Body + Camera Festival:
The Un/Certain Body
Body + Camera Festival 2018:
The Un/Certain Body
Mana Contemporary Chicago, in Partnership with Chicago Dancemakers Forum and Montom Arts, announces programming for the second annual Body + Camera Festival. The festival will feature more than forty short films by emerging and established artists from around the world that explore the intersection between the body and the moving image. The works will be presented over two days as short programs, installations, and special live presentations. Programs will be free and open to the public.
Body + Camera presents a broad spectrum of contemporary work in experimental, dance, and performance film, and includes special screenings and artist talks aimed at provoking discussion around the event’s theme. This year’s films were selected from over 1,700 international submissions by a jury of experienced members of the performance and film community, and organized into five distinct programs and installations.
Body + Camera Festival Installations
Still from Lucinda Childs, La mise en marche, 2017. 30 min. Photo: Courtesy of Centre national de la danse
GALERIE DES PORTRAITS
Centre national de la danse, presented in partnership with French Cultural Services in the United States
The CN D’s Nouvelle cinémathèque de la danse Portraits collection presents focused excerpts from the work of various choreographers in continuously screened half-hour filmic montages.
FIVE WORKS: FARAH SALEM
As part of a bimonthly project series featuring five new and recent works by emerging Chicago artists, Mana Contemporary Chicago presents, in conjunction with the Body + Camera Festival, work by Farah Salem, a Kuwaiti visual artist based in Chicago. Working with photography, video, and performance, Salem investigates the erasure of sociocultural conditioning by examining societal gendered trauma, drawing on her experience as an Arab woman, and debates ways of defeating silence and overcoming restrictions.
JULIA BONDESSON & ALEXANDER WIREEN (SWEDEN), AUGUST
The mosquito larva, the tick, the wild boar and Chinese martial arts in four scenes.
CHAMECKILERNER (NEW YORK), SAMBA #2
In Samba #2, choreographers Rosane and Andrea subvert the cliché of the samba, using tight-on-the-hips framing taken from mainstream TV in their native Brazil. They create a slow, unsettling “dance of the flesh,” turning the materiality of the body into a disorienting landscape that encapsulates the lush violence of the dance.
ELIZABETH LEISTER (CALIFORNIA), ROCKHAVEN CREEPERS TRILOGY
Inspired by Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s novel The Yellow Wallpaper (1932), Rockhaven Creepers uses 360-degree video to bring the viewer into the space of the abandoned Rockhaven Sanitarium. Each room is inhabited by a dancer, who uses movement to embody the various “nervous disorders” considered particular to women when the book first appeared.
ERIKA ROUX (THE NETHERLANDS), PSYCHE AND CUPID
The video is an attempt to recreate a detail of Antonio Canova's marble sculpture, Psyche Revived by Cupid's Kiss. Erika Roux chooses her father and his girlfriend to re-enact the image of Psyche offering her soul to love, but her aim is never satisfactorily achieved.
PABLO MONTERRUBIO (MEXICO), REMOTO
An immersive interactive installation featuring headsets that receive live transmissions from security cameras, Remoto allows visitors to see themselves in real time from a remote perspective, deconstructing conventional notions of the relationships between identity and self, viewer and viewed, individual and collective, human and machine.
The End of Things
A selection of films that navigate transition, loss, death, and decay
Still from Haisi Hu, New York After Rain, 2018. Animation. 5 min., 53 sec. Photo: Courtesy of the artist
DAGMAR DACHAUER (AUSTRIA), COMPETING FOR SUNLIGHT: ASH
A melancholy ode to an endangered species set to music by Tom Waits. “The death of a species, especially a species as significant as the ash, punches a hole not only in nature, but also in our culture.”—George Monbiot
MARTA DI FRANCESCO (UNITED KINGDOM), JANUS
A poetic work named for the two-faced god of transitions, doorways, and new beginnings. Janus explores the effect of time on identity. In periods of transition, a sensitivity to presence is vital; we are at the threshold of a new era that will be defined by our ability to learn from the past.
