Amsterdam Art teams up with Eye Filmmuseum in organising a film program on the big screen, featuring the best new moving image based works Amsterdam’s art scene has to offer.
Immerse yourself in a double program with a selection of the film and video works by artists from the post-academic residencies and galleries affiliated with Amsterdam Art. The selection was made by Karen Archey, Curator of Contemporary Art at Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam; artist Ghita Skali; and Marian Cousijn, Programmer at Eye. Alongside film screenings the program also consists of conversations with artists.
Saturday 3 June
16:30 Cinema 2
Jen Liu – Electropore – 11:11 – 2021-2022
The video is about the idea of electroporation – a method of genetic engineering that Liu has used to add secret messages to living beef cells in her long term body of work, Pink Slime Caesar Shift. The cells, suspended in pink fluid, are electroshocked: if they survive, temporary holes in their bodies open up, allowing new DNA to enter. This DNA is designed by Liu, containing encrypted messages about methods of political protest, proofs of concept for the possibility of alternative networks of communication for labor activists working under oppressive government regimes.
However, if electricity is a way to insert new meanings, it could also be considered a means of forgetting old meanings – losing one’s memory. In Electropore (2021-22) electricity is generated by the labor of Asian and Black femmes, each trapped inside confined objects and shrunken worlds. They have no biography: they are pure productivity for the sake of cheap consumer goods, driven by an acid house beat. They’re fed synthetic pink bubble jelly and junk food. They form a perfect synthetic loop of meaningless labor in a world given to calamity and isolation. Various texts – including but not limited to Fred Ho’s Warrior Sisters (2000) and firsthand accounts of electroshock therapy and political imprisonment – are edited together to speak to productivity in the ruins: the reality of today’s migrant labor, industrial and data labor outsourced to the global south in the 21st century.
Jen Liu (1976), represented by Upstream Gallery, is a visual artist based in New York, working in video, choreographic performance, biomaterial, and painting to explore topics of national identity, gendered economies, neoliberal industrial labor, and the re-motivating of archival artifacts. Problem-solving methods are applied to complex social issues, then permitted to progress to their logical conclusions, create speculative narratives seemingly beyond reason – revealing elements of false consciousness and the limitations of existing solutions. Historical materialism across cultural types is embodied in everyday administrative and industry texts, while props, costumes, and animation take tropes to their ridiculous extreme.She is a 2019 recipient of the Creative Capital Award, 2018 LACMA Art + Technology Lab grant, and 2017 Guggenheim Fellowship in Film/Video, 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Fellowship in Digital/Electronic Art. She has presented work at The Whitney Museum, MoMA, and The New Museum, New York; Royal Academy and ICA in London; Kunsthaus Zurich; Kunsthalle Wien; the Aspen Museum of Art; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; MUSAC, Leon; as well as the 2014 Shanghai Biennale and UCCA Beijing.
Elisa Strinna – The Antarctic Gardener – 24:00 – 2022
An androgynous scientist lives confined to the ice of Antarctica, taking care of a closed artificial ecosystem for space colonization. Virtual relationships, artificial suns, and nutrients dissolved in the air are the core of a crystallized world pervaded by the emotional temperature of extreme isolation. In the astonishing but hostile frozen desert, the antarctic gardener follow a strict routine to endure solitude. Their only companions are plants, growing enclosed in an uninterrupted artificial cycle, regardless of weather and seasons.
The film is a creative documentary mixing archive footage of the EDEN ISS project with fiction. EDEN ISS is a test facility for plant cultivation in extreme environments at the Neumayer-Station III, Antarctica (AWI, DLR). Since 2017, it has been tested as a modular unit that could be attached to the International Space Station or to a possible colony on the moon. The Antarctic Gardener blurs the lines between what is real and what isn’t – also, if recalling the sci-fi genre- tells about a future already present. Inspired by research on Bio-regenerative Life Support Systems (BLSS) and the global pandemic of covid19, it digs into questions such as: if human life became possible only in the interior of closed artificial environments, what would our existence be? What future are we looking for?
