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Screenings: Statues Also Die and Letter from Siberia. Discussion by Valentin Diaconov and Alexey Artamonov

Public program Congo Art Works: Popular Painting
18 June 2017
20:30–23:00

DESCRIPTION

Using Chris Marker’s films as their example, Valentin Diaconov and Alexey Artamonov will discuss how images become a memory material and form, which express the subjectivity of opinion.

Chris Marker is a legendary man. With his cinematographic and political activity spanning over sixty years, he has traveled across the world dozens of times, capturing history in the making with his camera. One could say that Marker is one of the most renowned documentarists of all time—however, it wouldn’t reflect the truth entirely. Primarily because he is still relatively unknown in Russia, which has always remained Marker’s inspiration source, from his early piece, Letter from Siberia (1957), to the late The Last Bolshevik (1992). But also, because all of his works are literary masterpieces, as much as cinematic ones. His “essay films” (a term coined by the iconic French film theorist Hervé Bazin, especially in relation to Letter from Siberia) are independent and free from the dictatorship of objectivity, and in this sense, are essentially fictional.

Marker’s talent of combining a penetrating glance with personal contemplation, word with image, and politics with love, is hard to equal. His films are historical and political, yet made by a poet at the same time, according to Bazin’s account of Letter from Siberia. Genuine interest in and respect for the Other, in the social, cultural and universal humane meanings, have always informed Marker’s practice and can be seen as early as in his Statues Also Die (1953), made in collaboration with Alain Resnais, where the issues of race in the finale are compared to the general problem of oppression, leading to the film’s ban in de Gaulle’s France for ten years. Marker’s unique means of escaping a colonial approach to a different culture and its exotization, as well as his main tool, have always been words. He did not believe in objectivity and had nothing to offer but himself. The genre of an essay film became his form of political representation of reality.

Statues Also Die

Dir. Chris Marker, Alain Resnais, Ghislain Cloquet. France, 1953. 30 mins.

 

Letter from Siberia

Dir. Chris Marker. France, 1958. 62 mins.

ABOUT THE PARTISIPANTS

Valentin Diaconov is a curator at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art. He holds a PhD in Cultural Studies. He is the author of many articles on art in both general interest and specialized publications (newspapers: Kommersant, Vremya Novostei, magazines: ArtChronika, Iskusstvo, Frieze, online press: Artinfo.com, ArtGuide, Raznoglasia).

Alexey Artamonov is film critic and curator of film programs, former editor of SEANCE magazine. He has written on film and music for Afisha and Interview magazines, W-O-S, Look At Me, Colta.ru, Kinote websites, the CINE PHANTOM newspaper, and other media. Former editor of film section of the Theory and Practice web resource. Former press secretary of the State Central Museum of Cinema and the International Film Festival Message to Man. Curator of the Found footage. Mirror in the Move program at the XXIV Message to Man Festival. Co-curator of film programs at the 35th and 37th Mediaforums at the Moscow International Film Festival. Winner of the Mikhail Levitin’s Memorial Prize awarded by the Russian Guild of Film Critics (2016).

how to take part

Free admission with advance registration

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