WARSAW UNDER CONSTRUCTION 15
Film review: 20ºC/68ºF
The film review, curated by Jonathan Pouthier, the film program curator at the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou in Paris, is part of the 15th edition of the WARSAW UNDER CONSTRUCTION festival.
While it appears that the ongoing ecological disaster and its devastating impact on our ecosystems cannot be halted, numerous artists and filmmakers are earnestly questioning the root causes and ramifications of the climate crisis. They are also endeavoring to establish new narratives that offer a different perspective on how we inhabit the world.
From the environmental and architectural utopias conceived by the English artist Graham Stevens during the 1970s in the arid expanses of the Middle East to the portrayal of lost fauna roaming the streets of Brasilia, as scrutinized by the Brazilian filmmaker Ana Vaz, depicting the symptoms of damage wrought by capitalism and colonialism in South America, the three sessions of this screening program delve into the potential of film to craft alternative narratives for an uncertain future.
A curated series of screenings features films created by an impressive lineup of artists, including John Baldessari, Rosa Barba, Yto Barrada, Basim Magdy, Ben Rivers, Clauleen Smith, Graham Stevens, and Ana Vaz.
20ºC/68ºF: ANA VAZ
The Brazilian artist and filmmaker Ana Vaz, born in 1986, has forged a cinematic oeuvre deeply imbued with themes of decolonization and the environmental crisis. Her latest work, “É noite América,” was filmed in Brasília, the very heart of Brazilian political power, where more than 450 endangered animal species seek refuge each month, fleeing the devastating impact of human activities on their natural habitats.
With the audacious decision to capture the entire film during daylight hours, employing an outdated and endangered 16mm film stock, Ana Vaz skillfully crafted an apocalyptic and visionary documentary, akin to an “eco-terror” film. Within this narrative, she traces the harrowing journeys of species on the precipice of extinction within the urban milieu. The artist herself astutely observed, “While documenting the Brasília zoo, I initially believed I was creating a film centered on an internment camp; however, it unequivocally emerges as a portrayal of a refugee camp.”
- É noite América, 2022, Super 16 (transfered to digital file), color, sound, 66 min
Photo: Ana Vaz, É noite América, 2022, Super 16 (transfered to digital file), color, sound, 66 min © Courtesy Ana Vaz © The Dark
Jonathan Pouthier is in charge of programming the film collection at the Musée National d’Art Moderne – Centre Pompidou in Paris since 2011. He is the author of numerous articles on the relationship between film and the visual arts, including Objet mental. Film, projection et interférences (in Philippe Decrauzat, Delay, Walther König, 2022), David Claerbout. The Silence of the Lens (Hannibal Books, 2022) and L’histoire d’une histoire du cinéma (Paris Expérimental/Centre Pompidou, 2023, co-edited with Enrico Camporesi). He has curated several exhibitions, including The Site of Film (KANAL-Centre Pompidou Brussels, 2018), Ericka Beckman (KANAL-Centre Pompidou Brussels, 2019), Jean Pierre Bertrand, Diamon’d (Centre Pompidou Paris, 2019) and more recently Le reste est ombre. Pedro Costa, Rui Chafes, Paulo Nozolino (Centre Pompidou, 2022, co-curated by Philippe-Alain Michaud).