JOHANNES GIERLINGER (AUSTRIA),
A SUBSEQUENT FULFILLMENT OF A PREHISTORIC WISH
A film about the accidental death of a female artist. A narrator, connected to the subject through layers of ritual, searches for her and a lost artwork, but finds nothing more than broken memories.
SCOTTY HARDWIG (VIRGINIA), OUR LAST ARIA
Filmed on location in the Eureka dunes of Death Valley, our last aria tracks a duet dance for film by American dance artist Scotty Hardwig, performed by Keanu Forrest Brady and James Mario Bowen. Two figures traverse a kinetic and emotional landscape in a desert wilderness.
HAISI HU (NEW YORK), NEW YORK AFTER RAIN
New York After Rain explores the moment before death through the protagonist’s feelings of longing, fear, and numbness. In this strikingly alien life, only pain can awaken love for the world.
CARLOS ALBERTO RODRÍGUEZ (SPAIN),
THE OLD THRESHING FLOOR OF HORCAJO. A PLACE OF MEMORY AND DANCE
A documentary that allegorizes an almost-forgotten site.
BERNHARD JOHANNES SCHMITT (SINGAPORE), FOSSILES
A human skull finds its true love in ballet.
This Is How We Do It
In these films, bodies form communities.
Still from Julia Metzger-Traber and Davide De Lillis, Rhizophora, 2015. Digital color video. 16 min., 14 sec. Photo: Courtesy of the artist
BENJAMIN BUXTON (ILLINOIS), ON THE RINK
The Rink in Southside Chicago has been home to a vibrant community of rollerskating enthusiasts for more than forty years. Benjamin Buxton’s portrait conveys their boundless energy.
¿CHE.NE.SO? (GERMANY), RHIZOPHORA
Dancing between waking and dreaming, Rhizophora follows a day through the eyes of eleven young residents of the Friendship Village in Vietnam who are living with disabilities caused by Agent Orange.
JOHNSON CHENG (NEW YORK), BEAST
Carson, California is home to the world’s reigning krump champions. They call themselves the Beast Fam, a crew of suburban Filipino and Mexican American youths who find family and salvation through electric street dance.
BARAN CHERAGHIPOUR (IRAN), COCOON
A film about knowing yourself and emerging from your cocoon.
SHON KIM (SOUTH KOREA), BOOKANIMA: DANCE
Bookanima—a compound of book and anima—is an experimental animation technique that uses chronophotography to gives books new cinematic life. Bookanima: Dance, the project’s second chapter, incorporates aerial silk, aerobics, ballet, breakdance, disco, jazz dance, Korean dance, modern dance, social dance, and tap.
ANDREA RÜTHEL AND SUSANNA BERIVAN (GERMANY), LIKE
An exercise in the learning language through imitation. Sound forms and loses itself, becomes a word, a term, an attempt to participate.
JAN PIETER TUINSTRA (THE NETHERLANDS), OTHERLAND
Based on the life of Elvin Elejandro Martinez, Otherland follows a vogue dancer who performs at a voodoo carnival ball, in which he must gain the acceptance of the local ballroom community.
Still from Cherrie Yu, Trisha and Homer, 2018. Two-channel color video. 8 min., 31 sec.. Photo: Courtesy of the artist
CHERRIE YU (CHINA), TRISHA AND HOMER
An artist recreates movements from a Trisha Brown dance film, and documentary footage of a maintenance worker at work. Afterwards she has a conversation with Homer the worker about dance, music, and movement.
Public Places, Private Worlds
Films that navigate private lives in public spaces.
Still from Jillian Mayer, DAY OFF 1, 2016. Digital color video. 1 min., 56 sec. Photo: Courtesy of the artist
DADANS AND NESLIHAN KOYUNCU (TURKEY), AMORPHOUS
Co-directed by the dadans collective and Neslihan Koyuncu, and produced by dadans, Amorphous is a short dance film that explores ideas of evolving form and reality through movement-focused research carried out in real space.
ROSELY CONZ IN COLLABORATION WITH ANA BAER (MICHIGAN), TERRABLUE
A collaboration between choreographers Rosely Conz and Ana Baer, and composer Alexis Bacon that draws on their experiences as foreigners and immigrants, to confront issues of identity, and belonging.
