v.a. 4598 (Rio Olympics), 2016, 15 Min.
Igor Vidor explores mechanisms of power and oppression and their expression in objects or social codes in a variety of mostly urban settings in Brazil. His sculptures, performances and videos convey signs of deep-rooted violence and social injustice in people’s everyday lives. He reflects how these conditions are repeated again and again as a result of Brazilian politics. His recent works analyse the influence of the United States and European countries, notably the role the arms trade has played in the spread of violence in Brazil and Latin America. From 2.12.–25.1.20 the Berlinische Galerie is screening “v.a. 4598 (Rio Olympics)” (2016, 15 min.), “Carne e Agonia” (Flesh and Agony) (2018, 9:38 min.) and a new work: “A Praga” (The Plague) (2020).
“v.a. 4598 (Rio Olympics)” shows the artist amid a landscape of ruins. During construction work for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, thousands of families in Vila Autódromo were forced to leave their homes forever. The houses were pulled down to make room for the sporting event. Vidor observed this processes for two years, working with residents to create a video performance.
Igor Vidor (*1985, São Paulo, Brazil) studied at the Centro Universitário Belas Artes in São Paulo. He worked for several years in the education and public outreach department at the Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR). His works have been shown at a number of international exhibitions, including at Künstlerhaus Bethanien (2020); Pérez Art Museum Miami (2018); Mercosul Biennial (2018); Sesc 24 de Maio, São Paulo (2017); Museu Histórico Nacional, Rio de Janeiro (2017) and Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR) (2016). Since 2019 Igor Vidor has been living in Berlin, where he is artist-in-residence at Künstlerhaus Bethanien.
Ubi Sunt, 2017, 23 Min.
Salomé Lamas works at the interface of cinema, art and performance, often turning the focus on individuals, social groups or places which are usually outside the limelight. She takes a particular interest in the relationship between narrative and depiction and in the role played by fiction in every form of storytelling, including supposedly “documentary” formats. By applying various alienation techniques, such as embedding surreal or dream-like scenes, Lamas breaks out of conventional narrative structures, allowing for ambivalence and repudiating the idea that her films are “true” representations of reality.
Ubi Sunt (2017, 26 min.) explores the geographical and social margins of Porto through eclectic images and narratives: interviews with teenagers in a youth detention centre alternate with dance performance, memories blend with the present.
Salomé Lamas (*1987, Lisbon) studied cinema in Lisbon and Prague, visual arts in Amsterdam and is a Ph. D candidate in contemporary art studies in Coimbra. Her work has been screened both in art venues and film festivals such as Berlinale, Museo Arte Reina Sofia, MNAC – Museu do Chiado, DocLisboa, MoMA – Museum of Modern Art, Museo Guggenheim Bilbao, Harvard Film Archive, Museum of Moving Images NY, Jewish Museum NY, Fid Marseille, Arsenal Institut fur film und videokunst, Viennale, Culturgest, CCB - Centro Cultural de Belém, Hong Kong FF, Museu Serralves, Tate Modern, CPH: DOX, Centre d’Art Contemporain de Genève, Bozar , Tabakalera, ICA London, TBA 21 Foundation, Mostra de São Paulo, CAC Vilnius, SESC São Paulo, MAAT, La Biennale di Venezia Architettura, among others. Lamas was granted several fellowships such as the Gardner Film Study Center Fellowship – Harvard University, Film Study Center-Harvard Fellowship, The Rockefeller Foundation – Bellagio Center, Brown Foundation – Dora Maar House, Fundación Botín, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Sundance, Bogliasco Foundation, The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, Camargo Foundation, Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD. She is currently resident at the Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France.
(in collaboration with Daniel Mann)
Salarium, 2018, 42 Min.
Salarium (2018, 42 min.). Departing from the etymological derivation of both “salary” and “soldier” from “salt”, the film “Salarium” captures the entanglement of economic, military, and geological forces, which manifests in the figure of the sinkhole. Thousands of sinkholes are today perforating the shores of the Dead Sea in Israel and Palestine, covering a wide strip of land that stretches between the water and the vast Judean desert around. Swallowing the remnants of what used to be a popular beach, a water park, or a settlement, the sinkholes make the land uninhabitable and hazardous. What was once called a Natural Treasure to attract tourism and investment, is today a dilapidating site erected on unstable grounds. The sinkhole appears as both visible symptom and active cause of the failure of a colonial project to instrumentalise nature, collapsing together two temporal scales: the micro-histories of Israeli settlements and the slow disaster produced by the exhaustion of natural resources. It appears as the collapsing of the surface into the sub-terrain, with that collapsing the possibility of thinking of territory as mere surface.
