We are looking forward to the fourth and final part of Centrum's Kunst Film Fest #2. This Friday we will be watching a selection of video essays on a variety of subjects. As a genre the video essay can be situated between documentary film and video art. As a practice it is simultaneously artistic, theoretical, and political. According to artist and theorist Ursula Biemann 'it is not about documenting realities, but rather a form of organising complexities.'
We are also excited and honoured to be able to announce that Centrum will be co-hosting the premiere of a new video essay "I can't stop watching" by Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau, which will be shown for the first time at Centrum and at a conference in Italy on the same day.
"Apeirophobic Framework" (2015) explores the concept of apeirophobia – the fear of infinity and/or of infinite things – as a method for both artistic production and spectatorship. In the video Karin Kihlberg and Reuben Henry, take turns in a staged discussion which culminates in a graphic representation, which outlines their theory. +++ "Beige" (2010) by Hanne Lippard is a video essay about the cultural (in)significance of the color beige. In the video the artist’s narrative and voice are rhythmically combined with images of the colour found online. +++ "Spatial Administration March 2015" (2015) is based on hearings that took place at the Royal Courts of Justice in London in March 2015 as part of the British government’s inquest into the death of former Russian FSB secret service agent Alexander Litvinenko, who under mysterious circumstances had been poisoned with radioactive polonium in 2006. Ross Jardine focuses on the evidence brought before the court regarding Litvinenko’s visit to a specific restaurant in Piccadilly, London. +++ Sonya Lacey’s "By Sea" (2015) tells the story of a fictional apartment complex by the seaside, which – viewed from above – forms the words ‘Par Mer’. Most of the filming was done inside an architectural model built from cast salt. By Sea was made in response to the writing of the visual artist, poet, and filmmaker Joanna Margaret Paul (1945-2003). +++ Allison De Fren's video essay "Fembot in a Red Dress" (2015) examines the lady in red turned fembot (= female robot) as a recurring theme throughout the history of cinema from German expressionism to film noir to science fiction. +++ "I can't stop watching" (2016) is a new video essay by Matthew de Kersaint Giraudeau about gifs. Drawing on research conducted over the last year into gifs and loops, the video identifies and describes the particular material qualities that exemplify the gif. These qualities are interpreted through a reading of three different texts: Gilles Deleuze’s ‘Difference and Repetition’, Henri Bergson’s ‘Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of Comic’ and Sigmund Freud’s ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle’. I can't stop watching meditates on the gif as an image-object and the relation of the gif to the Freudian concepts of the compulsion repeat and the death drive.