Café Chalupecký: On Screen/Sound vol.II
Moving image series curated by Victoria Brooks and Argeo Scani, curators of Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC) in New York. The screening was part of the accompanying program of the exhibition Laure Prouvost: C'est l'est not ouest. Program: Laure Prouvost: It, Heat, Hit, Tony Cokes: 3# Manifesto A Track #1, Sara Magenheimer: Slow Zoom Long Pause, Alexander Kluge: Der Grosse Verhau and Lucie Rosenfeldová: Parallel Hopes.
Moving image series On Screen/Sound takes a close look at—and listen to—the way filmmakers have employed the sonic dimension of their form to complement, challenge, and reconsider our experience of the moving image. Each On Screen/Sound program delves into the relationship between movie sound and image tracks, highlighting some radical examples of the aesthetic power and technical potential of sound in cinema. From musical theater to the music video, experimental shorts to industrially produced features, the series explores the affective and technical relationship between sound and image through the art of Foley, experimental music, found footage, soundtrack imaging, synched, multi-channel, and non-diegetic sound.
Curated by EMPAC curator of music, Argeo Ascani, and curator of time-based visual art, Victoria Brooks, the Prague episode of the On Screen/Sound series presents a selection of films and videos that play with the relationship between textual and spoken language. Laure Prouvost (F), Sara Magenheimer (US), Tony Cokes (US), Lucie Rosenfeldova (CZ), and Alexander Kluge (US) all make videos that combine spoken and written language, focusing on the slippage of meaning and description as material and subject matter.
Prouvost’s It Heat Hit is a speedy cascade of images and words, featuring a seemingly autobiographical voice-over by the artist that is characteristic of the misuse and appropriation of English as her second language. Magenheimer’s Slow Zoom Long Pause meanwhile analyzes language as a patriarchal structure and explores how gender roles are embedded and articulated, encouraging the audience to listen rather than simply observe.
Rosenfeldova’s Souběžné naděje uses wild sync and non-diegetic voice to narrate sets and stages (a miniature garden, a theater) with the world we inhabit (a woodland, the internet) to construct a forensic map of behavioral convention though fractured narrative. Tony Cokes’ 3# Manifesto A Track #1 eschews both voice and realistic images. The animation uses a series of text and graphic transitions, edited to an upbeat electronic song by Seth Price. Through quotations, philosophical statements, and Morrissey lyrics, Cokes mocks the pop industry’s reliance on marketing to expose the underlying ideologies of representation in the media.
Inspired by early silent cinema, Alexander Kluge is well known for his regular use of the intertitle, and his 1971 sci-fi feature Der Grosse Verhau (The Big Mess) is a case in point. Engaging and humorous, but often deliberately fractured and poetic, Kluge’s film bombards us with loose, collagist associations of words and images in the story of two astronauts trying to make a living in a solar system controlled by corporate interest in 2035.