Chantal Akerman Day
Sunday·12th October 2014
11am – 5pm, JW3 Centre London
We are delighted that Chantal Akerman
will attend a day dedicated to her work
to mark the mid-point of the retrospective
Professor Griselda Pollock
(Professor of the Social & Critical Histories of Art, University of Leeds)
Dr Alison Rowley
(Reader in Cultural Theory, University Huddersfield)
Dr Muriel Tinel-Temple
(artist, film-maker, photographer)
The Chantal·Akerman·retrospective has reached mid-point.
This·has·been·a slow retrospective,·taking its time over a 24 month span to showcase the work of a great and important film-maker. The retrospective has reached a mid point.
This is therefore a good time to take stock, and reflect on the achievement of·such·a great film artist.
A·Nos·Amours is delighted to bring together artist, film-makers, scholars and Chantal Akerman herself for a day of presentations, screenings and discussion.
We are delighted and grateful that we will be hosted by the state of the art JW3 Centre on Finchley Road in north London.
Chantal Akerman is a film maker whose time has come: her work is news that stays news. It is a cinema that reinvents and redefines what film is and should be.
Akerman's work is superficially wide-ranging - documentary and narrative, film and video, 16mm and 35mm, cinema and gallery - and yet her work is characterised by an uncompromising and singular sense of purpose.
What Akerman shows us, by means structural and otherwise, is nothing less than the human condition, a series of astonishing meditations on loneliness and anxiety, alienation and discomfort. Akerman so quickly, from her earliest work, established a startling and provocative project that is among the very greatest in European film. As J. Hoberman has said: "Comparable in force and originality to Godard or Fassbinder, Chantal Akerman is arguably the most important European director of her generation".
“I don’t feel like I belong, and that’s without real pain, without pride. Pride happens. No, I’m just disconnected, from practically everything. I have a few anchors, and sometimes I let them go or they let me go, and I drift. That’s most of the time. Sometimes I hang on for a few days, minutes, seconds, then I let go again. I can hardly look. I can hardly hear. Semi-blind, semi-deaf, I float. Sometimes I sink. But not quite. Something, sometimes a detail, brings me back to the surface, and I start floating again…”.
(from Akerman's voice over to Down There (2006)
Griselda Pollock is a renowned art historian, theorist and scholar and will present a key note addressing the question why Akerman's work matters so much. Professor Pollock is Director of the Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory & History, Professor of Social & Critical Histories of Art, School of Fine Art, History of Art & Cultural Studies, at the University of Leeds. Professor·Pollcok·has written widely on art, aesthetics, gender, feminism, the history of art and contemporary art. Not least she has written about Chantal Akerman's work.
Dr Alsion Rowley is Reader in Cultural Theory. She studied Fine Art at Middlesex Polytechnic and gained an MA and PhD from the School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies at the University of Leeds. In 2001 she was appointed Lecturer in Art History, Theory and Fine Art at the University of Leeds where she was a member of the Executive of the AHRC Centre for Cultural Analysis, Theory and History (CentreCATH). From 2003 to 2010 she was Senior Lecturer in Historical, Theoretical and Critical Studies in Visual Art at the University of Ulster, Belfast, and before joining the University of Huddersfield she was Reader in Art and Design at Liverpool John Moores University. Her monograph Helen Frankenthaler: Painting History, Writing Painting was published by I.B. Tauris in 2007.
Dr Muriel Tinel-Temple will speak about Akerman's little studied work commission for television in the 1980s. These films were screened i the retrospective with English subtitles for the first time, and represent a search for new form and a new playfulness. Dr Tinel-Temple's PhD was on the Filmic Self-Portait.
Sarah Pucill’s films and photographs explore a sense of self which is transformative and fluid. The majority of her films take place within the confinements of domestic space, where the grounded reality of the house itself becomes a portal to a complex and multi layered psychical realm. Sarah Pucill completed an MA at the Slade in 1990, and since then she has been given retrospective screenings Tate Britain, Anthology Film Archives and Millennium (NY), Pleasure Dome (Toronto), Ecole des Beaux Arts, and LA FilmForum. A LUX DVD of a selection of her films was published in 2010 and her most recent Arts Council funded work Magic Mirror will be published Spring 2014. She is Reader in Fine Art at University of Westminster.
Other artists and film-makers will be announced.
Histoires d'Amerique (1989)
(aka American Stories, Food, Family and Philosophy)
Thursday 23rd October 2014, 7pm
Histoires d’Amerique was shot in New York, conjouring up a specific diasporic context – not dissimilar to that of Woody Allen’s masterpiece Broadway Danny Rose. This may be the new world, but the horror of the old is never far from the surface. Mordant observation and biting cynism rule.
Akerman asked her cast to recreate jokes, fables and anecdotes, culled from real-life testimony, sashaying from the comical to the tragic, interleaving all with slapstick humour as only Jewish New York knows how. As Akerman has said: 'when history becomes impossible to bear, there is only one thing to do: send yourself up and laugh'.
Maurice Brenner, Carl Don, David Buntzman, Judith Malina, Eszter Balint, Dean Jackson, Roy Nathanson
dir. Chantal Akerman, 1989, 92 mins
For more Akerman screenings see here