Cinema for art's sake

In a unique initiative, a week-long film programme showcasing interesting titles will supplement Palestinian artist Yazan Khalili’s exhibition, currently on showcase at Mumbai Art Room

When the Mumbai Art Room curator Nida Ghouse watched Karim Aïnouz and Marcelo Gomes’ Brazilian film, I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You, and later came across the Palestine-based artist Yazan Khalili’s On Love And Other Landscapes — a film made in the format of a book — she felt a strong relation between both works. “Both are narratives of love and longing in which the landscape is a major character in the story,” says Ghouse, who along with her co-curator Mohamed Beshir a.k.a Gouda, has selected three experimental films including this one to be screened in a week-long film programme titled ‘A supplementary country called cinema’ at the Colaba venue, starting today.

Excerpts from Yazan Khalili’s bookExcerpts from Yazan Khalili’s book

Interestingly, each film bears a mimetic relationship with Khalili’s solo exhibition that has been on display at this venue since last month. The three works on exhibit include the 91-page book that follows a narrative of a failed love story, Blindness of Love — a flickering frame-by-frame video, showing one long sentence word by word in a fast rhythm — and The Other Image, that is actually a projection on photograph.

On Love And Other Landscapes, 2011
On Love And Other Landscapes, 2011

The other two titles that form part of this film programme include a 16-mm un-restored version of Hollis Frampton’s (nostalgia), and Chris Marker’s 1983 experimental essay-film, Sans Soleil. “In (nostalgia), you see a photograph with a voice-over describing the moment of making the photograph. As the narrative continues, you watch the photograph
slowly burn and disintegrate. The moment of making the photograph, and the moment of its destruction are both simultaneously present, compressed in the same frame.

 A film still of I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You
 A film still of I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You

As a viewer, you have to choose, between the image and the narrative. The same strategy operates in Yazan's video, The Blindness of Love. Sans Soleil relates to the works through its relationship to travel (the film was shot in Guinea, Japan, Paris, etc), narrative and memory,” explains Ghouse.

During this week, the exhibition will be de-installed temporarily to make way for screenings where city folk can also enjoy watching films in the outdoors, outside the venue. Meanwhile, the exhibition will be back on view from May 8 to 14.

Till: May 7
Time: 12 pm, 4 pm & 8 pm
At:Mumbai Art Room, Pipewala Building, Fourth Pasta Lane, Colaba.
Entry: Free

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