images could not be established, yet upon further examination it was found that the images were engraved directly on the lenses of the machine.
Along with the machine a sheet of paper covered in handwritten text was also found. It was titled “Cloud Shadow”. Beyond the uncertain clues provided by the images and the text, no verifiable explanation for the disappearance of the town’s residents has ever been given. For the sake of preservation the engraved images were transferred onto 35mm slide film. Copies of the text and images were made and archived together. We have been lucky enough to obtain one of these sets. For the benefit of those interested in examining this strange occurrence, we’ve put them together as a narrated slideshow.
Neither God nor Santa María
Samuel M. Delgado & Helena Girón, 2015, 16mm to digital, color, 11:45
Since airplanes did not exist, people moved around using prayers, they went from one land to another and returned early, before dawn. In old audio recordings, the voices of pastors speak of the mythical existence of witches and their travels. In the daily life of a woman the magic of her tales begin to materialize as night falls. Night is the time when travel is possible.
There is a Happy Land Further Awaay
Ben Rivers, 2015, S16mm to digital, color & b/w, 20:10
There Is A Happy Land Further Awaay (2015), captures the landscapes of the remote volcanic Republic of Vanuatu archipelago, before they were devastated by Cyclone Pam in early 2015, the footage becoming a ghostly document of an ecosystem now irrevocably altered.
A hesitant female voice reads a poem by Henri Michaux, recounting a life lived in a distant land, full of faltering and mistakes. Island imagery of active volcanoes, underwater WW2 debris, children playing, and wrecked boats transform into intangible digital recollections of the island, made on the opposite side of the world. Images of the eroded land merge with eroding film, a lone figure on a boat drifts at sea.
Baba Dana Talks to the Wolves
Ralitsa Doncheva, 2015, 16mm to digital, color, 10:38
Baba Dana Talks To The Wolves is an intimate, impressionistic portrait of Baba Dana, an 85 year-old Bulgarian woman who has chosen to spend her life in the mountains, away from people and cities. She lives in one of the oldest monasteries in Bulgaria, Zelenikovsky Monastery. Once known as a favorite place of repose for Bulgaria’s last Tzar, the place is now known as Baba Dana’s home. There are no wolves in this film. There are no wolves left in Bulgaria.
Journey to the Sea
Josh Gibson, 2015, 35mm to digital, color & b/w, 14:23
In Journey to the Sea, an elderly woman floats down a river of elusive memories and fragmented artifacts from cinema‘s history, straining to recall the places that she has been. Passing through childhood creeks and riverside views of great cities, she also struggles to remember the impulse of travel itself. Her fading and fluid memories of touristic desire merge into an unreliable account of a great river teeming with duck-billed platypuses, disappearing Native Americans, fellow tourists and intimate hair washes.
Programmed by Lorenzo Gattorna
Filed under: 16mm
, found footage
Recent Work by Ana Vaz
Ana Vaz in Person!
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N. Milwaukee
Sunday, May 8, 6 pm, $7-10
The work of Ana Vaz confronts our conceptualization of history via themes of colonialism, semiotics, and memory. Vaz creates loose sound and color palettes, imagines impossible pasts, and melds together popular and personal texts all in service of refocusing our understanding of the ages before our own. She reframes well-known historical realities with elements of utopian fantasy and poetic logic as a window to the contemporary moment and its inheritance of complicated forces.
