RE:FRAME is a selection of seven films from a contemporary cinema, removed from Bollywood, that testifies to the richness of creativity in India. Oscillating between documentary, video art, experimental film, and animation, this compilation explores the means with which the texture of memory is incorporated within postcolonial Indian society's individual journeys as well as its national psyche; within private circles as well as public spaces. It allows for contrasting points of view regarding the country's sitiuation and its unanswered question: when the past has yet to catch up with the present, is it a threat or an alternative to the present?
RE:FRAME is not an exhaustive overview of Indian experimental film, but rather an attempt to provide an initial insight into the local art scene. Oscillating between speculation, fiction, documentation and actionism, all of the works featured on this DVD question the nature of individual and collective memory, lost and missed pasts.
Straight 8 by Ayisha Abraham explores the artistic value of amateur filmmaking by collecting material from Bangalore‘s early amateur filmmakers. The legendary Raqs Media Collective and their video diptych Ceasural, Variations 1 and 2 juxtapose contemporary and archive images in order to meditate on the consequences of the industrial revolution. Space Bar (work in progress) by Debkamal Ganguly is a combination of video and Internet images assembled as a documentary road movie. Sarnath Banerjee‘s animation Bengali Tourist mixes video images and drawings to confront the destiny of Moroccan traveler Ibn Battuta and his graphic novel character, Digital Dutta. Rashtriy Kheer and Desiy Salad by renowned artist Pushpamala N is a satiric portrait of the ideal family shortly after India’s independence. In I Love My India, Tejal Shah interviews people on a shooting stand about the “biggest democracy in the world” and discovers their amnesia regarding anti-Muslim pogroms organized by extremist Hindus in Gujarat in 2002. Endnote by Ashish Avikunthak draws upon Beckett’s Come and Go to tell the story of three women who meet again to share a mysterious secret.
The 7 films featured on this DVD are subtitled in three languages (English, French, German) and have been enriched by artists’ statements, biographies and a text by Cédric Vincent and Silke Schmickl. The DVD is priced at 25 Euros (17 GBP or 25 US$) and is available through the Lowave website www.lowave.com as well as www.microcinema.com, www.amazon.de and a number of specialty shops around the world including the ICA and BFI bookshop in London, the Pompidou Center and Palais de Tokyo in Paris, and the ZKM in Karlsruhe.
The films: Pushpamala N – Rashtriy Kheer and Desiy Salad / Ayisha Abraham – Straight 8 / Raqs Media Collective – Ceasural, Variations 1 and 2 / Ashish Avikunthak – Endnote (Antaral) / Sarnath Banerjee – Bengali Tourist / Tejal Shah – I Love My India / Debkamal Ganguly – Space Bar (work in progress)
Extras : Artists‘ statements, Biographies, Text: RE:FRAME by Cédric Vincent & Silke Schmickl