Maybe a kiss in the garden

10 Apr - 15 May 2010

screening programme in two parts

part 1

Karl Holmqvist "I'm with you in Rockland", 2005, b/w, sound, 25'00 min.

inaugural screening: Friday, 9 April, 7 p.m.
10 April–24 April 2010

part II

Maja Borg "Ottica Zero", 2007, b/w, sound,12'48 min.

Inaugural screening: Thursday 29 April, 7.30 and 8.30 p.m.
30 April–15 May 2010

The screening programme »maybe a kiss in the garden« is based on the apparent observation or evidency that today’s generation is not political in a collective anymore, but that political views seem to be reflected and expressed rather personally with each one involved individually. The title of the screening intends to suggest in a laconic way promises whose gratifications stay vague. It implies hope for 'something', colloquially spoken ‘a better world’ – new societal systems, ecological solutions etc. The 'kiss in the garden' (with reference to paradise) stands in for this 'something' that gives a positive outlook, while the interrogative nature of the title implies a doubtful moment projecting or expressing a fear of failure and non-fulfillment. The screening, with the title as a parenthesis, gathers two filmic works that show political aspects or attitudes not from a detached point of view but with a personal, individual tone, be it by the choice of the topic or by the choice of the narrative.

The work of Swedish filmmaker Maja Borg exists at the intersection of documentary, fiction and experimental film fusing the languages of these genres into a compelling, visually rich and politically astute body of work. In ‘Ottica Zero’, 2007 (12'48 min) Borg focuses on two people who refuse to conform to current conventions and strive instead to live out their own visions of the future. Rather than adopting a postmodern world-view of multiple truths and apocalyptic resignation, they look at the common needs of global society in order to provide people with the necessities of life through the universal methodology of science. ‘Ottica Zero’ follows Italian actress Nadya Cazan from her rejection of the monetary-based system to become her alter ego NEM on the search to find an alternative way of living; a quest to discover a means to recycle a whole spectrum of cultures and political ideologies into a new way of managing a global society. It is a journey, which takes us from Rome to Venus, where 93-year-old social innovator and futurist, Jacques Fresco, proposes a solution. Ottica Zero’ is structured around the RGB colour spectrum and the optic definition of “white”; the precise balance of red, green and blue, which produces the illusion of no colour. The term “Ottica Zero” (the optic zero point of white light) is used by the main character to describe the goal of her search, the point in which all humans are the same. Instead of moralist opinions, religious convictions or political control, it is this point of commonality that Nadya and Jacques Fresco hold as the solution to and foundation for a constructive global society. The film plays on the preconception most of us have of people with radical solutions – it seems harder for us to embrace positive visions of the future than dystopian criticism of the world.

Karl Holmqvist’s video “I’m with you in Rockland”, 2005 (25'00 min) revolves around the ‘personal political’ from a language-based perspective. The work, exclusively composed of a black image with white subtitles and the artist’s voice from the off, navigates between extraneous quotes extracted from the media and pop culture bringing up fundamental issues about religion and politics, about society and the system(s) we live in. The text-based piece openly refers to Allen Ginsberg’s well-known poem ‘Howl’ from 1955 (in which the third part has the same title). It adds elements from popular culture together into a first-person narrative that closely relates to slam-poetry and seems to create confusion stimulating the audience to wonder about who is actually behind what’s being said. Depending on the frame of reference of the recipient the words come across as alternately serious, funny, and moving. In the end, the work reaches a generality asking the viewer to take an active position towards the statements that are to be read between the lines of the written and spoken word.

Maja Borg, born1982 in Norrköping, Sweden, studied Film at Edinburgh College of Art; she currently lives and works in London. Her films have been shown at several international film festivals such as the Rotterdam International Film Festival in 2008, the Oberhausen 54th international Film Festival, 2008, and, most recently, at Momentum 5th Nordic Biennial of Contemporary Art, in Moss, Norway, 2009.

Karl Holmvqvist, born 1964 in Västerås, Sweden, lives and works in Berlin. He has taken part in numerous international exhibitions and performance programs, including ‘Utopia Station’, Venice Biennale, Venice, 2003, ‘Moderna Museet,’, Stockholm, 2005, ‘Performa 05’ and ‘07’, New York, Marres Centre for Contemporary Culture, Maastricht, 2009, and MACBA, Barcelona, 2009. Solo gallery exhibitions include ‘the grey triangle’, Hollybush Gardens, London, 2007, ‘down and out’ at dependance, Brussels, 2008, and ‘I’ll make the workd explode’ at Galerie Giti Nourbakhsch, Berlin, 2009.

Tags: Allen Ginsberg, Karl Holmqvist, RECYCLE