from October 22 to 24, 2021
as part of the Diep~haven 2021 Festival
festival of ideas and contemporary creation
Edition 2021 “Atlas of bifurcations”
D.S.N. – Scène Nationale de Dieppe, Normandy
when : The video exhibition is open throughout the festival, in parallel with workshops, conferences, performances and readings.
However, it has specific opening hours: it will be open from 6.30 pm to 9 pm on Friday 22 October 2021; from 10 am to 6 pm on Saturday 23 October and from 10 am to 12 am on Sunday 24 October.
With video works by Ursula Biemann, Marwa Arsanios, Pauline Julier, Mikhail Karikis, Jumana Manna, Alexander Hick, Malena Szlam.
“The primary emergency of our time, the ecological emergency, seems to take everything with it. Félix Guattari already announced it to us in 1989, when he wrote that environmental ecology was only the beginning and prefiguring a generalized ecology. Today, philosophers tell us in unison that the Anthropocene event – this era in which humanity is now digesting the Earth – is taking away all possible distinction between culture and nature. The French philosopher Bruno Latour imagined (2001) how the oceans, the soils, the forests, the animals could join parliaments where representatives would be in charge of representing the “voice” of “non-humans”. If these reflections have met with great success, reinforced since then by the urgency of contemporary ecological issues, many artistic proposals have simultaneously reflected on ways to make those who literally do not speak, or rather those who “conjugate verbs in silence” as a great contemporary poet, Jean-Christophe Bailly, said. We present at D.S.N. an exhibition in connection with these issues. Aliocha Imhoff & Kantuta Quirós
Thinking Like a Mountain by Alexander Hick, film, 93 min, 2018.
“On the mountainous slopes of the Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta, in the North of Colombia, an indigenous community struggles. The Arhuaco are the guardians of the forest and the summits of rock and ice, the fragile natural balance of their environment. The small group has been fighting for decades to preserve its traditional way of life, which is threatened by Colombian armed conflict, mining operations in the Andes, and climate change, which is changing their territory.
However, they draw from this nature a preserved and singular spirituality from which Alexander Hick takes inspiration for the montage of his film. In dual motion, he constructs a flow that is specific to the world of these men dressed in white. It is a voyage through space and time: from the shores of the Pacific to the stars that light up the nights on the glaciers, from the encounter with the first colonising whites to the return of the warriors following FARC’s laying-down of arms. A small cosmogony specific to this territory is progressively drawn out through the film and we willingly allow ourselves to be guided through it. ” (Madeline Robert – Visions du Réel)
Alexander Hick studied fine arts in Munich (ADBK) and Barcelona (LAMASSANA) and documentary film in Munich (HFF) and Mexico (CCC). He is a mountain guide and co-founded Flip- ping the coin, an artist collective based in Berlin. His films and multimedia installations have been shown and awarded at film festivals and museums.
Who is Afraid of Ideology ? by Marwa Arsanios, 2020
Acting in an effort to realign life against the machineries of capitalist exploitation is at the core of the anti-colonial struggle for wider social and political change today, and women are fighting on its different frontiers. The three films of Marwa Arsanios’ Who’s Afraid of Ideology? series weave an intersectional path through the struggles of women—in places such as Northern Syria and Colombia—to claim the right to land and to reconnect with nature in an unmediated way. Self-defense, ecofeminism, ownership, healing, state control, autonomy, collectivity, indigenous struggle, seed protection, and land rights: these are the themes of Arsanios’ work. Her timely questions probe not only the ways in which ideology and theory coincide with living practice, but also if “we” can embody the answers as those outside these circles of struggle. Who’s Afraid of Ideology? Part 1 is shaped around interviews the artist conducted with members of Kurdish Autonomous Women’s Movement in Iraqi Kurdistan about the possibilities of a political praxis based on life and nature. Part 2 moves toward the actual practice of the women-only Jinwar commune in Northern Syria and the imaginary and contextual limitations that shape it. Arsanios convened two meetings with women farmers and ecological feminists from Syria, Lebanon, Colombia, Mexico, India, Poland, Denmark, and Greece—in Warsaw and Sharjah—to exchange knowledge around their cooperatives and communes. Part 3 draws from these intense exchanges, focusing on the ongoing systemic war waged against the smallest and the most essential element of life—the seed—and the methodologies of survival. While seed autonomy is a threat for transnational corporations, governments, and paramilitaries, for indigenous people seeds are the symbol of resistance after losing language.
