Beginning with the ruins of a Greek Byzantine church and ending with trance rituals in Burma, this programme sketches a trajectory of shifting perspective and iconographic reference through works by Nick Collins, Chris Kennedy, Robert Beavers, Shambhavi Kaul, and Tiane Doan na Champassak & Jean Dubrel.
Wavelengths 4: Elysium
Beginning with the ruins of a Greek Byzantine church and ending with trance rituals in Burma, this programme sketches a trajectory of shifting perspectives and iconographic references, from the cloistered and intimate to the expansive and unrestrained. Nick Collins' Trissákia 3 documents the eponymous c. thirteenth century Greek church, its cracked though surprisingly intact frescoes, its crumbling stones and the dubious scaffolding that encases it, his camera revelling in the supernal beauty created by the light and shadow play resulting from its damaged openings. Delineated views similarly make up Chris Kennedy's Brimstone Line, in which three freestanding grids placed along the Credit River in rural Ontario (reminiscent of the Dürer Grid used by Renaissance draughtsmen in order to achieve accurate proportions) become devices through which the stationary camera frames the landscape and motivates a series of zooms.
Ostensibly a portrait of a place where the artist had resided until recently, the new film by Robert Beavers conjures not only the memory but also the physical presence of those who have previously stayed there. Adhering to a solitary intimacy while simultaneously acting as an ode to human endeavour and shared impulses toward fulfillment through art, Listening to the Space in my room is a moving testament to existence (whose traces are found in literature, music, filmmaking, gardening) and our endless search for meaning and authenticity. The film's precise yet enigmatic sound-image construction carries a rare emotional weight.
A strange yet familiar sense of place
dominates Shambhavi Kaul's deceptively
disorienting and visually entrancing Mount
Song. As a wild, foreboding gust courses
through the night, a subdued elegance is
brought forth from past cinema spectacles,
whose generic albeit highly suggestive set
constructions remain lodged in our imaginary.
In Natpwe, the feast of the spirits,
co-directors Tiane Doan na Champassak
and Jean Dubrel have produced an immersive,
seemingly timeless document of an
annual Burmese trance ritual that dates
back to the eleventh century. Shot in Super
8 and 16mm in sooty black and white,
the film conveys the astonishing sense of
liberation of tens of thousands of bodies
and minds — a mass expression of faith,
but also a rapturous respite from societal