Elisa Strinna’s artistic practice engages with multiple media – sculpture, video, sound, and light– to create intense and immersive experiences in which different works constitute visual, sensory, and formal universes. Her research focuses, in particular, on the relationship between modern infrastructures and the Earth’s ecosystem. Her work has been exhibited at Radius CCA, Delft (NL) (2022), documenta fifteen (DE)(2022), Tale of A Tub (NL)(2021), Culturgest Porto(PT)(2020), Fidelidade Arte (PT)(2019), Hong-gah Museum (TW)(2018), Giardini Greenhouse of the Venice Biennale (IT)(2015), MART Museum (IT)(2015), MAXXI Museum (IT.)(2014), EACC Museum (SP)(2013), Taipei Biennial (TW)(2012), MACRO Museum(IT) (2011), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (IT) (2009) amongst others. In 2018, Elisa Strinna was selected for the international residency program at Jan Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. Elisa Strinna is represented by Galerie Caroline O’Breen.
Zauri Matikashvili – Mavis and Kosmas – 16:29 – 2021
Hardly noticed, cleaning staff at the art academy mop and scrub the corridors and rooms, five days a week, from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. They also ensure that the trash in the artists’ studios is removed. Much of what is left of making art is thrown into the bins – unless it is recognizable as a work of art or too heavy to carry away. The film puts the cleaners Mavis Adu-Gyamfi und Kosmas Gavranidis in the center of attention: it looks over their shoulder at their work and lets them speak.
Born and raised in Kvareli, Georgia, Zauri Matikashvili has lived in Germany since September 12, 2003, 9:53 am. He studied fine arts in Münster and Düsseldorf. Since September 2022 he is resident at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten. In his films and performances he asks what identity and migration mean, how narratives and images create community, and how societies function in detail – or not.
Sylvie Zijlmans & Hewald Jongenelis – The Mother Of All Failure – 06:45 – 2022
The artists returned to Brabant, where they both grew up, for the residency at van GoghAir after a long time. The two-month work period in the Vlaamse Schuur on Landgoed De Moeren became a period of introspection and exploration of trauma and family drama as a driving force for their artistic practice. In “The Mother Of All Failure,” two figures walk through the beautiful landscapes of the estate. The taller of the two delivers an inner monologue out loud about their own victimhood and the role the other person plays in it. It is a poignant, painful, and simultaneously humorous sequence of scenes, without resolution. A six-minute litany of complaining, belittling, demeaning, accusing, and humiliating words. Six minutes of uninterrupted verbal and psychological violence. And it doesn’t end well. In fact, it doesn’t end at all. It is not a beautiful story. But it looks fantastic. And the psychological horror of “The Mother Of All Failure” will be familiar to many people. For The Mother Of All Failure, the artists drew inspiration from the beautiful nature of the estate, the history of Vincent van Gogh, which is full of traumas and family drama, and their own family history. The two months in Brabant brought up repressed childhood memories and family dramas. The Mother Of All Failure is a monument to those painful childhood memories. It is the powerlessness of childhood, materialized in a costume drama.
The Mother Off All Failure Written, directed, and produced by Sylvie Zijlmans and Hewald Jongenelis Text advice: Aaron Cole, Offana Collier, Osbourne Smith Costumes & masks: Sylvie Zijlmans & Hewald Jongenelis Gimbal operator: Eva Geene Voice: Aaron Cole Thanks to: Ron Dirven and Eva Geene (Van GoghHuis, Zundert) Made possible by Van Gogh AiR and the Mondriaanfonds
In recent years, Sylvie Zijlmans (1964) and Hewald Jongenelis (1962) have also realized many other collaborative projects. In 2020, they presented their film They Live in Us at Beautiful Distress, a project involving intensive collaboration with staff and patients of Kings County Hospital. In 2015, they created performances around social themes together with a hundred residents from Amsterdam-Noord in the project “Het Magnetische Noorden” (The Magnetic North). In 2016, they collaborated with the staff of the Penitentiaire Inrichting Zaanstad to create a monumental photographic work for the new building. In 2017, “Het Magnetische Noorden” was exhibited at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. The videos of the performances were shown in a spectacular installation with life-size ink drawings for that exhibition. In 2018, the ink drawings were exhibited under the title “Manifestations of Optimism” at andriesse ~ eyck gallery. Zijlmans & Jongenelis are represented by andriesse ~ eyck gallery.