Marwa Arsanios is an artist, filmmaker and researcher whose work takes the form of installation, performance and film. In her work, she reconsiders the political development of the second half of the 20th century from a contemporary perspective, focusing on gender relations, collectivism, urbanism and industrialization. His research work includes many disciplines and is deployed notably within collaborative projects. She has had several solo exhibitions in international institutions such as Beirut Art Center (2017), Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2016), Witte de With, Rotterdam (2016), Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2015) and Art in General, New York (2015). She received the Georges de Beauregard International Prize at FID Marseille (2019), the Special Prize of the Pinchuk Future Generation Art Prize (2012) and was nominated for the Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize (2017) and the Han Nefkens Foundation award (2014). She is co-founder of the 98weeks Research Project. Her work is included in international collections such as the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; SF MoMA, San Francisco; Barjeel Art Foundation, Sharjah; Lewben Art Foundation, Vilnius; Kadist, Paris; CNAP, Paris; Sharjah Art Foundation, Sharjah.
Ursula Biemann, Acoustic Ocean, video, 2018
With a researcher’s approach, artist Ursula Biemann (1955, Zurich) imagines essays in the form of videos and texts that explore the link between politics and the environment. Her latest film, Acoustic Ocean, is an expedition into the depths of the Arctic Ocean in search of interspecies communication. In this semi-fictional narrative, the aquanaut – played by singer and Sami activist Sofia Jannok – attempts to capture the sounds of animals and micro-creatures. Thus, the memory of this life stored in the water and the perspective of an uncertain climatic future are mixed in the story.
Ursula Biemann is an artist, writer, and documentarian based in Zurich, Switzerland. Her art practice is strongly research oriented and involves fieldwork in remote locations where she investigates climate change and oil and water ecologies, as in the recent projects Deep Weather (2013) Forest Law (2014) and Acoustic Ocean (2018). Biemann has had extensive solo exhibitions at MAMAC Nice, Broad Art Museum Michigan, BAK Utrecht, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Bildmuseet Umea, Lentos Museum Linz and Helmhaus Zurich. Her video installations are exhibited worldwide in museums and at international art biennials in Liverpool, Sharjah, Shanghai, Seville, Taipei, Istanbul, Montreal, Venice and Sao Paulo. Since 2018, she has been involved in the co-creation of an indigenous university in the Colombian Amazon and in 2021 published the online monograph Becoming Earth about her ecological videos and writing (becomingearth.unal.edu.co). Biemann holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and studied at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York. She received an honorary doctorate in humanities from the Swedish University of Umea and the Meret Oppenheim Prize, the Swiss grand prize for contemporary art. www.geobodies.org
Jumana Manna, Wild Relatives, 80 min, 2017
In her recent work, Jumana Manna uses video and sculpture as the medium for a reorganization of the archive relating to the history of the countries of the Near East and Northern Europe – which she sees as distinct yet linked geographical entities. The exploration thus focuses on the way in which forms of power – economic, political, interpersonal – condition architecture as well as human and plant life. Manna is particularly interested in the unspoken implications of current scientific preservation practices, questioning the binary constructs of pure, unchanging heritage and the power of innovation. In Wild Relatives, Jumana Manna traces the hierarchical and power relations that accompany a seed transaction between the town of Longyearbyen in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard (Norway) and the Lebanese plain of the Bekaa. The film follows the journey of the seeds, tracing the path of these life forms as they are extracted from the soil and transplanted elsewhere, moving from arid soil to permafrost and back again.
Palestinian artist Jumana Manna (b. 1987, New Jersey, lives and works in Berlin and Jerusalem) is a graduate of CalArts as well as the National Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo and the Bezalel Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Jerusalem. Through her films and sculptures, the artist interrogates the ways in which the social, the political and interpersonal power relations interact with the human body. Her films blend fact and fiction, biographical details and archival documents to explore the construction of historical and national narratives. Her sculptures are more abstract and explore the calcifications of memory, represented by real or fabricated objects. She has participated in numerous festivals and exhibitions, including BAFICI, IFFR Rotterdam, Tate Modern, Marrakech Biennale 6, and the Nordic Pavilion at the 57th Venice Biennale. Jumana Manna is a recipient of the A.M. Qattan Foundation’s Young Palestinian Artist Award (2012) and the Ars Viva Prize for Visual Arts (2017). She was nominated for the Preis der Nationalgalerie für junge Kunst in Berlin.