JILLIAN MAYER (FLORIDA), DAY OFF 1
DAY OFF is an ongoing series of videos in which the protagonists play what is assumed to be an immersive virtual reality video game. They appear completely disconnected from the world of the viewer, oblivious to their environment and to our presence and gaze.
MAJA MIREK (AUSTRIA), UNSPOKEN
There is a place in the throat where unspoken words stick, accumulating to produce an illusory reality that allows us to feel comfortable together.
JOCELYNE MOREAU (THE NETHERLANDS), THE INNER HARBOUR
The Inner Harbour is a film based on choreography by Dutch dancer Milou Nuyens of the Dansk Danstheater in Copenhagen that was made in September 2017, during her eighth month of pregnancy, on the Inner Harbour Bridge (Inderhavnsbroen) in Copenhagen, which is precisely between the house in which she lives and the Opera House where she works. It thus represents two important polarities, and features a cappella vocals by French singer Camille Dalmais that can be thought of as the beat of her own heart and that of her child.
XIAOQING ZHU (ILLINOIS), MUTUAL MEASUREMENT
A film that documents impromptu performances made in response to the environment of Chicago. The body of the artist is integrated into industrial products, public facilities, and artificial structures in order to question “civilized” human activity.
ROSIE TRUMP (NEVADA), WOMEN IN CITIES
A short stop motion dance film assembled from more than two thousand still shots of female figures in motion, referencing painter Robert Longo’s iconic Men in Cities series.
CAMIEL ZWART (THE NETHERLANDS), PLATFORM 13
The tragicomic story of a Japanese railway conductor whose strong, graceful movements keep crowds under control, but who ends up in a nightmarish new world in which his job is irrelevant.
A suite of films confronting the anxieties surrounding societal expectations and gender norms.
Still from Marloes ten Bhömer, Annabelle, Barbra, Becky, Alexis, Krystle, Ellen, Olive, Eve and Kirsten, not stumbling, sliding, sinking, falling or oblivious, 2014. Digital color video. 5 min. Photo: Courtesy of the artist
MARLOES TEN BHÖMER (UNITED KINGDOM), ANNABELLE, BARBRA, BECKY, ALEXIS, KRYSTLE, ELLEN, OLIVE, EVE AND KIRSTEN, NOT STUMBLING, SLIDING, SINKING, FALLING OR OBLIVIOUS
A video that questions contemporary social constructs of women with reference to ideas of mobility. Ten Bhömer employs her own historical taxonomy of cinematic moments in which women are stymied by high heels—to suspenseful, dramatic, comedic, or other effect—repurposing certain elements as an obstacle course.
ROSWITHA CHESHER (UNITED KINGDOM), TO THE ENDS OF THE FINGERTIPS
Slipping through the fingers of time, we follow a search for freedom and fulfilment in this richly surreal tale.
ERYKA DELLENBACH (NEW YORK), HELD OVER SHORE
Shot on old 16mm film, Held Over Shore is a poem on masculine mystique from a woman’s perspective. Mining the early stages of a collaboration between artists Matty Davis and Ben Gould, it is driven in part by the energy of Gould’s Tourette Syndrome.
VICTORIA DONNET (FRANCE), I AM FINE
A short film about the relationship between our inner lives and our facial expressions. When we say “I’m fine,” what are we really communicating? Perhaps nothing other than “I’m alive.”
FRANCESCA FINI (ITALY), FAIR & LOST
Wearing electrostimulators set to maximum, Francesca Fini attempts to apply makeup while involuntary muscular contractions sparked by the electric shocks cause it to spread across her face, and a conflict between conscious behavior and social conditioning is poised to erupt.
HUGO LJUNGBÄCK (SWEDEN), FOR HIS SAKE; FOR HIS PLEASURE
In For His Sake; For His Pleasure, the artist explores the coercion experienced by teens and younger gay men to pose for and send nude selfies. Contains nudity.
CAT MAHARI (ILLINOIS), IMPRINTS & TRACES
Imprints & Traces follows two empathic scientist-activists from “the AfroFuture” who discover the final records of Kansas City, Missouri, and encounter traces of anti-blackness, sexual disparity, capitalism, and genocide.