A FILM, RECLAIMED (Ana Vaz & Tristan Bera, 2015, 20’, HD, sound)
The ecologic crisis is a political, economic and social crisis. It is also cinematographic, as cinema coincides historically and in a critical and descriptive way with the development of the Anthropocene. “A Film, Reclaimed” is a conversation, a pamphlet that reads the terrestrial crisis under the influence and with the help of the beautiful and terrible films which have accompanied it. – AV + TB
A IDADE DA PEDRA (2013, 29’, 16mm/HD, sound)
“As artificial as the world must have been when it was created”
A voyage into the far west of Brazil leads us to a monumental structure – petrified at the centre of the savannah. Inspired by the epic construction of the city of Brasília, the film uses this history to imagine it otherwise. “I look at Brasília the way I look at Rome : Brasília began with a final simplification of ruins”. Through the geological traces that lead us to this fictive monument, the film unearths a history of exploration, prophecy and myth. -AV
I PREFER NOT TO BE BUT TO TUPI (2015, 20’, performance, video, sound)
Brazilian modernist poet Oswald de Andrade cannibalizes Hamlet in his Anthropophagic Manifesto, a gesture of perspectival shift: Tupi or not not Tupi that is the question. The Amerindian Tupinambá, the Tupi, become the symbolic nexus that roots this shift. Therein, we must remember “we are all indians, expect for the ones who are not”. I Prefer Not to Be but to Tupi is a camouflaged incantation of another film, a literary expansion on and for the cinematic, an opening into a horizon of sonic and textual presences, spectres in/tangled in time and places. – AV
Ana Vaz (b. 1986, Brasília) is an artist and filmmaker whose films and expanded works speculate upon the relationships between self and other, myth and history through a cosmology of signs, references and perspectives. Assemblages of found and shot materials, her films combine ethnography and speculation in exploring the frictions and fictions imprinted upon natural and built environments and its multiple inhabitants. A graduate from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Le Fresnoy Studio National, Ana was also a member of SPEAP (School of Political Arts), a project conceived and directed by Bruno Latour. Recent screenings include the New York Film Festival – Projections, TIFF Wavelenghts, CPH:DOX, Videobrasil and Lux Salon. In 2015, she was the recipient of the Kazuko Trust Award presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in recognition of artistic excellence and innovation in her moving-image work.Programmed by Christy LeMaster
Filed under: documentary
AV MIX TAPE
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N. Milwaukee
Sunday, April 24, 6:30 pm, Free
In collaboration with TRACERS, and in conjunction with their two-person exhibition tide/tithe (Roots & Culture, April 15th– May 14th), Alexandria Eregbu and Rami George present a visual and auditory mixtape for The Nightingale. Exploring themes of cultural influence and disjointed histories, a wavelike motion brings concerns addressed in the gallery to the screen. Featured artists include Hiba Farhat, Orr Menirom, and Sanaz Sohrabi.
Sanaz Sohrabi – Disposables (2015, 7 min)
Orr Menirom – Limited Speech Holds Endless Misunderstandings
(2013, 10 min)Hiba Farhat – The Phone Rings (2014, 22 min)
Alexandria Eregbu is a conceptual artist and disciplinary deviant. Her practice often takes shape in the form of maker, performer, curator, educator, and programmer. Eregbu’s concerns frequently address performativity, visibility, ontology, resistance, locality, and mobility. Her work tends to insert itself at the axis of personal experience and myth— usually reliant upon the collection of artifacts, material culture, and an attentiveness to current and historical events. Eregbu has been featured in a range of exhibitions including the Arts Incubator in Washington Park, Hyde Park Art Center, Woman Made Gallery, Nightingale Cinema, Roots + Culture Contemporary Art Center, and The Franklin Outdoor in Chicago, IL; Milwaukee Art Museum in Milwaukee, WI, among others. Most recently Eregbu co-curated, The Annual: An Exhibition of New Chicago Art at Chicago Artists Coalition and was highlighted in Newcity’s Breakout Artists: Chicago’s Next Generation of Image Makers (2015). Eregbu is a current Resident Artist and Curatorial Fellow with ACRE. She received her BFA from the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago.
Hiba Farhat is an artist and filmmaker from Lebanon.
Rami George is an interdisciplinary artist, primarily working in photo, video, and installations. Completing their BFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2012, they have exhibited and screened internationally. They continue to be influenced and motivated by political struggles and missing narratives.
Orr Menirom’s videos look into language as a border – geographical, political and psychological. Focusing on the relationship between media, language, politics and identity, Menirom mixes found footage with self-shot imagery while re-editing sentences, dubbing words and generating new messages from existing footage. Consequently, language becomes a method to question the formation of the narrative. Whose voice speaks in the video? Whose message is being heard?
Sanaz Sohrabi is an artist and educator in Chicago. Oscillating between the conditions of what an image can be, and what it means for it to exist in the world, Sohrabi utilizes image making, body movement and re-enactment in order to create a space of observation to explore the physical and intangible distribution and limitation of space, body and image. Sohrabi received her BFA from University of Tehran in 2011 and MFA from School of the Art Institute in 2014 where she was awarded the James Nelson Raymond Fellowship and the New Artist Society Merit Scholarship. She has received fellowships from Est-Nord-Est through Québec Council of the Arts and Vermont Studio Center. Exhibitions and performances include, Art Expo Chicago, 6018 North Gallery, Nightingale Micro Cinema, Eisentrager-Howard Gallery, Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts among others.
Programmed by Alexandria Eregbu and Rami George
Filed under: Uncategorized