Author Archives: Claudia

Maya Deren Forum – Spiel und Ritual

For all those in or around Wuppertal, Germany

Donnerstag, 9. November 2017, 19:00 Uhr, Eintritt frei

2017 wäre Maya Deren 100 Jahre alt geworden. Die 1917 geborene Avantgarde-Filmemacherin, Tänzerin, Poetin, Autorin, Anthropologin und Ausgangspunkt dessen, was kurz darauf als Choreo-Cinéma benannt wurde, hat Künstler und Denker verschiedenster Hintergründe gleichermaßen beeinflusst; insbesondere im Experimentalfilm und in der Verbindung von Film und Tanz.

Vortrag und Film-Screening
Referenten: Florence Freitag and Dr. Claudia Kappenberg

Wo:

Neuer Kunstverein Wuppertal

Hofaue 51 (Kolkmannhaus)

42103 Wuppertal

www.tanzrauschen.de/maya-deren-100/

Die Veranstaltung ist eine Kooperation von Tanzrauschen e.V. Wuppertal und Neuer Kunstverein Wuppertal e.V.

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British dancefilm in Brussels festival

I spent a couple of days in Brussels, where I attended the 6th International Dancefilm Festival L’Art Difficile de Filmer La Danse, which runs 4-7 October at the Cinematek, Danscentrumjette and Argos. The artistic directors are Stefanie Bodien and Wolfgang Kolb, who run the festival together with Roxane Huilmand.

This festival always has one day where it focuses on a particular country, and this time it showed a selection of historical and contemporary British films. Roxane Huilmand and Wolfgang Kolb visited the UK earlier this year where they viewed films at the Lux and the BFI, and met with Gitta Wigro and others. The final selection and curation of the screenings was done by Wolfgang Kolb and Stefanie Bodien, who invited Simon Whitehead to perform at the opening night and asked me to give an overview of dance film in the UK and to introduce the films.

The list of films is included below. It was a great pleasure seeing this selection of films that began with Mime Dance, a 2min film by Ms Mary Montgomery from 1928,  and proceeded via Len Lye’s work for the British, General Post Office (GPO) from the 1930’s and a film by the Rambert Dance Company from the 1970s to work from artists of the London Filmmaker’s Coop, to the more familiar screendance by Peter Anderson, Miranda Pennell and Lloyd Newson, to visual artist Mark Lecky’s Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999), and finished gloriously with Charles Atlas and Michael Clark’s collaboration Hail the New Puritain (1986). The films were organised into four programmes which we watched one after the other, from 3pm to about 10.30pm. It was a feast and most engaging selection and we left hungry for more!

There were some unusual or even controversial works, in particular Dirty (1971), Steven Dwoskin, in which the camera scrutinises two female bodies not unlike most of his other work. A deliberately rough soundtrack and grainy image interfered with the visual consumption of the images to some extend, but more than any other work this film raises questions as to the cinematic gaze and our visual pleasure. Within the 20 or so films and historical narrative, this work was useful though to challenge our spectating. Another intriguing work was Imprint (1974), by Clive Meyer & John Chesworth and the Rambert Dance Company. The 70’s really did take the viewer on a journey and examined the film frame in spectacular ways. I had not seen this film and I found it spellbinding. A film like Boy (1995) by Peter Anderson and Rosemary Lee, perhaps demonstrates the excellence of the area of British TV screendance, and a few other projects could have been included here. But time was limited and finishing the screening with the exhuberant and fantastic Atlas/ Clark collaboration was a brilliant choice in that it embedded dancefilm in a wider cultural context, in this case post-punk London, and played with numerous registers of human frailty and extravagant performance.

Once again I am reminded how important curation is and how much it can open films to new readings and contexts. This programme would be worth taking on tour, to other festivals and other continents. Any takers?

Claudia Kappenberg (Image above: What People Do, Andrew Bar McKay 1981)

List of screened films: 

Memories of Mirrors Ursula Mayer 4’ 9

Mime Dance by Miss Mary Montgomery 2’ 9

Rainbow Dance Len Lye 4’ 9

Between Two Worlds Guy L. Côté 19’ 9

Imprint Clive Meyer & John Chesworth 45’ 9

 

Mantra Jeanette Iljon 6’ 10

Dirty Steven Dwoskin 14’ 10

What People Do Andrew Barr McKay 22’ 10

Falling Under Nicola Baldwin 15’ 10

Pointillist Dance David Leister 14’ 10

 

