Art Cinema OFFoff presents a 16mm open-air program of five films in the outdoor theater of the Citadelpark. This free evening is part of Publiek Park – a four-day open-air exhibition (July 1-4), organized by the Young Friends v/h S.M.A.K., which brings together visual art, performance, music and cinema at the crossroads of culture, nature and heritage. OFFoff was invited to program the film section and made a selection of work that takes place in parks or forests. Each film, in its own way, explores the theatrical character of the public space, choreographing and rhythmitizing the movements within it. Eaux d’artifice (Kenneth Anger, 1953) and A Study in Choreography for Camera (Maya Deren, 1945) culminate in a union of body and landscape.
The program as such resonates with the historical location. The open-air theater was built by the Koninklijke Nederlandse Schouwburg on the remains of the former citadel. Inaugurated in 1940 with a Shakespearean play, it was used regularly for theatrical performances until 1959. Situated behind the stage and thus behind the projection screen is the original orchestra pit and the original pedestal of a statue of Prometheus on an artificial rock formation. The mythological statue has been there since 1889, but was removed in 1940 and has since disappeared without a trace.
The filmmakers in the program were all active in the American avant-garde of the 1940s and 1950s, but Paris is never far away. It was the home of Kenneth Anger during the 50s, Shirley Clarke filmed In Paris Parks there and Joseph Cornell felt an inspiring sense of nostalgia for France, a country he never visited. The tour through the various parks and forests in the program reveals many echoes, recurring motifs and crossing paths. Gradually, night falls in the series of films that become more and more mysterious and artificial. Each of the films has a dreamlike quality and shows the park as a place where magic is possible.
Publiek Park is curated by Jef Declercq, Anna Laganovska, Koi Persyn and Adriënne van der Werf.
Reservations (Free): https://calendly.com/publiekpark1/artcinemaoffoff?month=2021-07
- In Paris Parks (Shirley Clarke, 1954, 16mm, 14')
- Nymphlight (Joseph Cornell & Rudy Burckhardt, 1957, 16mm, 8')
- A Study in Choreography for Camera (Maya Deren, 1945, 16mm, 3')
- Eaux d'artifice (Kenneth Anger, 1953, 16mm, 13')
- Rabbit's Moon (Kenneth Anger, 1950 / 1971, 16mm, 16')