When we act or undergo, we must always be worthy of what happens to us

3 April, 2014 - 22:00
The militant cinema and image, taken in a more strict sense, have historically tended to push toward the real and toward the truth and toward the overcoming of capitalism, colonialism, and sometimes patriarchy among other things. They have worked to uncover, to lay bare, to expose, to clarify and at times to destroy existing regimes of order and/or truth.

In the context of The Fire Next Time, a programme of KASK/HoGent in the framework of the research project ‘Figures of Dissent’ and the EU project ‘The Uses of Art – The Legacy of 1848 and 1989’ (confederation L’internationale), in conjunction with L'œil se noie, an exhibition of KIOSK with work by Eric Baudelaire & Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc (KIOSK, 05/04 – 15/06/2014).

Supported by onderzoeksgroepen S:PAM & PEPPER (UGent), Kunstencentrum Vooruit, BAM instituut voor beeldende audiovisuele en mediakunst, Eye on Palestine, the embassies of Mexico and France.

When we act or undergo, we must always be worthy of what happens to us

Ayreen Anastas & Rene Gabri

Occasionally, there have also been engaged comrades who have chosen the path of militancy as an arena to also investigate the truth claims of the image itself and its production. Of questioning the regimes of images themselves whether as spectacle or as contested fables or fictions. The utopic in the latter camp assumed cinema must be destroyed in the struggle. The more skeptical of this group, (in the philosophical sense not the everyday sense) returned to the cinema as a place of diagnosing the limits and failures of movements, as well as the images movements produced. This film is not about this history and the antinomies of these various modes of militancy in cinema, here reduced to a kind of caricature (quite common in historical accounts). It attempts instead to loiter around the shards and remnants of the processes, struggles and gestures that were produced in these varied forms of militancy in the hopes of discovering the latent forces and insights they may retain for contemporary struggles.

Ayreen Anastas & Rene Gabri work together. Ayreen writes in fragments, and makes films and videos. She is interested in philosophy, literature, the political and the everyday. Rene is interested in the complex mechanisms that constitute the world. He works within the folds of cultural practice, social thought and politics. Ayreen and Rene’s collaborative projects have evolved a great deal through their frequent contributions to the programme at 16Beaver, an artist community that functions as a social and collaborative space in downtown Manhattan, where the group hosts panel discussions, film series, reading groups and more. Ayreen and Rene’s Radioactive Discussion series was a physical counterpart to their fictional Homeland Security Cultural Bureau project. Other collaborations include: Camp Campaign, Artist talk, Radio Active, United We Stand, What Everybody Knows, Eden Resonating, 7X77, Case Sensitive America and more.