Contaminated cinema

Film cycle around the exhibition "Sigmar Polke's Photographic infamies"
Tuesday, October 8th and November 26th, 2019


Paolo GIOLI, 2012 / DCP / n&b / silencieux / 6' 44


Whether pictorial or photographic, Sigmar Polke's work is nourished by all kinds of images, drawn from newspapers, magazines, advertising, revisiting the genre of representation (portraits, landscapes, still lifes, etc.), ignoring the distinction between abstraction and figuration. With an iconoclastic humour, the German artist undermines hierarchies, pictorial and photographic processes to let the defects of the image happen and to allow, what Bernard Marcadé, co-curator of the exhibition, calls a "mutation of forms and the gaze".

Session 1 | The motif as a slip of the tongue | Tuesday, October 8th, 2019 - 8pm

Sigmar Polke photographs everything, without any hierarchy and apparent link between the images. Family photos, memories, travels, documentary notes for his future paintings, become pretexts to experiment the different constituent stages of photography, from the shooting to the laboratory. This play around the potential of the medium for deploying and exploring various forms and techniques is the focus of this session.

Echoing Sigmar Polke's window motif (a series presented at the Venice Biennale in 1986), Dore O.'s film Kaskara, made in Germany at the same time, also plays with a mise en abyme of the frame. Other images coexist in Polke's photographic work: photographs of mushrooms, urban signage or a gallery of portraits depicting the same image using distinct silver development processes; visual figures and repetitions that are found alternately in the film experiments of Charlotte Pryce, Christian Hossner and David Rimmer.

Polke also explores photographic matter in its depth by striving to probe the screen of the image. This desire to show the smallest visual unity of an image and its materiality inspires, in various forms, experimental filmmakers such as Paolo Gioli who works on the material of the film medium, Sandy Ding who builds his film on the idea of the inversion of the positive and the negative, Sami Van Ingen who uses colour photocopying as a plastic experiment, or the Metamkine Task Force who deteriorates the film with the help of chemical products.

Deep Six, Sami van Ingen, 2007, 35mm, 7'
The Radio Wave of Blood Beneath the Dirt Ice and Flowers, Sandy Ding, 2006, 35mm, 8'
Quando i volti si tòccano, Paolo Gioli, 2012, DCP, 3' 43
Discoveries on the Forest Floor, Charlotte Pryce, 2006, 16mm, 4'
Variations on a Cellophane Wrapper, David Rimmer, 1970, 16mm, 8'
Nipkow TV, Christian Hossner, 1998, 16mm, 6' 45
Acidfilmda, Metamkin Intervention Unit, 1992, 16mm, 5' 25
Kaskara, Dore O., 1974, DCP, 20'

Session 2 | Increased image flow | Tuesday, November 26th, 2019 - 8pm

Session organized in collaboration with the Avignon Experimental Film Archive - AEFA

As an artist of flow and overflow, Sigmar Polke relies on the imagery of consumer society conveyed by the mass media to divert the value of images in favour of a proliferation of meaning. This casual approach, which relies on reversals, turnarounds and reversibilities, is also present in the practice of many experimental filmmakers who, in the 1960s and 1970s, appropriated images of others to divert them and play on their meaning. In A Movie (1958), the highlight of this session and the masterpiece of the found footage, Bruce Conner assembles found fragments: filmed news, erotic images, B series films, etc. The film works according to a principle of association of shots that have no unity of nature, no space, no time but which, once edited together, find a coherence that is both reflective and subversive. While dynamiting the taboos of puritanism and the values of the "thirty glorious years", he vividly inventoried the devastating potential of humanity.

Newsreel of Dreams, Stan Vanderbeek, 1963-1964, DCP, double screen, 9'
Watching for the Queen, David Rimmer, 1973, 16mm, 11'
Second it me occhio di vetro, Paoli Gioli, 1972, 16mm, 10' 09
Black Trip #1, Aldo Tambellini, 1965, 16mm, 5'
Island Fuse, Arthur & Corinne Cantrill, 1971, 16mm, 11'
A Movie, Bruce Conner, 1958, 16mm, 10'

Practical info

Cinéma des Cinéastes 
7, avenue de Clichy – 75017 Paris
Screening : 9.50 euros full rate / 7.50 euros reduced rate
Screening + exhibition at LE BAL Sigmar Polke's Photographic infamies: 11.50 euros grouped ticket

*LIGHT CONE is a nonprofit organization whose aim is the distribution, promotion and preservation of experimental cinema in France and around the world.

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