Thursday June 16, 2011, 7pm-10pm
They aim at the invisible, our former bliss
Etel Adnan, Jenin, 2004
The Otolith Group, Nervus Rerum, 2008, 32 min
Juliano Mer-Khamis & Danniel Danniel, Arna’s Children, 2004, 84 min
On April 4th 2011, Juliano Mer-Khamis; actor, director and political activist of Israeli and Palestinian parentage and the Artistic Director of The Freedom Theatre in Jenin Refugee Camp, was assassinated by a masked gunman outside the theatre he rebuilt. Conceived as a homage to Juliano Mer-Khamis, this evening proposes an oblique mode of thought on the condition of occupation in the West Bank. The questions raised by this fatal act are explored in an evening of poetry, film and discussion, each of which offers a potential for reflection on the politics of occupation and violence. The evening begins with the reading of the poem Jenin (2004) by author and poet Etel Adnan, is followed by a screening of Nervus Rerum (2008), made by The Otolith Group in Jenin, and of the award winning documentary Arna’s Children (2003). Directed by Juliano Mer-Khamis and Danniel Danniel, Arna’s Children was filmed in Jenin from 1996 until 2002, after Israel’s ’Battle of Jenin’, during the second Intifada. The film tells the story of the rise and fall of the first theatre project founded by his mother, Arna Mer Khamis (1931–1994) who was an Israeli political and human rights activist. The evening concludes with a discussion between Etel Adnan, Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar of The Otolith Group, and the film maker and writer Eyal Sivan.
Friday June 17 & Saturday June 18, 2011, 9.30am – 7.30pm
The paths to revolt: cinema, images and revolutions in the 1960s and 1970s
MUSEE DU QUAI BRANLY
Taking the form of presentations, screenings and debates, these two complementary days – the first conceived around the special issue of the journal Third Text dedicated to the cine-geography of the militant image, edited by Kodwo Eshun and Ros Gray, and the second developed by Teresa Castro around the revolutionary cinema of lusophone Africa – explore the affiliations and afterlives of cinemas of liberation movements.
Participants: Mathieu K. Abonnenc, Nicole Brenez, Jonathan Buchsbaum, Teresa Castro, José Filipe Costa, Margaret Dickinson, Kodwo Eshun, Elisabete Fernandes, Olivier Hadouchi, Ros Gray, François Lecointe, Sarah Maldoror, Lúcia Ramos Monteiro, Raquel Schefer and Catarina Simão.
The paths to revolt is inscribed in the context of ’Under the free sky of history’, a monthly seminar at musée du quai Branly, that investigates modes of conceiving and writing of history.
Friday July 1, 2011, 7pm – 10pm
UIQ - A Space Oddity
A lecture performance by Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson followed by a discussion with Isabelle Mangou and Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun of The Otolith Group.
Following the publication in 1980 of Mille Plateaux, a work that for many marked the culmination of Félix Guattari’s intellectual adventure with Gilles Deleuze, Guattari began work on a film script for a science fiction movie, Un amour d’UIQ. Initially developed in collaboration with filmmaker Robert Kramer, the script of UIQ (Universe Infra-Quark) was to occupy Guattari on and off for the next seven years.
Influenced both by his work with psychotics at the La Borde clinic and his engagement with radical politics, UIQ offers a blueprint for a subversive ’popular’ cinema (Guattari originally had ambitions to make the film in Hollywood with Spielberg’s then producer Michael Phillips) of scrambled semiotic codes, impersonal, transpersonal affects and minoritarian becomings that in terms of the possibility of its actually being produced would be pure science fiction. Yet in desiring to make the film in the commercial arena as a sci-fi blockbuster, Guattari was effectively raising the stakes of his own political engagement, attempting to break into the dream factory to reconfigure patterns of collective unconscious desire.
In this audiovisual essay, the first stage in a multiform project around UIQ (which will also include a book publication of the script in collaboration with psychoanalyst Isabelle Mangou), artists and filmmakers Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson consider how the development of the UIQ script appears amid a general resurgence of interest in science fiction in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It is around this time that sci-fi becomes a screen of projection and mourning for the scattered phantoms of disappointed revolutionary desire, in which the radical alterity of a political ’outside’ is increasingly projected no longer through the imaginary of collective struggle but in terms of encounters with alien intelligences or life forces – encounters configured within a continuum that runs from interface to interbody to interbrain.
UIQ imagines a hyper intelligent infra-cellular life substance as capable of transmitting its nascent will through global communications networks as of plugging into the precarious ‘desiring machines’ of a community of social and psychological outsiders. The film could considered a ’molecular’ interbrane response to an imaginary and ideological closure that began to take hold during the1980s, mediated through the aesthetics of postmodern nostalgia. Guattari’s unrealised film has interesting implications both for cinema and collective practices in terms of how it promises to rewire dominant modes of spectatorship and subjectivation.
By placing echoes of the unfilmed script in relation to a montage of scenes from sci-fi films of the period – from Tarkovsky’s Solaris and Stalker, to Spielberg’s Close Encounters and ET through Demon Seed, The State of Things, Blade Runner, Videodrome, Starman and others – Maglioni & Thomson aim to isolate the singularity of UIQ in the virtual dimension of what it might have been and what it may yet become.
Through the UIQ script we can see, in a movement a-parallel to Deleuze’s monumental philosophical study on the cinema, Image mouvement/ image temps, the emergence of Guattari’s own theory and contingent pragmatics of ‘minor’ cinema. Although, or perhaps because, the film was never made, elements of UIQ will resurface in some of the concepts developed in his last major theoretical work, Chaosmosis, part of the movement of an outlandish thought that zigzags between theory and fabulation, science and fiction.
The lecture performance will be followed by a conversation with Kodwo Eshun and Anjalika Sagar of The Otolith Group, Isabelle Mangou and Dork Zabunyan
Saturday July 2, 2011, 2pm – 6pm
A seminar proposed by Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez and Elena Sorokina, with Catherine David, Ahmad Ghossein, Anjalika Sagar and Kodwo Eshun of The Otolith Group, Georg Schöllhammer and Mila Turajlic.
Through a series of dialogues, the seminar traces different generational engagements with the afterlives of communism and its (un)expected turning points in recent philosophical and artistic thought. From the perspective of the present in which communism has re-emerged as a topic of investigation in artistic and exhibition production, the seminar addresses the relevance of the term and invites comparisons with the present times.
This event is supported by: OCA - Office for Contemporary Art Norway, Oslo