Sasha Litvintseva was born in Russia in 1989. She studied at the Slade School of Fine Art and Kingston University, London. Currently, she is a Ph.D. candidate at Goldsmiths, London. Her works have been shown widely, inculding the Berlinale Forum Expanded, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Kunstverein Göttingen, Kasseler DokFest, Cinéma du Réel and Edinburgh Film Festival. Sasha Litvintseva lives in Berlin and London.
Daniel Mann is a London based filmmaker and researcher. Mann's films have been exhibited internationally at film festivals and venues such as The Berlin Film Festival, The Rotterdam Film Festival, Cinéma du Réel and the ICA in London. His forthcoming monograph, titled “Occupying Habits: Individuating Media and Warfare in Israel and Palestine”, will be out next year with Bloomsbury Press. Mann is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the Film Studies Department at King’s College London.
Tourneur, 2018, 14 Min.
In her latest series Yalda Afsah explores the relationship between humans and animals, probing the boundary between care and subjugation and the dominance exercised by humans. Her works resemble choreographies, but the films themselves start from real facts. The Berlinische Galerie was screening the videos “Tourneur” (14 min, 2018) and “Vidourle” (10 min, 2019), both shot in the little town of Quissac in southern France.
“Tourneur” is an abstract study about the archaic tradition of bullfighting in France. The film shows young men circling and taunting a bull that appears in the frame. The footage, made up of momentary sequences, removes the event from its cultural and geographic context, transposing it into an abstract cinematic space. Afsah’s sound track and the use of music highlight the physicality of the humans and the bull.
The German-Iranian film-maker Yalda Afsah was born in Berlin in 1983. She studied at Berlin University of the Arts (UdK), Burg Giebichenstein – University of Art and Design in Halle, and California Institute of the Arts. Her films have been shown at events such as the Locarno Festival, the New York Film Festival, the International Short Film Festival in Winterthur, and at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in London and the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein. In 2018 she took part in the Berlin Program for Artists (BPA). She holds a bursary at the UdK Graduate School in Berlin.
Europium, 2014, 20 Min.
Lisa Rave’s videos are often about colonial history and its present-day forms. “Europium” (2014, 20 min.) is an essay film about the rare earth metal of that name.
It all begins with tabu, a shell currency still used in Papua New Guinea. Legend has it that German colonialists made efforts to forge it in the 19th century. Rave describes current plans by Western multinationals to extract europium from the floor of the Bismarck Sea north of the island. Despite its name, europium is not confined to the continent of Europe, although it does enhance the security of euro banknotes: its fluorescent effect helps to spot counterfeiting.
Another application is in the manufacture of smartphone displays and other flat screens, where europium makes colours look brighter.
At the start of the video we see demo sequences with unspoilt (Pacific) landscapes. They demonstrate the brilliance of the display – but also expose the Western gaze on these “exotic” destinations.
The film’s structure is like the spiral of a nautilus mollusc, a leitmotiv that pervades the work. Each theme generates another new narrative with no apparent hierarchy. Rave’s technique highlights the complexity of the issues, which all need to be seen in their own context and are influenced by intricate connections between cultures, economies, geostrategies and power interests.
Lisa Rave was born in Guildford (UK) in 1979 and grew up in Kiel. She studied at the University of the Arts in Berlin, photography at Bard College in New York and was a fellow at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne (KHM) as well as a fellow of The Current Thyssen Bornemisza Art Contemporary Academy (TBA21). Her work has been shown by, among others, Kunstmuseum Basel, transmediale at HKW Berlin, the Museum for Modern Art in Dubrovnik (MOMAD), the Toronto Biennale and LIAF Biennale in Norway, the Centre for Contemporary Art in Singapore and the Württembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart. Rave has received a number of awards, including the Elsa Naumann scholarship from the State of Berlin, the 21st Bremen Award for Video Art and a film/video residency at Akademie Schloss Solitude in Stuttgart. She lives in Berlin.
Die Realisierung erfolgt mit freundlicher Unterstützung der