Review

Yalda Afsah

In the IBB-Video Space

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.

Videostill: Yalda Afsah, Tourneur, 2018
Videostill: Yalda Afsah, Tourneur, 2018
© Yalda Afsah

Yalda Afsah's works resemble choreographies, but the films themselves start from real facts. The Berlinische Galerie is 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.

Excerpt, Vidourle, 2019
Excerpt: Vidourle, 2019
© Yalda Afsah

This to-and-fro between groping cautiously forward and beating a hasty retreat continues in “Vidourle”. This time the adversary is unknown, but the sense of expectancy, tension and threat grows. From a bird’s-eye perspective, the film shows a group of young men in the River Vidourle, their gaze focused on something outside the frame. This invisible element – the unknown – directs the interplay between approaching and withdrawing, action and reaction and also fear and restraint. “Vidourle” shows a vibrant community scene where the protagonists are proving their courage to themselves and to others.

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.

The IBB-Video Space
at Berlinischen Galerie

The IBB video space will present artists who have recently drawn attention to themselves with innovative use of the media film and video. The artists are both established representatives of contemporary video art as well as emerging artists who have scarcely made their mark on Berlin’s art scene. A changing programme of different works will be compiled each month.

This project has been facilitated by Investitionsbank Berlin (IBB).

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