NIKITA MAHESHWARY (THE NETHERLANDS), EVE TEASING
Part of the ongoing short film series SitaaurGita, Eve Teasing captures an ordinary day in the lives of women on the streets of India as they brave sexual harassment (the “teasing” of the title), capturing states and reactions that range from caution and vigilance to sickness and fear.
JAKKRAPAN SRIWICHAI (THAILAND), PHIMABONG
Phimabong flickers between daydream and nightmare in its mysterious tale of two men who spend the day in a rainforest cabin.
Sex and Horror: Active/Passive Female Bodies
Still from Jim Vendiola, Library Hours, 2017. Digital color and black-and-white video. 11 min. Photo: Courtesy of MMXVII Kinosaur Films
Jeanne Donegan, Jennifer Sova, and Jim Vendiola show excerpts of their films and discuss related themes.
Choreography of the Camera:
The Camera as an Instrument of Movement, Abstraction, and Dance
Curated by Chicago Film Archives, a regional film archive dedicated to identifying, collecting, preserving, and providing access to films that represent the Midwest.
Photo: Courtesy of Chicago Film Archives
LARRY JANIAK WITH ROBERT STIEGLER AND JEFFREY PASCO, LIFE AND FILM
A collaborative film conceived as a ‘picture postcard,’ the moving images recorded by the film camera mirroring the card’s picture side, the sound track evoking its written message. Life and Film is a lyrical look at some Chicago filmmakers on their way to the Michigan sand dunes on a sunny day.
ROBERT STIEGLER, CAPITULATION
Capitulation uses negative film stock, multiple exposures, and rapid editing to construct fluid layers of movement through urban Chicago. Merging abstraction and the documentation of everyday experience, it explores light and film as material.
BYRON GRUSH, CIRCLES
A film about circles that begins with a roll of film. Circles was made during Byron’s studies with Frank Barsotti and Ken Josephson at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.
BYRON GRUSH, LES PRELUDES
A “musical” set to Liszt’s Les Preludes. A quintessential imagist project, it is comprised of many scenes of manipulated color, multiple exposures, smooth camera movements, and seemingly unrelated images, with references to everything from Les Chants de Maldoror, an early Surrealist novel by Comte de Lautrémont, and the Flash Gordon serials starring Buster Crabbe.
LARRY JANIAK, ADAMS FILM
Adams Film is a visual collage combining live action footage with abstract images and textures drawn directly onto 16mm film stock. The soundtrack consists of assorted tape loops, while the live action footage captures scenes from an early Chicago Earth Day parade and a Janiak family gathering. Inspired by musique concrète and the work and writings of John Cage and Gertrude Stein.
A selection of films by artists under 25, curated by Sofia Wolfe, Artistic Director
of Festival Of Recorded Movement (F-O-R-M)
Still from Gabriella Engdahl, Do you know what time it is right now?, 2017. Color film video. 3 min. Photo: Courtesy of artist.
TOBI AREMU (NEW YORK), NEGOTIATION
A physical exploration of black masculinity.
CARLA CASTLE (SINGAPORE), TO BE FL;WD
A short, experimental stop motion film responding to the stubborn popularity of plastic surgery. As humans, we are defined by our flaws, and in trying to “correct” them, we expose and trap ourselves still further.
GABRIELLA ENGDAHL (SWEDEN), DO YOU KNOW WHAT TIME IT IS RIGHT NOW?
Through a combination of witty text and images of everyday movement, Do you know what time it is right now? explores our uneven perception of the passage of time.
RALPH ESCAMILLAN (CANADA), FAUX SOLO
Empty space, a human body, and eight articles of clothing. Faux Solo explores the interplay between body, sound, clothing, and space.
COURTNEY KEHR (PENNSYLVANIA), MY BODY HER SKIN
My Body Her Skin is based on the artist’s poem about her singular relationship with her mother, whose hand-me-down clothing embodies memories to which the artist gives new life.
AARON JACKSON (FLORIDA), BLCK
A glimpse into the realities of our justice system, Blck highlights the overwhelming prejudice faced by people of color.
