Archival material from the 1970s reveals social problems in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Burma, Indonesia, Dahomey, Ivory Coast, and Senegal.
In 2004-05 Gianikian and Ricci Lucchi began to show their work again in contemporary art venues, in this phase they drew on films grouped under the title Frammenti elettrici (Electric Fragments), which comprise of individual works linked by the common theme of migration, racism and colonialism. The filmmakers describe themselves as revisiting the continents and populations they first encountered in the archives holding film of the early twentieth century.
The term frammenti or fragments is used for a series of short films made between 2002 and 2005. The majority deal with travel in Asia and Africa. Electric Fragments Nos. 4, 5: Asia-Africa (2005) assemble amateur tourist films from the early 1970s of Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Burma, Indonesia, the Ivory Coast, and Senegal. Labelled the ‘folkloristic propaganda of tourist development’ made before the onslaught of ‘devastation and war’, they constitute the raw material for the re-framing of images of the remote and the exotic.
We were delighted to welcome the filmmakers via a Skype Q & A to introduce and discuss the film with Rebecca Shatwell, Festival Director and Dr Neelam Srivastava, Senior Lecturer in Postcolonial Literature, Newcastle University.
The screening was part of the Festival’s Postcolonial Cinema Weekend, which explored the complex histories and material traces of past colonial inequalities through contemporary filmmaking.
Yervant Gianikian and Angela Ricci Lucchi have created an incomparable documentary oeuvre consisting of over 40 films since the 1970s, whose rare beauty and integrity set them apart. Working at the intersections of history, the archive, the ready made and re-animation, their films are comprised of found footage mesmerizingly manipulated in order to give it new life and meaning: spectral apparitions that exhume forgotten and often shameful historical trespasses as they evocatively illuminate our own era.
Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi’s landmark experimental work From the Pole to the Equator, 1986, re-defined the documentary form and introduced recurrent themes in their work: war and peace, genocide and colonialism, death and cinema, the body and embodiment. Their techniques involve the manipulation of rare footage through re-photography, hand-tinted colour and altering film speed, to produce work that explores the fragility of the cinematic image and traces of historical ideologies.
The two have presented work at major international film festivals including Cannes, Rotterdam and Venice, and at leading museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Tate Modern, London.
Curated by AV Festival. Regional Premiere.
Sun 9 March 2014, 5.30pm
Newcastle NE1 2NP
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Title: Electric Fragments no. 4: Asia
Title: Electric Fragments no. 5: Africa
Runtime: 30mins + Q&A