Dance House n° 2 Tim Albery 6’ 11

Dance House n° 3 Peter Mumford 6’ 11

Boy Peter Anderson/ Rosemary Lee 5’ 11

Lounge Miranda Pennell 7’ 11

Fiorruci Made Me Hardcore Mark Leckey 15’ 11

The Cost Of Living Lloyd Newson 34’ 11

 

Hail the New Puritan Charles Atlas/ Michael Clark 85’ 12

 

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Cinema as Ritual in Transfigured Time

Maya_Deren_Symposium

This was a somewhat spontaneous one-day symposium in Basel on the 20th May 2017, organised by Prof. Dr. Ute Holl, with and for students of the ‘Seminar Medienwissenschaften’ (Media Research Seminar) at the University of Basel, CH.

Convened in order to celebrate 100 years since the birth of Maya Deren, it aimed to explore the relation between dance and trance and cinema. Guest speakers included: Ling Ji Hon (who started the day of with a Tai Chi session), Christine Noll Brinckmann, Mathilde Rosier, Claudia Kappenberg, Moira Sullivan, Florence Freitag. The setting was suitably magical, hosted by Neues Kino Basel, a community-led romantic old building complete with Berlin-style ‘Hinterhof’, screening room, large kitchen diner and ample hang-out spaces.

Ute Hall invited everyone to fully immerse themselves in discussions, and to be flexible around timings and programming. This – and the delicious food – led to a lovely, relaxed and conversational atmosphere. Presenters had also been invited to mix academic discussions with more creative approaches and to screen personal work if suitable, which allowed for new connections to emerge between then and now and between different practices. My favourite was a presentation / screening by Mathilde Rosier, whose work has both visual rigour and a magical, playful character.

And guess what, Maya Deren’s footage and sound recordings from Haiti will feature in this year’s DOCUMENTA in Kassel, together with photos by Deren biographer Martina Kudlacek, work by the Haitian artist Andre Pierre and paintings by Amrita Sher-Gil. The exhibition is curated by Natasha Ginwala. See you there?!

Deren’s work clearly continues to fascinate and entrance people, and is perhaps more relevant than ever.

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Report from Panorama British Screendance

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I am following up on my last post about this event/ panorama in Bordeaux 11th May 2017: to make this happen, Camille Auburtin worked with three partners, the Cinéma Jean Eustache de Pessac in Bordeaux, who hosted the screening and lecture, the Université Populaire du Cinéma of Bordeaux (UNIPOP), and the independent association Cinéréseaux. It was an interesting forum as it brought together several different audiences of all ages, from young and mature filmmakers who work with dancers and screendance to those who had never heard of screendance/ video dance, but have a general interest in cinema and experimental work.

The films looked great on a massive screen in this 400 seater cinema, and were discussed in the context of experimental cinema’s rich history.

For a blog post on the event see: https://www.facebook.com/milleAub/posts/10155222269177246?match=Y2FtaWxsYXU%3D

 

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Panorama British Screendance

On the 11th May I will be presenting two film programmes in Bordeaux as part of an International Panorama of Screendance organised by L’UNIPOP, Université Populaire Cinéma in association with the Cinéma Jean Eustache Pressac.

Screendance is still relatively unknown in France, both as art practice and as a term (despite the Festival in Bourgogne that is run by Marisa Hayes and Franck Boulègue). French artists tend to speak of Videodance, Vidéodanse, which is not a very useful term and can send out the wrong signals. But apart from that, to an audience who does not know what this practice consist of, what kind of historical, British narrative would you propose and what works would you select for a screening?

I decided to start with the wonderful and groundbreaking structuralist filmmaking and artist’ moving image we have in Britain, to make a link with how movement was explored in these works and how it has developed more recently within screendance. Of course one could build many different programmes with this premise and thereby highlight different approaches and areas of choreographic and editorial interest. Below are the two programmes I will be screening in Bordeaux.

Programme 1 (Historical Perspective): Berlin Horse (1970) Malcolm Le Grice and The Whirlpool (1997) Jayne Parker, followed by Tattoo (2001) Miranda Pennell; Boy (1996) Rosemary Lee and Peter Anderson; Snow (2003) David Hinton and Rosemary Lee; Stand in (2009) Becky Edmunds; El Fuego (2007) Becky Edmunds; Snoplog (2014) Chien-Ming Chang and Katy Pendlebury; Edits (2013) Marisa Zanotti and Lea Anderson.

Programme 2 (Choreocinematic Sensibilities):  You made me Love you (2005) 4 minutes, video, Miranda Pennell; Human Radio (2002) 9 minutes, Super 16mm to video, Miranda Pennell; All This Can Happen (2012) 50 min, video, Siobhan Davies and David Hinton.

