October 2, 2011
[Day-long Film Festival]
Curated by Simon Pennec and Nicole Lattuca
This film festival was curated for the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.
The city remembered, the city annihilated, and the city in decay are each a premise for the city in a state of erasure. The City Erased presents depictions of obliterated society and investigates the necessity for reaffirmation of life in the wake of total destruction. This day-long film festival gathers experimental films, TV shows and cult classics and places them in conversation with cultural, social, and environmental issues.
The first act, Ruins in the City, looks at modernity’s effect on the metropolis, as urban “revitalization” and the passing of time have altered its landscape. Rome and San Francisco are each the spatial backdrop for narratives of remembrance. Each city harbouring remains, whether physical or social, from disappearing cultures. Both films encourage the viewer to examine the city as it struggles with the remnants of its past.
Act two, “A”is for annihilation, is composed of sci-fi films that use camp and absurdity as tools for envisioning the end of days. The episode of the Twilight Zone, “Time Enough at Last,” and the Japanese cult classic film, Daikaijû Gamera, examine our collective panic of apocalypse, be it from a nuclear obliteration or from a gigantic angry turtle. The protagonists in both motion pictures respond differently in the face of total destruction; one with ironic optimism and the other with unbridled rampage.
The final act reflects on social apocalypse as it is represented in art and experimental films. Derek Jarman uses jarring and agitated cinematography to echo the downward spiral of the welfare state in The Last of England, while Cyprien Gaillard necessitates suspense and stillness in the swift collapse of a tower block, recalling the notorious demise of modernist housing estate of Pruitt-Igoe.
September 30, 2012
[Day-long Film Festival]
This film festival was curated in conjunction with the exhibition First, the Forests for the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.
Publicly and in secret, inadvertently and with intention, humanity is altering its natural environment. This day-long film festival gathers music videos, cult classics and animation looking at the destruction and design of the living landscape. In two acts and one art installation, L’instinct de chasse investigates the possibilities and challenges embodied in designing nature.
In the first act, Human/Nature Dichotomy, we see destruction come as both a violent force and a passive action. The films Pom Poko and Silent Running each address the privilege humanity asserts over our natural environment and the ease with which humans oppress nature.
In the second act, Alternate/Designed Nature, the line between beauty and mutation blurs as humans contort nature to accommodate their whimsy. In the architectural project Blur Building, the music video Cloudbusting and the film Gattaca, the weather and the human body are testing grounds for designing nature.
The video installation at the entrance, N. by Andrea Polli, is a documentation of near real-time Arctic data. As a rapidly changing environment, the Arctic is a barometer measuring how human influence is changing our planet.
September 29, 2013
[Day-long Film Festival]
This film festival was curated in conjunction with the exhibition Archeology of the Digital for the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.
In 1982 Time Magazine changed their annual Person of the Year cover to Machine of the Year acknowledging the growing presence computers were taking in society. Through a day-long film festival featuring two fictional cinematic works, one made-for-tv-movie, and clips of late 20th century newscasts and commercials, we follow the evolution of the home computer, programming software, and the internet from its nascent stages to the moment they achieved widespread use and familiarity.
We begin with the 1950s and the 1960s with the abstract uncertainty of the super computer. In the film Desk Set a super computer referencing the UNIVAC replaces human workers in the name of efficiency. Set to a campy tune we see a “Tomorrowland” where human existence becomes obsolete.
Moving into the 1970s and 1980s the home computer places efficiency at the individual’s fingertips. A growing population obtains newfound accessibility and control in the digital world. In the film War Games we see the ease with which simple acts of computing in the privacy of your own home can now have global impact. Finally, digital culture takes another turn in the 1980s and 1990s with the advent of the internet and the computer’s changing status from tool to lifestyle device. The human vs. the computer battle scores one for the computer as branding and design reach out to the consumerist general public. The film Pirates of Silicon Valley historicizes exactly how Steve Jobs, entrepreneur and inventor, originated a lifestyle that continues today.
In Anticipation was conceptualized by the 2009 SFAI MA Collaborative:
Devon Bella, Nicole Bulick, Nancy Elkus, Brooke Kellaway, Bokyung Kim, Gwen Kuo, Meredith Lange, Dori Latman, Nicole Lattuca, Laura Poppiti, Anna Schneider, Kara Q. Smith, and Camille Washington
In the Fall of 2008, during the formation of In Anticipation (2009), the major social, political and economic shifts occurring were impossible to ignore. The world watched intently as the economic recession became global, leaving many jobless and homeless, the urgency of the earth's environmental condition became irrefutable, and here in the United States the tangible desire for political change resulted in the most historic presidential election in generations. Uncertainty left many longing to make sense of the future and to speculate about the unknown.
As a response to these suspenseful circumstances, In Anticipation (2009) is a collaboration that reflects the condition of anticipation by developing a closer engagement with multi-media proposals and unrealized works by Elizabeth Axtman, Fang Lu, Jillian Mcdonald, Aernout Mik and Kamau Amu Patton. In order to address significant aspects within this contemporary moment, each artist was commissioned to engage with one of five interrelated inquiries that belong to both art discourse and other spheres of experience. These inquiries are titled as Question of Truth, Friction, Metamorphosis, Re-enactments, and Alternate Realities and dually function to activate a deeper understanding of the artists' practice as well.
The provocative ideas contained in each sub-theme and the outcome of the proposals hinge on the viewer's imagination and participation. Through three interconnected sites including a website, a live event, and limited edition artist prints, each artist proposal is given a suggestive space where the project can engage the viewer in the act of making predictions without any promise of resolution. While In Anticipation is largely situated in the realm of the unknown, the entire project is intended to mirror the multiple states of anticipation that persist as conditions of the present time.
This project is supported by San Francisco Art Institute Graduate Division and School of Interdisciplinary Studies: Renée Green, Dean of Graduate Studies; Zeina Barakeh, Graduate Programs Manager; Meg Shiffler, MA Collaborative Projects guest faculty; Hou Hanru, Chair Exhibition and Museum Studies; Robin Balliger, Chair, Urban Studies; and Jeannene Przyblyski, Chair, History and Theory of Contemporary Art.
Identity, gender politics, and issues of the ‘self’ are all compelling subjects in the work of Stephanie Dodes, Hilary Schwartz and Robyn Menzel. With video, installation, fiber art and performance these three artists create highly charged narratives specific to feminism, social contracts, and distortions of reality. Their methods and operations with images are handled with such intensity that it forces us to contemplate their experiences as artists, as women and as individuals.
The purpose of exhibition is to explore with the artists how they come to resolve the nature of their ideas. Rather than defining theses works under a singular concept, our intent was to organize a platform in which these three women could process and together exist in a space. Choosing artists for their individual thinking and being drawn to signature aspects of each of their work is at the heart of this curatorial experiment. Watching how three artists process/change/grow in a semester, where control lies in the artist/curator relationship and how the curatorial vision processes alongside the artistic vision.
Nicole Lattuca & Devon Bella
Hilary Schwartz, Sugar Coated 2008, 60 in x 80 in x 12 in
Stephanie Dodes, Superior Dimesions 2008, Installation, Oh my god 2007, Video
Robyn Menzel, Reservoir 2008, Installation