A dynamic space for online film and video programming, Filament streams films by a diverse range of filmmakers and artists along with online conversations with filmmakers and audiences through the year.
FILAMENT | ONLINE FILM EXHIBITION | PART 3Abhishek Hazra | Between Repetition & Reticence
Experimenter presents Between Repetition & Reticence, an exhibition by Abhishek Hazra that posits itself in a crevice formed between the relationship of dissent, class, legacies of a graded vertical society and cultural history viewed through a lens constructed by the artist’s multidimensional practice. Using language, research text, historical scientific documents, musical notations, sonic experiments and spoken word, Hazra creates an environment ensconced by multiple channel video and aural experiences.
As part of FILAMENT – Experimenter’s online film program, Between Repetition & Reticence will show a specially created film that ties the four-film installation, concurrently on view at the physical exhibition at Experimenter – Hindusthan Road. Both the onsite and online exhibitions open simultaneously on 09 September. While the onsite exhibition will be on view until 30 September, FILAMENT will be online until 20 October.
FILAMENT | ONLINE FILM EXHIBITION | PART 2Bani Abidi
Experimenter presents the second part of its online film and moving image program Filament, showing films by Bani Abidi as a 4-part online exhibition, embedding the films on Experimenter’s website for 10-days each.
Abidi (b. 1971) Karachi, Pakistan, and now working between Berlin and Karachi uses video and photography to comment upon politics and culture, often through humorous and absurd vignettes. The exhibition weaves a selection of Abidi’s moving-image work over the last decade.
The films and their viewing schedules are:
An Unforeseen Situation (2015) | 6 min 42 sec | 10 July - 20 July
The Distance From Here (2009) | 12 min | 20 July - 30 July
‘Funland' – Karachi Series II (2014) | 15 min | 30 July - 10 August
Death at a 30 Degree Angle (2012) | 15 min | 10 August - 20 August
About the films:
An Unforeseen Situation
6 min 42 sec
10 July - 20 July
An Unforeseen Situation refers to a series of orchestrated mass events and spectacular individual feats hosted by the Punjab Ministry of Sports in 2014 during which multiple world records were reportedly broken by Pakistan. Picking up from the popular rumours, newspaper clippings and video footage surrounding the events, the artist spins her own version of the events as they unfolded.
The Distance from Here
20 July - 30 July
The Distance from Here is a reflection on the psychology of visa waiting rooms, embassy protocols and the nervous anticipation of visa applicants who are hoping to access international travel from cities in South Asia. Gleaned from frequent visits to the ‘Diplomatic Enclave’ in Islamabad, Abidi gently observes the gestures of her fellow visa applicants, their conversations and questions, the spontaneous local economy that props up to enable the time of waiting and preparation, and the forbidding architecture and processes of permission that strip people of their belongings, and separate and organize them into obedient bodies. This is an homage to everyone who feels scared and unsure about whether they will ever get to make their journey.
Funland (Karachi Series - II)
30 July - 10 August
The documentary works in Bani Abidi’s video and photo installation Funland (Karachi Series - II) meander between being memorials to a cosmopolitan city that fights for its survival to melancholic imaginings of a hypothetical, deserted future. A library in Karachi puts itself under a harsh regiment of censorship. Threatened
by suspicious visitors asking questions about the vast reserve of books on comparative religion and history, the board decides to hide seventy percent of its collection; a cinema hall from the 50’s in the city center is burnt down by an outraged mob protesting a video posted on the internet; an amusement park built in the 1970’s fears closure as construction on the country’s tallest skyscraper begins next to it. These moments in scantily inhabited public spaces play alongside a video of a man on a sea shore, sitting on a set of meticulously laid out chairs, watching the sea. This work is a continuation of Abidi’s ongoing exploration of the demographic, economic and cultural changes in her home city Karachi. The first work from this series were the photographs she orchestrated in 2009, titled ‘Karachi Series I’. This 6 channel video installation has been re-edited for a single channel presentation.
