FIA Film 2016: Identities

November 3 to December 15, 2016
Fogo Island Inn
Everyone Welcome

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Chantal Akerman, News from Home (1976), film still. Image courtesy Cinémathèque royale

Fogo Island Arts programs are rooted in the conviction that art plays an important role in the formation of society. FIA Film explores the capacity of film to challenge the ways in which society is constructed and to open up space for creating the world otherwise. The program pays tribute to Fogo Island’s significant relationship to film that emerged through the National Film Board of Canada’s (NFB) Challenge For Change program of the 1960s and 70s. A participatory project that used film as an instigator of social change, Challenge For Change led to the hugely influential Fogo Process films, which documented Fogo Islanders’ way of life and shared concerns, empowering communities to act together to determine their future.

FIA Film 2016: Identities departs from the notion that identities always emerge within and through encounters—with our families and people we meet, with dominant politics, market demands, mainstream media, nature, technology, architecture and the arts. By turning our attention to the relational character of society, this program looks at the ways in which film questions and challenges entrenched representations of identities. FIA Film 2016 aims to explore alternatives to mainstream neoliberal depictions of identities that may ultimately be more relevant for the conflictual, migrating, multipolar and networked society of today. The program presents the work of four filmmakers—Chantal Akerman, Manon de Boer, Marta Popivoda and Frederick Wiseman—whose films offer diverse ways of representing and understanding identities through unconventional and contrasting lenses. Spanning a production period of 40 years and employing multiple narrative approaches and methods of filming and editing, these artists nonetheless share an interest in analyzing how society is constructed in relation to politics, economics and culture.

FIA Film 2016: Identities is curated by Goran Petrović Lotina, a researcher, curator and theorist in visual and performing arts and film, and artist-in-residence with FIA in 2016. Screenings will be accompanied by informal discussions with Petrović Lotina, FIA Director of Programs and Exhibitions Alexandra McIntosh, FIA artists-in-residence, and additional guests.

November 3: Manon de Boer, Resonating Surfaces (2005)
6:00 pm
39 minutes
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Manon de Boer, Resonating Surfaces (2005), film still. Image courtesy Jan Mot, Brussels.

Resonating Surfaces is a portrait, of a city, of a woman and of a certain philosophy of life as it situates Suely Rolnik in the context of the sounds, smells, and colours of São Paulo—her native city, as well as the intellectual atmosphere of 1970s Paris—the city of her exile. In the narrative, Rolnik delves into a personal history of alternative lifestyle, imprisonment, psychoanalytic work, and her relationships with the two founders of schizoanalysis, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, whose work focused on the role of social behaviour in understanding personality. The film is woven through by different themes pertaining to Deleuze and Guattari’s thinking, among them the relation to otherness, the connection between body and power, as well as the politics of desire and of resistance.

November 17: Chantal Akerman, News from Home (1976)
6:00 pm
85 minutes

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Chantal Akerman, News from Home (1976), film still. Image courtesy Cinémathèque royale

Letters from Chantal Akerman’s mother are read over a series of elegantly composed shots of 1976 New York, where our (unseen) filmmaker and protagonist has relocated. Akerman’s unforgettable time capsule of the city is also a gorgeous meditation on urban alienation and personal and familial disconnection.

December 1: Frederick Wiseman, National Gallery (2014)

4:00 pm
Additional screening December 4, 2:00 pm

181 minutes
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Frederick Wiseman, National Gallery (2014), film still. Image courtesy Zipporah Films.

Frederick Wiseman’s National Gallery takes the audience behind the scenes of a London institution, on a journey to the heart of a museum inhabited by masterpieces of Western art from the Middle Ages to the 19th Century. National Gallery is the portrait of a place, its way of working and relations with the world, its staff and public, and its paintings. In a perpetual and dizzying game of mirrors, film watches painting watches film.

December 15: Marta Popivoda, Yugoslavia, How Ideology Moved Our Collective Body (2013)
6:00 pm
62 minutes
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Marta Popivoda, Yugoslavia, How Ideology Moved Our Collective Body (2013), film still. Image courtesy the artist.

Yugoslavia, How Ideology Moved Our Collective Body (2013) deals with the question of how ideology reveals itself in public space through mass performances. The author collected and analyzed film and video footage from the Yugoslavia years (1945-2000), focusing on state performances (youth work actions, May Day parades, celebrations of the Youth Day, etc.) and counter-demonstrations (student and civic demonstrations in 1968 and the 1990s, the 5th October revolution of 2000, etc.). Going back through the images, the film traces how Communist ideology was gradually exhausted through the changing relations between the people, ideology, and the state.

The screening will be followed by a short interview between Marta Popivoda and co-script writer Ana Vujanovic on making Yugoslavia, How Ideology Moved Our Collective Body, recorded exclusively for FIA Film.