I look forward to seeing this body of work and to the ‘conversations’ that will emerge between the films.

Claudia Kappenberg

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Call for Papers – Vidéo Danse de Bourgogne (France)

International Screendance Conference 2017 : Low-tech/Old-tech

Cameras do not make films; filmmakers make films. – Maya Deren

The fifth annual Screendance Conference held during the Festival International de Vidéo Danse de Bourgogne (France) is currently seeking papers that address the theme: low-tech/old-tech.  The conference will take place on June 1-2, 2017 at the University of Burgundy in Le Creusot, France.

As a festival that has consistently favored ideas and artistic ingenuity over imposing the use of so-called “high production values”, this year’s conference theme proposes an investigation into the aesthetics, politics, and practices surrounding the rejection of: environmental waste created by technological consumerism, equipment monopolies that limit creative freedoms, as well as the normalization of HD and other production values that potentially limit creation, curation, and distribution opportunities in screendance. Papers that consider how screendance has and can encourage an exchange of ideas and new forms of expression by eschewing capitalist economies of filmmaking in favor of radical re-imaginings of low-tech and old-tech equipment will be presented in the form of moderated panels, round tables and individual talks. Proposals for individual papers and/or entire panels will be considered.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • How economies of screendance include and exclude filmmakers during production, curation and/or distribution.
  • Re-evaluating the notion of production “values” – What is of value in production? And who decides?
  • Reuse and recycle – radical aesthetics and re-imagining of old and low-budget technologies. From the dirty camera lenses of Guy   Madden intentionally left opaque, to guerilla street filming tactics, how are old and low technologies engaged within the hybrid framework of screendance and to what ends?
  • Screendance pedagogy – using low-tech and/or old-tech devices to teach screendance and engage with communities, professionals, and/or students.
  • Analyses of individual films past and present that resonate with the conference theme are also encouraged.

In addition to film and performance studies, presentations that draw on complementary fields such as curatorial studies, art history, and other areas of creative and intellectual inquiry are welcome.

To propose a paper, please send a 500 word abstract that clearly states your topic, thesis, and supporting ideas. Keep in mind that paper presentations are normally twenty minutes in length. It is better to focus on one or several central ideas than to be overly ambitious in scope, which leaves little time for in depth consideration of the proposed topic. Please include a biography or C.V. with your proposal. Artist presentations (practice-based research) proposals are eligible, but must have a clear research focus that relates to the theme. Alternative presentation formats are welcome, but please describe your proposed format and technical needs clearly. The working language of the conference is English. Deadline for proposals: March 21, 2017. E-mail proposals to: info@videodansebourgogne.com  All proposals receive a confirmation e-mail upon receipt. Further notification will be sent to all proposals before April 1 via e-mail regarding status of acceptance. The call is also available at: https://videodansebourgogne.com/2013-screendance-conferencecolloque-cine-danse-2013/

About the conference: For five years the Festival International de Vidéo Danse de Bourgogne has proposed an annual two-day conference intended as an international meeting place for artists, scholars, students, and anyone interested in the intersections of choreography and the moving image. Occurring during the festival week, evening screenings, informal talks and other meet-ups compliment the conference presentations. Le Creusot is a small city situated on the train line between Paris and Lyon (one hour from Paris on the speed train, 20 minutes from Lyon). There is no fee to participate in the conference. Conference presentations may be invited for publication on the Screendance Studies blog or future publications, such as our 2015 book, Art in Motion: Current Research in Screendance:

http://www.cambridgescholars.com/art-in-motion

CHOREOCINEMA, Jan 2017 at the Barbican

Choreocinema: Counterpoints (15*) + ScreenTalk with Siobhan Davies & Miranda Pennell

Hosted by Claudia Kappenberg

24 January 2017 / 18:30
Cinema 3

Siobhan Davies and Miranda Pennell are both artists trained in dance who apply choreography to film. This evening they will present a selection of films and converse about the exploration of movement and stasis in their work.

