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<nettime> huillet and straub
Florian Schneider on Mon, 9 Nov 2009 06:40:47 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> huillet and straub


Dear nettime!

Please allow me to invite you to join (locally or remotely) a new
project  we are currently preparing for the next few weeks.

OF A PEOPLE WHO ARE MISSING will open next Thursday, November 12 as a
Ciné-club and exhibition on films by Daniele Huillet and Jean-Marie
Straub.

http://ofapeoplewhoaremissing.net

The project approaches the work of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub
from a perspective of contemporary image production. Although until very
recent almost exclusively tied to the analog mode of production the way
the two filmmakers have worked could be considered as "open source" in
the true sense of the word. Rather than owning the images they have
produced, their images try to own up to their sources or predecessors,
and therefore they value their collaborators and potential audiences in
the highest possible way.

It seems like Straub-Huillets entire work and attitude could not be more
contradictory to the digital mode of production. Instead, we understand
the background as an extreme pole of analog filmmaking which -- besides
the technical questions and challenges -- provokes a permanent
rethinking of the potentialities and limitations of the digital itself.
As the filmmakers constantly questioned the possible transformation from
one medium to the other, such as literature, painting, music towards
film, as a process of re-reading, re-inventing or readjusting of
meaning.

The "Straubs", as Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub are often
called, are among the most outstanding, and yet widely unknown
contemporary filmmakers in the history of cinema. Jean-Marie Straub and
Danièle Huillet worked together for over 40 years until Danièle
Huillet's death in October 2006. Since the early 1960s their radical
approach towards filmmaking allowed them to create more than 30 very
diverse films; they treated and transformed literature by Kafka, Pavese
and Hölderlin, as well as the paintings of Cézanne, cantatas by Bach and operas by Schönberg.

If there is such a thing as a "Pédagogie straubienne" (as Serge Daney
once hinted), the project  follows the question: what can be learned
from their films today? Is it possible to translate their precision
which seems so deeply connected to and conditioned by the means  of
analog film production, into what is usually conceived as the age of
digital image production, and if so, under what terms?

Huillet and Straub categorically refused to offer any kind of
interpretation that might ease or facilitate access to the artwork or
so-called original. Instead, their focus on the act of speaking, always
in very specific circumstances, opens up a multitude of possible
interpretations; this marks precisely the peculiarity of their films.
Through the speech-act the moving images change one of their most
essential properties and they become no-one's property.

No-one's property is the opposite of what pretends to belong to
everybody -- no matter whether it is communicated, participated in or
otherwise shared. In this sense one can also understand the remarks that
Gilles Deleuze repeatedly put forth in his books on cinema: the films of
the "Straubs" are made for a people who are missing. "A people" needs to
be invoked rather than represented or addressed. "The people no longer
exist, or not yet...".

The phrase "a people who are missing" is taken from the only public
lecture Paul Klee held in 1924 in the Kunstverein Jena: "Uns traegt kein
Volk." Instead of embellishing the splendid isolation of the artist,
such a people who are missing need to be understood literally and
Jean-Marie Straub once suggested dedicating his movie "The chronicle of
Anna Magdalena Bach" to the Vietcong.

OF A PEOPLE WHO ARE MISSING will open in Extra City from November 12 to
December 20 as a platform for both the viewing and making of films. The
exhibition space will be structured around five studios which will act
as showrooms as well as independent production spaces. Each studio is to
be used in a different configuration of archive material, film excerpts,
actual footage and the critical discourse around it. Every Thursday to
Saturday, one studio will host invited guests and contributors for a
series of screenings, lectures and debates.

Among the contributors are: Chantal Akerman, Pietro Bianchi, Manon de
Boer, Robert Bramkamp, Vanessa Brito, Giulio Bursi, Rinaldo Censi, Anna
Fiacciarini, Jack Henrie Fisher, Peter Friedl, Kim de Groot, Romano
Guelfi, Armin Linke, Laura Malacart, Martha Rosler, Sally Shafto, Ines
Schaber,  Eyal Sivan, Benoît Turquety, Barbara Ulrich, Klaus Volkmer,
Susanne Weirich.


OF A PEOPLE WHO ARE MISSING
On films by Daniele Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub

Ciné-club and exhibition
12 November - 20 December 2009
Extra City - Kunsthal Antwerpen

Curated by: Annett Busch and Florian Schneider

Detailed program at:
http://ofapeoplewhoaremissing.net
http://extracity.org

Of A People Who Are Missing is a collaboration of Extra City – Kunsthal
Antwerpen and Jan van Eyck Academie, Maastricht. With the support of
Multitude e.V., Academy of Fine Arts Hamburg and Time Festival, Ghent.

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