To mark the publication of Agir le cinéma - Écrits sur le cinéma expérimental (1979-2020) [Empower Cinema - Writings on Experimental Cinema (1979-2020)], the most complete anthology to date of the writings of yann beauvais, Light Cone presents a double screening that places side by side his work as a filmmaker with his work as a film critic and programmer.
Agir le cinéma - Écrits sur le cinéma expérimental (1979-2020), edited by Antoine Idier and published by Presses du Réel, is an anthology that brings together critical texts that appeared starting in 1979, and which charts an impressive cartography of experimental cinema - a "minor" cinema that yann beauvais has passionately defended and affirmed for several decades. Light Cone celebrates this publication with a double program dedicated to his own film work as well as to his activity as critic and programmer, introduced by yann beauvais in the company of Antoine Idier.
Reading yann beauvais, one of the figures who, in the 1980s, constructed experimental cinema as a space apart from the art world - within France but in resonance with other experiments around the world - one understands his activity as a work of infiltration. Agir le cinéma reads as a manual of artistic strategy, institutional activism - about ways to occupy spaces and institutions to make room for artistic practices (...) Agir le cinéma reconstitutes a history of experimental cinema as a history of constructing and affirming a relatively homogenous and unified ensemble of artistic practices. This artistic activism is made up of a number of actions: programming, that is, making films be seen, creating an audience, fashioning tastes and a culture. Writing, to discern trends, formulate shared concerns, demarcate groups and movements, establish divergences and lines of separation, all the while inserting one's work within historic trajectories, designating genealogies, precursors and filiations (...) Creating a pool of films, as well: collecting, preserving, cataloguing, lending, disseminating and making known (...); this speaks most poignantly to the work accomplished with Light Cone, which was created together with Miles McKane in 1982. (...) All the while, there is also another struggle that, even if it employs experimental cinema, is far from the crusade waged by the latter - that is, when it does not enter into direct conflict with the latter's dominant tendencies. In fact, yann beauvais defends a point of view which is in a double minority: a gay perspective within experimental film. And it is the question of minority - gay and queer, seropositive, as well as feminist, and, to a lesser extent, racial and ableist - that gives meaning to his work.
— Antoine Idier, excerpt from the preface, "Avant-propos. Construire, détruire: l’art comme sport de combat."
The first part of this double screening will be dedicated to the films of yann beauvais, proposing an overview (albeit a partial one) of his filmography. It brings together some of the various motifs and formal concerns that traverse his evolution: from the first explorations of perception and filmic composition using musical structures (RR, Divers-épars), to the different variations on the filmed journal, a cinema simultaneously intimate and political (Spetsai, Homovie), to his activism in the AIDS struggles (SID A IDS) and his unique approach to collage and abstraction (New York Long Distance). The program will conclude with Des Rives, a project that was initially conceived as an installation/performance accompanied by a musical composition by Thomas Köner, which will be adapted to the cinema space via a double 16mm projection setup.
The second part of the evening will present a program of films selected by yann beauvais, which speaks to his cinematographic activism on multiple fronts and which he introduces thus:
The films that make up this program echo some of the texts or themes addressed in the book. It was a question of creating resonances between certain concerns and attitudes according to identity-related and cultural strata that articulate within geographic pluralities. Through various approaches, vectors of power affirm themselves, combining, among other things, the personal and the political. Thus, to present films little seen, or less seen in other contexts, in order to share a moment of becoming/happening for these cinema artists.
— yann beauvais
* The screening of LIFE'S MUSICAL MINUTE by Len LYE is made possible with the courtesy and thanks to the generous support of the Len Lye Foundation.
Tuesday December 07, 2021, 19:30
Empower Cinema (I): The Films Of Yann Beauvais
- Homovie (Yann Beauvais, 1976-1977, DCP, color, silent, 5' 00)
- RR (Yann Beauvais, 1976-1985, 16mm, b&w, silent, 6' 00, double screen)
- Divers-Épars (Yann Beauvais, 1987, 16mm, color, sound, 12' 00)
- Spetsai (Yann Beauvais, 1989, 16mm, color, silent, 15' 00)
- New York Long Distance (Yann Beauvais, 1994, 16mm, color, sound, 9' 00)
- Sid A Ids (Yann Beauvais, 1992, 16mm, color, silent, 5' 30)
- Des Rives (Yann Beauvais, 1998, 16mm, color, sound, 8' 00, double screen)
Tuesday December 07, 2021, 21:00
Empower Cinema (II): A Proposal By Yann Beauvais
- Electric Speech (Caspar Stracke, 1998-2020, DCP, color-b&w, sound, 16' 15)
- The Eccentrics (Jennifer Burford, 1987, 16mm, color, silent, 8' 00)
- Gently Down The Stream (Su Friedrich, 1981, 16mm, b&w, silent, 14' 00)
- Midweekend (Caroline Avery, 1986, 16mm, color, silent, 8' 00)
- Life's Musical Minute (Len Lye, 1953, DCP, color, sound, 1' 50)
- Triolets (Dóra Maurer, 1981, DCP, b&w, sound, 11' 00)
- Forever Bottom! (Tan Hoang Nguyen, 1999, DCP, color, sound, 4' 00)
- Fire In My Belly (David Wojnarowicz, 1986-1989, DCP, color, sound, 4' 18)
- Sentimental Journey (Tony Wu, 2003, DCP, color-b&w, sound, 10' 00)
- I Like Dreaming (Charles Lofton, 1994, DCP, color, sound, 6' 00)