The programme includes:

You Made Me Love You (
UK 2005) Dir Miranda Pennell 4 min

Why Colonel Bunny Was Killed (
UK 2010) Dir Miranda Pennell 28 min

The Running Tongue (UK 2015) Dir Siobhan Davies and David Hinton 30 min

Extract from All This Can Happen (UK 2012) Dir Siobhan Davies and David Hinton 50 min

This event is part of:

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All This Can Happen @ The White Cube London 6/10/2016

hat-sceneFilm on Sunday: Artist’s Choice

All This Can Happen: Chosen by Antony Gormley

White Cube Auditorium, Bermondsey
144 – 152 Bermondsey Street
London
SE1 3TQ

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OPEN CALL: Maya Deren 100 Wuppertal, Germany, June 16-18 2017

allsoulsinvited“Unstable Equilibrium / Instabiles Gleichgewicht” Maya Deren 100

Symposium/Screenings/Interventions  June 16-18 2017

Location: Neuer Kunstverein Wuppertal e.V., Wuppertal, Germany

Call for papers: submission deadline: 5 December 2016

For enquiries please email the curators of the symposium Claudia Kappenberg (C.Kappenberg@brighton.ac.uk) and Florence Freitag (florence.freitag@gmail.com)

2017 marks the year of Maya Deren’s 100th anniversary. Born in 1917, the Avant-Garde filmmaker, dancer, poet, writer, anthropologist and catalyst for what is called Choreo-Cinéma, has influenced artists and thinkers from different fields, in particular those interested in experimental film and in the intersection of film and dance. In 2017 her work is still relevant in terms of the images it offers, the stories it tells and the questions it asks about individual experience, communal traditions and our narratives. The interdisciplinarity of her work marks her as a pioneer of hybrid visual languages and has much to offer to contemporary artists whose work increasingly negotiates between different practices, languages and traditions. Whilst being highly refined and specific Deren’s work claims a “touche-à-tout”. This event will reflect on Deren’s work from several perspectives, to re-examine not only her films, but also her writing and her anthropological research into Haitian rituals and voudoun. Maya Deren 100 will run over three days and in three parts, with a symposium, a series of screenings, and interventions by contemporary artists.

Maya Deren – REpositioned aims to historically review and contextualise her work, her principles, aesthetics and methods from diverse contemporary perspectives. Engaging with Deren’s artistic, theoretical and pedagogical discourse, the symposium aims to foster discussions on choreographic, visual and performative languages, on the role and potentiality of narratives, on collaborations and on the idea of metamorphosis or change as suggested by Deren’s notion of Unstable Equilibrium. Furthermore, proposals are invited that examine Deren’s writings on ritual, her concern with time, space and matter, as well as those engaging with dialogues between (digital) screen bodies and live bodies, screen space and narrative time. Finally, Deren’s output as both female artist/auteur and as the main performer in her work is to be re-examined from today’s point of view.

Papers and project presentations may include, but are not limited to, the following areas:

→ Film & digital bodies vs live bodies

→ Choreo-Cinéma as/vs live performance

→ Film & poetry (e.g. vertical and other narratives)

→ Film & ritual, ritual and play

→ Anthropology as practice

→ Relation to time, space and place

→ Film and dance and relevant hybrid language

→ Documentation as practice (including the subject/object in front and behind the camera)

→ Instability, hybridity and continuity in the arts

Proposals should be no more than 300 words and must include:

  • Presentation title
  • 300 word abstract, to include a brief description of the questions, concepts and topics to be explored
  • Preferred presentation format/approach
  • AV requirements
  • Short biography

Maya Deren 100/Unstable Equilibrium is a project produced by Tanzrauschen e.V. (Sigurd-Christian Evers and Kerstin Hamburg) and Neuer Kunstverein Wuppertal e.V., organized in collaboration with initiator/artistic director Florence Freitag, as well as curators Claudia Kappenberg (University of Brighton, UK, International Journal of Screendance) and Dr. Elinor Cleghorn.

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Brief Thoughts on the Art of the Animated GIF

Repetition, Transformation and Isolated Motion in the Screendance Gif – food for screendance scholarship by Marisa Hayes.

SCREENDANCE STUDIES

Fluid_Berkeleyhands

            Most Internet users are aware of the recent rise of the animated GIF, an acronym that stands for “Graphics Interchange Format” (1). These silent moving images are composed of brief motion sequences referred to as “loops”, most often excerpted from classic cinema or popular culture, although original creations and home videos are common as well. Occasionally, still images, including photographs, paintings, and screengrabs are also used as source material for GIFs that undergo a transition to become moving images through layers of added motion via animation techniques. GIFs play on an endless loop, which results in a hypnotic quality that frequently renders it difficult to identify a linear progression of where their movements begin and end. Populating a wide range of online locations, animated GIFs are currently thriving on social media, while web platforms dedicated to facilitating their creation and providing electronic viewing galleries are also abundant (2). To…

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