Pavilion Screenings is new curatorial program dedicated to films.
The Discreet Charm of Political Activism
Curated by Stefan Voicu
The cultural turn and the extension of social activities into cyberspace have generated new methods and schemes of action. The reconfiguration into post- (post-modernism, post-industrial, post-socialism etc.) and the spectacle identity of society constitutes both social and aesthetic frameworks, here the two being mistaken for one with the other, in which contemporary visual manifestation occur.
Considering them as de-sublimated by their commodification, the old transgressive actions have been replaced by semiotic revolts and cybernetic rebellions. Tony Smythe said in 1960, as a reaction to an article which encourage physical violence in activist practices, that ‘in the real class struggle it is not people we are fighting, but the wrong idea’.
The films presented in this series of screenings are forms of symbolic activism, in which the manipulation of signs is ontologically commodified, more precisely, the action of directing a film has an a priori economic function which the auteur reveals or explores in a critical manner. Watched in relation with the economical, political and social conditions in which they were made, La dialectique peut- elle casser des briques? is an attack to the social movements of may ’68, the same as for Godard’s film (that could be seen even as an eulegy of it). Woody Allen’s Bananas deals with the Cuban Revolution and what it represented for the US, but mostly on the political stand of this country in relation to the events that occurred during those years in Cuba. As for Louise-Michel, Du levande, Trash Humpers and the short films series (David Lynch’s Dumbland episodes and Jay LaRay Keener & Jeremiah Ledbetter three short films) , they stand for more contemporary problems which our society faces. Their contextualization emphasizes the adaptability of the discourse, within them, promoted at the moment of the making of, therefore giving more legitimacy to the images used in a subversive, but self-reflecting, way.
In this type of practices, assuming a political aesthetics of anti-authority – characterized by symbolic violence or contemporary myths deconstruction – transcends the declared political identity of any subjective film directing process – defined by an eclectic assembly of circulated, through social networks, ideas. Regarded as visual manifests, the films work as alternatives, articulated agonistically, in the hegemonic struggle. In this sense, we can define cinema as a power field, where the films are visual projections of a certain type of ideological thinking which participates, simultaneously documenting, in this constant conflict of political pluralism.
Stefan Voicu is sociologist and theoretician.
The program 2011
All the screenings take place at PAVILION UNICREDIT, Bd. Nicoale Titulescu nr. 1 (Piata Victoriei), Bucharest.
Tout va bien (1972) Jean-Luc Godard, Jean-Pierre Gordin
Bananas (1971) Woody Allen
La dialectique peut-elle casser des briques? (1973) René Viénet
Louise-Michel (2008) Gustave de Kervern, Benoît Delépine
Du levande (2007) Roy Andersson
Trash Humpers (2009) Harmony Korine
Shorts by David Lynch and Jason LaRay Keener & Jeremiah Ledbetter