Tag Archives: Jean-Luc Godard

Russian Sounds

Russian Sounds

Activist Film Studio, 2011

 

Concept and editing: Dmitry Vilensky (Chto Delat)

Production collective (research, screenplay, and direction): Sonya Akimova and Max Kulaev (DSPA); Pavel Arseniev, Dina Gatina, Roman Osminkin (Laboratory of Poetic Actionism); Nikolay Oleynikov, Dmitry Vilensky, Foma (Chto Delat); Oleg Zhuravlyev

This film was inspired by the editing, audio and narrative techniques used by Jean-Luc Godard in his film British Sounds (1969). Our film is an attempt to find out whether the spirit (if not the letter) of Godard’s experiments could be transferred to the suffocating reality of Russia on the eve of the 2011-2012 parliamentary and presidential elections. Godard’s film was released during a boisterous, revolutionary period in British politics and society. It was a manifesto for a new agitational cinema capable of describing the totality of social transformations in their dialectical emergence. Are we capable, in the midst of profound political and social reaction, of critically sharing Godard’s vision and aesthetics?

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Activist Film Studio aims to produce and distribute films dealing with activism and with different forms of (re)presenting and internally critiquing protest actions through experiments with the idiom of video art.

The studio’s films are not only educational experiences for viewers. They are the result of a learning process involving the entire collective researching and producing the films.

Activist Film Studio was initiated by Dmitry Vilensky (Chto Delat). It was inspired by previous work on a series of activist films produced by the Chto Delat platform in cooperation with a number of Russian and international activist projects.

Activist Film Studio’s films are produced by filmmakers who value the process of collective filmmaking and by people involved in the production and distribution of activist knowledge by means of cinematic narrative.

Activist Film Studio’s films are freely available on the Internet. They are meant to be screened in seminars and other educational contexts. In any case, public screenings of our films should be followed by open, public discussions.

Activist Film Studio is open to everyone interested in developing the (re)presentation of activist practices and ready to make films collectively. We encourage everyone to contact us for help in realizing their own film projects.

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The Watchmen, the Liars, the Dreams (Paris)

THE WATCHMEN, THE LIARS, THE DREAMERS  / LES VIGILES, LES MENTEURS, LES REVEURS
(Concrete Erudition 3)

curated by Guillaume Désanges

Works by Agence, Mathieu K. Abonnenc, Jean Amblard, Éric Baudelaire, Luis Camnitzer, Julius Eastman, Mario Garcia Torres, Jean-Luc Godard, Les Groupes Medvedkine, Tamar Guimaraes, Chris Moukarbel, Boris Taslitzky, Walid Raad & Monument to Transformation (Vit Havránek, Zbynek Baladrán + Vyacheslav Akhunov, Babi Badalov, Chto Delat, Hafiz, Lise Harlev, Ivan Moudov, Boris Ondreicka, Anatoly Osmolovsky, Haegue Yang)

This exhibition will take place at Le Plateau Art Center in Paris from september 16 to november 14 2010

opening : 15 September 2010

The Watchmen, the Liars, the Dreamers is the third part of the “Concrete Erudition” programme devised by curator Guillaume Désanges, who has been invited to come up with a cycle of exhibitions at Le Plateau. As part and parcel of the continuity created by “The Planet of Signs” and “Prisoners of the Sun”, this exhibition in its turn questions the way in which certain contemporary artists are renewing the relationship between art and knowledge, by showing, this time around, the work of artists who are observers— watchmen of the present and of the past. Even if their activities are, on the face of it, very diversified, they all appear to derive from a documentary principle, in the broad sense of the term. While the classic relationship between the document and reality must generally be gauged by criteria of objectivity, exhaustiveness, caution and rigour, these artists shatter these references. They thus develop alternative methods of reproduction which may use the paths of translation, reconstruction, transfer and fiction. It is not a matter of playing with and deceiving, but of affecting the other by sharing awareness and knowledge and accepting, if this is necessary, to contradict the ethical and formal rules of the scientist, the historian, and the chronicler. Be they artists, researchers, middlemen, or jurists, their forms are subject to the necessity and urgency of a message to be got across rather than any stylistic determination. Nor is it a matter of denying the effectiveness of the form ; what is involved on the contrary is the assertion of “functions” not to say missions. Echoing the idea of profound erudition, turning into hybrid forms, the exhibition thus unfolds different strategies for writing facts, which, based on practical reason and a political and militant will, sometimes end up tending towards the poetic and the lyrical. All these artists, who are extremely diverse in terms of subjects broached, share the outcome of their research, not shrinking from creating their own documents when this is necessary, and sometimes playing on ambiguities between fiction and reality, historical objectivity and creation, archive and personal collection. These artists, who are subject to obligatory means rather than results, operate in the end of the day like inventors and middlemen, contesting the stance of the author as demiurge. By using information sharing, inventories and intelligence as weapons, these watchmen propose indirect ways of criticizing specific situations, which they have elected to investigate. A moveable knowledge, to do with surfaces and connections, which contrasts the quality of the relationship between facts with blind expertise.


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2+2/Practicing Godard (The Story of the “Communal Life” Seminar)

Vodpod videos no longer available.
2+2/Practicing Godard (Part I)

I was inspired to make this film after the police forced me to delete video footage of the OMON raid on our seminar in Nizhny Novgorod. I was struck by their brazen confidence that they could erase things from people’s memory as easily as you can delete a video image.

This film is meant as a response to their challenge. It shows that we can not only document the crimes of the authorities for posterity, but also shape our own space of interpretation. We can recreate our own histories, in which the deeds of the police will be remembered as shameful acts against society.
—Dmitry Vilensky

You can read the working version of the screenplay here.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
2+2/Practicing Godard (Part II)

Concept and Direction: Dmitry Vilensky
Screenplay and Film Crew: Oleg Zhuravlyov, Nikolay Oleinikov, Kirill Medvedev, Dmitry Vilensky 
Camera and Editing: Dmitry Vilensky
Actors:  Andrei Amirov, Alexander Kuritsyn, Anna Tolkacheva, Andrei Nosov, Diana Sakaeva, Oleg Zhuravlyov, Nikolay Oleinikov, Marina Prokhorova, and many others who wish to remain anonymous.
This film is the result of a collaboration between the Vpered (“Forward”) Socialist Movement and Chto Delat Platform.

 

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Filed under activism, alternative education, contemporary art, critical thought, film and video, political repression, Russian society