Death at a 30 Degree Angle
10 August - 20 August
Death at a 30 Degree Angle is a work about the commissioning of a monumental statue by a small-time politician. Located in present day India, the film is shot in the atelier of a sculptor who is renowned for large statues of politicians and national heroes. The politician, along with his cronies, experiments with a variety of costumes and poses, actively participating in the writing of his own memory and myth making. Death at a 30 Degree Angle is a reflection on self-portraiture, megalomania and monumentality. Today, statues of erstwhile leaders, rulers and heroes lie scattered in graveyards and public squares all over the world. Communist leaders of all sizes, colonial explorers with hands thrust forward in righteous motivation, glowering facsimiles of African dictators made in Korea, fists, boots, disembodied heads, all lie relegated to remote tourist parks or to overgrown backyards of palace museums. These are objects that once controlled and impressed upon public space and imagination, but overnight became mere proxies, subjected to torture, ridicule and public vengeance.
FILAMENT | ONLINE FILM EXHIBITION | PART IMoyra Davey, Ashish Avikunthak and Naeem Mohaiemen
Filament | Part I explores how logical interpretations are often insufficient to comprehend the ways in which interlaced human relationships affect thinking. How history is told, interpreted and re-told, what truths are truths and what of them are myths that become truths over time. Employing human experiences, the workings of our complex minds and intertwined personal relationships as a point of entry, the exhibition presents three feature-length films that maybe used as a lens to reflect on our world as it stands today. A world that is facing paradigm shifts, questioning what we have held to be pivotal, a world that is fraught with uncertainty but one that eventually seeks human relationships as a fundamental structure to think anew.
The 3-part exhibition presents three feature-length films by each artist, embedding each film on Experimenter’s website for a week.
The films and their viewing schedules are:
Moyra Davey, Les Goddesses (2011), 61 mins | 11 May – 17 May
Ashish Avikunthak, Rati Chakravyuh (2013), 106 mins | 18 May – 24 May
Naeem Mohaiemen, Last Man in Dhaka Central (2015), 82 mins | 25 May – 31 May
About the films:
Les Goddesses (2011)
11 May – 17 May, 2020
In Les Goddesses (2011), Davey presents a part photo-story, part document featuring audio and image running in anachronistic parallel. The artist’s voice-over narrates the tragic experience of the political philosopher Mary Wollstonecraft and her family, linking these to her own life and work as a photographer. Davey’s film, while moving between disparate times and locales, also navigates the margins of cultural history, the creation of personal memory and the development of Davey’s artistic practice,—ranging from Wollstonecraft’s records of her Scandinavian travels in the nineteenth century, to the artist’s photographic archives revealing portraits of her sisters and close friends, tucked away in her present-day New York City apartment.
Rati Chakravyuh (2013)
18 May – 24 May, 2020
All of Avikunthak’s films defy an easy summary, but in Rati Chakravyuh he shows that he is aware of this tendency by opening the film with an unassuming, yet fairy-tale like introduction: “On the night of a complete lunar eclipse, twelve newlywed couples come together after their mass wedding with a priestess and talk….” With a running time of 102 minutes this is the first feature length continuous single shot narrative film in India and one of the earliest in the world. It was featured at the 10th Shanghai Biennale and has been shown in many parts of the world.
Last Man in Dhaka Central (2015)
25 May – 31 May, 2020
A summer of tigers ended with a failed Maoist mutiny. Along with the leaders, also arrested was Peter Custers – a Dutch journalist who refused to leave the country even amidst signs of danger. Last Man in Dhaka Central unspools two stories in reverse. In a series of newsreels, we start with Peter’s release. In parallel, memories unravel over books and magazines in his Netherlands home. Inspired by Herbert Marcuse’s OneDimensional Man, Peter dropped out of Johns Hopkins University to move to Asia in search for a revolutionary proletariat. Last Man in Dhaka Central premiered at the 56th Venice Biennale (“All the World’s Futures”), intended to begin a longer dialogue with Peter Custers. Later that year, Peter passed away unexpectedly. The last man has left the room.