The theme of the third edition is “contemporaneity”, which is not only the simple present time, but is also the time we share all together or the time which is eternal or transient, finite or infinite, or… how can we say… what lies in the middle between past and future…
The point is that the art world is engaged in a complex analysis of what contemporary can exactly mean, what and when it is possible to talk of contemporary.
The clamour of the crowd waiting for the bullfight to begin resonates in an arena. Immediately silence falls and the bull enters the scene. The beast is black and alone, it paws, it twists, it smokes all its fury from its nostrils and then it charges, it runs straight towards the target. More applause, more cheers, the bull launches a counterattack. It’s a fight to the death.
¡Que Viva is an animation short film that uses bullfighting as a scene of ritual sacrifice and cruel struggle to reflect on the power play between the beholder and the beholder but also on the triangulation between victim, perpetrator and bystander. Can a look be a killer? And what is the responsibility of those who witness the crime that takes place before their eyes?
The images were made with hand painted glass and sequences from the film Que viva Mexico! by Sergej Ejzenstejn, analogically modified.
VOICES FROM A DIVIDED FOUNTAIN
This is a story about transience and remnants…
The place exists in the real world: Deelfontein.
It is located somewhere between De Aar and Richmond (South Africa) on a dusty road beyond the reach of GPS in the semi-desert Karoo. The actual location is marked by a tall, yet somewhat mangy palm tree in the middle of a very flat and arid landscape that stretches on from past to present to future…
The film was inspired by the physical location, harsh sunlight, constant dust and the ruins of a haunted hotel next to a railway line. The main character, however, is the Landscape, which holds the fossils of millennia and the stories of numerous peoples in her womb.
In the evening breeze the long gone tunes from a lone violin is almost audible in the wind. This is also the region from which the very first bow instruments stem. This place where longing has become a physical presence.
What happens when we fall asleep? Dreams have always been told as something magical and supernatural, but according to the Activation-Synthesis Theory they are nothing more than our mind’s attempt to interpret random signals from neurons.
In this short film a girl in her house near the sea, falls asleep and finds herself wandering among neurons and electrical impulses. In her dream things that she experienced during the day begin to appear, and she wanders in this magical environment until she is awakened by the outside real world.
The short was made with a mixed technique developed by the author, which includes traditional 2D animations and backgrounds painted in virtual reality.
Exquisite Corpse is a technique whereby poetry and images are collectively and subconsciously combined. It was founded during the Surrealist movement when artists and the world were experiencing a revolution. Much like the digital revolution in 2020, sparked by Covid-19, whereby convenient facetime calls and zoom meetings replaced almost all forms of physical interaction during the global lockdown.
But while such mediums proved convenient, this piece seeks to return to a more analogue method of everyday communication. A method that involves slowing down and rediscovering a quiet appreciation for the act of writing. The 2 artists were based in 2 different cities in South Africa and began posting a singlestream of subconscious thought back and forth. After each line of poetry was written, it was covered in masking tape and folded over, before being reposted to the other artist who would then repeat the act. Once revealed, the poem inspired a supporting film installation.
Smoke is a reflection during COVID on our concept of space. How do we feel when we are forced to use space differently? How do our sensations change, the way we perceive time in the same space?
Smoke is the image that symbolically represents the unclear way we now look at the world, it is a temporary vision but that changes the way we perceive everything.
What kind of projections do we have about ourselves in relation to our environment: are our desires changing? Or are we the same people with a different consciousness? Who are we in this new constellation?
EXISTENCE IS AN OCCUPATION
Existence is an Occupation (2020) is an account of forced removals through lived experience of others.
The legacies of colonialism, apartheid and the Group Areas Act live on in the present, as many people are forcibly removed from their land. They are dehumanised, killed or criminalised for this occupation while the South African Defence Force, South African Police and the Anti-Land Invasion Unit have committed mass crimes against the landless, operating outside of the law.
People are occupying, not invading land, as they can’t be invaders in something that belongs to them. The act of existing becomes an occupation.
THE ESSENCE OF A MISTAKE
The film is the story of an artist who wakes up in a dream knowing that everything he is doing is a mistake.
Every little action for him reflects the meaning of a will to have some sort of power to change the world. Distressed by his own human power, he decides to control it, to make it essential, to rationalize it. He knows that making this proceee rigorous is “the essence of a mistake”, but he doesn’t know how to handle it otherwise. Meanwhile, he begins to see beyond his coherent system of doing, represented with line drawing and metronome, and to discover an original dimension of truth that shows him the content of his dream of being human. This short film is a first work.
Tendayi Charles Tshuma and Dumisani Jere
This video is a collaboration between Director Tendayi Charles Tshuma and Dumisani Jere who did the postproduction. This is a story of a migrant in a long journey across Africa.
We engage in Kwesi’s caravan-esque walk through three city districts that spark nostalgia of Ghana, his place of birth, Ivory Coast, where he leant his craft and his rejection at a German Airport, when he had fled Ivory Coast’s Civil War. Kwesi celebrates the fruits of an arduous migrant journey that leads to his unlikely business and personal success in South Africa while reflecting on a more inclusive, tolerant world where humankind ceases the defamation, commodification, oppression, ostracism and animosity toward fellow human migrants.
In the 21st century, thanks to the widespread development of Internet, people can obtain enormous amount of informations online and from social networks. Every day a huge flow of informations seems to offer unlimited choice, but in reality the incoming and outgoing information is all monitored by algorithms. Each algorithm is designed to select the informations that fits the preferences of the target audience for which it is intended
This system can have the downside of people starting to focus passively on a certain area of issues and unconsciously losing their attention to the overall context. Result: people are immersed in the warmth of the cocoon and their behaviors and attitudes are gradually modified, losing their independence of thought.
This experimental video comes from a series of drawings, photographed and then uploaded to an AI platform to generate a series of moving images. The soundtrack was created by the artist digitally.
The intention was to express childhood memories of the father, also to represent the lack of control and power that a child experiences due to the absence of a father.
The metaphors and visual symbols used in the artistic research are based on the heroic figures of superheroes and gods. The aim of the work is to subvert the archetypal symbol of the father hero and insert a personal mythology together with a contemporary social consciousness into the superhero genre by altering the traditional narratives of comics.