Naturales Historiae by Pauline Julier, 56′, 2019
With Bruno Latour, Philippe Descola and Jun Wang. Through different natural histories shot between China, France and Italy, Naturalis Historia questions our ways of thinking and representing Nature. Each chapter explores a situation of human beings struggling with Nature and its images, revealing their obsessions and shaking our certainties. “The film begins with a volcanic eruption that strands the director, Pauline Julier, in a foreign city, among strangers. They evoke legends about the formation of continents, the eruption of tectonic plates or the explosion of ashes that would have caused summers without sun. From this event, Julier decides to question the concept, as vast as it is thorny, of the representation of nature. Separated by different thematic axes such as landscape, the notion of the sublime, the conquest of space, or even the deception surrounding natural disasters, the film subtly traces a critical history of nature. From mythological notions of a world dominated by natural forces to the Anthropocene paradigm in which we find ourselves today, Naturales Historiae does not approach nature as a universal and objective notion, but as a purely discursive construction, a fiction. In the absence of certainty, nature would then perhaps only be the incomprehensible, the untamed; everything that could never be enclosed in the framework of a landscape.” Elena López Riera.
Pauline Julier is an artist and filmmaker. She explores the links that humans create with their environment through stories, rituals, knowledge and images. Her films and installations are composed of elements of diverse origins (documentary, theoretical, fictional) to render the complexity of our relationship to the world. “How to transmit culture from one generation to the next? How to orient ourselves in time and space? It is never an easy task. Especially for those who call themselves “modern” or “post-modern”, because they still have a difficult relationship with tradition and heritage. Aren’t they supposed to break with tradition, in order to free themselves from the weight of the past? But to free themselves for what? Pauline Julier stages how each generation must ask itself such a question again.” Bruno Latour, Reinitializing Modernity! Exhibition at ZKM Karlsruhe, 2016. Pauline Julier’s installations and films have been screened in contemporary art centers, institutions, and festivals around the world, including Centre Pompidou (Paris), Loop (Barcelona), Visions du Réel (Nyon), Tokyo Wonder Site (Tokyo), Museum of Modern Art Tanzania, Geneva Art Center, Palazzo Grassi (Venice), New York, Madrid, Berlin, Zagreb, Toronto Cinematheque, and Pera Museum in Istanbul. Pauline Julier received the Federal Art Prize in 2010 and had a solo exhibition at the Centre Culturel Suisse in Paris (CCS) in 2017. She completed a one-year residency in Rome last year at the Istituto Svizzero and is the associate artist of the Grand Théâtre de Genève.
Altiplano by Malena Szlam, 2018, 15 min
“Altiplano has proven to be one of the most iconic works of 2018. A complex handcrafted film that casts a spell and immerses us in a landscape of historical, ecological and political value and resonance. In the Altiplano region, the Atacama Desert, once at the end of the Inca Trail, bears witness to the dynamics of a lost era. The remains of this hallucinating landscape catalyze the history of an America that has disappeared or is about to disappear. The author creates a unique aesthetic proposal that reinvents the representation of the landscape, transforming it into a psychedelic, revelatory and mystical presence, pushing the viewer to encounter enigmas of time and memory.” – Laura Huertas, Eve Heller, Rocío Mesa
Shot in the Andes in the traditional lands of the Atacameño, Aymara and Calchaquí-Diaguita in northern Chile and northwestern Argentina, Altiplano takes place in a geological universe of ancestral salars, volcanic deserts and colorful lakes. Merging earth with sky, day with night, heartbeat with mountain, and minerals with iridescent clouds, Altiplano reveals a vibrant landscape in which a bright blue sun forever threatens to eclipse a blood-red moon. Coupled with a soundscape generated from infrasound recordings of volcanoes, geysers, Chilean blue whales, among others. Altiplano creates evocative visual rhythms through the clash of colors and shapes. The landscapes vibrate and stutter, transmuting into spaces that span a multitude of simultaneous temporalities. Located in the heart of a natural ecosystem threatened by recent geothermal exploitation as well as a century of saltpeter and nitrate mining practices, Altiplano unveils an ancient land that bears witness to all that is, has been and will be.
Malena Szlam is a Chilean artist and filmmaker based in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal. Through film, performance and installation, she is interested in the relationship between film practice, the notion of embodiment, temporality and perception. Through a focus on the affective properties of analog processes of the moving image, Szlam’s work gives form to kinetic and lyrical approximations of the natural world. His artworks have been screened at renowned festivals including Wavelengths at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), New Directors/New Films at MoMA and Lincoln Center, Media City Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Edinburgh International Festival, and CPH:DOX. His most recent film, ALTIPLANO, has won several awards including the 25 FPS Grand Prix, Melbourne International Film Festival’s Best Experimental Short Film, and TIFF’s Canada’s Top Ten 2018. Her most recent group exhibitions include “Time Machine” at Palazzo del Governatore (Italy); “Expanded Plus: Utopian Phantom” at Factory of Contemporary Arts Palbok (South Korea); and “The Moon: From Inner Worlds to Outer Space” at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Denmark). She is a member of the art collective Double Negative, dedicated to the production and presentation of experimental cinema.