DARIA MIKHAYLYUK (CANADA), CHAPTER 21
“There’s no greater misfortune in the world than the loss of reason.” – Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita
MUTI MUSAFIRI (UNITED KINGDOM), ENIGMATIC FABRIC
Enigmatic: ˌɛnɪɡˈmatɪk/, difficult to interpret or understand; mysterious. Fabric: ˈfabrɪk/, synonyms: structure, framework, frame, form, make-up, constitution, composition, construction, organization, infrastructure, foundations, mechanisms, anatomy, essence
SARAH PRINZ (CALIFORNIA), WAIT
A queer film about the cyclical nature of codependency that explores intimate moments in which we define our identities through another person, and must dismantle it to start over.
JAMIE ROBINSON (CANADA), SPACEMAN'S WORD FOR IRRITATING DISTURBANCES
A film that questions out mutable relationship with technology, pointing out its flaws and failures.
ABBEY SACKS (WASHINGTON), WHITE FOX ARCHETYPE // GRAVEYARD SHIFT
A dance film that uses dance, animation, and projection to capture the essence of a song by White Fox Archetype.
KAYANA WALLER (NORTH CAROLINA), AMINA (I'M STILL HERE)
A jaded dancer envisions a space to call her own.
Wills Glasspiegel, Jenn "Po-Chop" Freeman, 2018. Digital photograph. Photo: Courtesy of the artist
WILLIS GLASSPIEGEL, PORTRAITS OF CHICAGO DANCERS
Portraits shines light on the life and work of six award-winning dancers in Chicago:
Jenn “Po-Chop" Freeman, Nico Rubio, Ayesha Jaco, Rob Welcher, Anna Martine Whitehead, and Joanna Furnans. Each dancer shares their visions for future projects after winning a prestigious grant from Chicago Dancemakers Forum. Portraits was directed by Wills Glasspiegel and edited by Brandon Calhoun.
Eight films that explore our ongoing search for physical intimacy with nature.
Still from Charlie Ford, imitation of a rock, 2018. Digital color video. 4 min. Photo: Courtesy of the artist
RAFEL ARNAL (SPAIN), FERRAN
A filmic portrait in which shots of a buried body emerging from a mound of earth, dragging itself along the edge of an irrigation ditch, and lying down on the edge of an orchard are layered atop one another, each action describing an episode in the performer’s life.
DULCEE BOEHM (ILLINOIS), KNEAD/NEED
The simple action of kneading bread emphasizes the connection between our bodies and the landscape.
ROSSINA BOSSIO (COLOMBIA), RUINS
A group of dancers moves through a surreal scenario filled with dust and stones. Through sound, movement, and magical atmosphere, Ruins unveils the beauty of chaos and celebrates the inherent uncertainty of life.
CHARLIE FORD (CALIFORNIA), IMITATION OF A ROCK
A camera captures a humorous intimate interaction between a body and a rock.
CHEN JIEXIAO (SINGAPORE), INDIGNANCE
At a moment of personal transition, a dancer heads for his favorite sanctuary from the rain.
ELLEN MUELLER (MINNESOTA), CRUNCHING
Made during a residency at Playa Artist Residency in Oregon, this film is set on the edge of a lake that dries up every summer due to commercial irrigation. It depicts various textures that, while appealing, also reflect a strained relationship between natural processes and human exploitation.
CHENGLONG TANG (CHINA), GATHA
Gatha tells the story of two Tibetan brothers’ pilgrimage to Mount Kangrinboqe, or Mount Kailash, during which the elder brother dies. When the younger brother finally arrives at the Holy Land, alone, he is grieving but fulfilled, and his journey continues as a new cycle of life begins.
JAIME WHITBY (UNITED KINGDOM), AN ISLE FULL OF NOISES
A custom-built drone-mounted lighting system illuminates this modern take on an extract from The Tempest, narrated by David Oyelowo. An Isle Full of Noises was originally broadcast in the UK by Channel 4, as part of its experimental film strand “Random Acts.”
Photo at top: Still from Rossina Bossio, Ruins, 2017. Photo: Courtesy of the artist