CINEMA PARENTHÈSE in collaboration with WIELS presents LAND/SCAPES, a series in three programs with films by with films by Claes Söderquist, Els van Riel, Rose Lowder and Werner Nekes, that explore the encounter between film and the expanse of landscape. This comprises the investigation of historical and dimensional aspects of space, and a reflection on the medium of film. The ‘here’ of the camera stares at the ‘there’ of the landscape, two alien opposing forces that embody numerous dichotomies; nature versus culture, the natural versus the artificial,organic versus machinic etcetera.
In the 1960s, WERNER NEKES (1944-2017) began making films and experimenting with different film stocks to scale the possibilities of the medium. Free from narrative and psychological aspects, the films are organized according to temporal units and structural systems as they focus on aspects of representation. In a direct dialogue to pre-cinematographic optical techniques – with different ways to create illusion of movement - Nekes referred to his films as ”light theater”.
Nekes worked and collaborated with the filmmaker, painter and photographer Dore O. He was part of the Hamburg’s ‘Prokinoff’ film directors’ circle, started the ‘Filmmacher Cooperative’ in Hamburg and was a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts (Hochschule für Bildende Künste).
In the presence of Ursula Richert-Nekes (artist's widow) and John Sundholm (AVANT Film Festival).
Presentation of the artist Werner Nekes by Ursula Richert-Nekes and John Sundholm (AVANT Film Festival).
- Arbatax (1973, 16mm, color, sound, 16'00)
Arbatax is a quiet documentary montage of simple pictures from Hamburg-Altona.
- Spacecut (1971, 16 mm, color, sound , 42'00)
1) The Indians in Taos.
2) A gold mine in the Sierra Nevada, dating from the 1871 gold rush.
Schematic of the film structure:
1) Luminous volume resulting from the rotation of the camera around its axis in a horizontal plane - we can imagine each photogram as the base of a pyramid whose top would be the camera. Shooting at 24 frames per second.
2) Ball of light resulting from the rotation of the camera in all possible directions around a fixed point. Shooting image by image. Shooting one image at a time. (Werner Nekes)
- Makimono (1974, 16 mm, color, sound, 39’00)
The landscape, the people, the houses. The growing dynamism of the film is only caused by panning, superimposing images, multiple exposures, image-by-image shots, lighting variations, the rhythm of the images and the tone. There is no tracking, no zoom, no change of camera position ... The visual repertoire of the entire movie is presented first so that we can distinguish landscapes, people and houses, but slowly transformed in such a way that the impression of a photographic reality disappears: the spectator is gently - but insistently - called to constantly reorganize his way of perceiving and consequently of interpreting. (Werner Nekes)