Vertical Landscapes

Curated program comissioned by PLASTIK festival, Dublin, Ireland, 2017

[ˈdʊŋkl̩ˌdɔɪ̯ʧlant], Juliane Jaschnow & Stefanie Schroeder, 2015, 13 min

Nude Descending a Staircase, Sirah Foighel Brutmann & Eitan Efrat, 2015, 18 min

Spiritual Myopia, David Kelley & Patty Chang, 2016, 15 min

Asbestos, Sasha Litvintseva & Graeme Arnfield, 2016, 19 min                                

Amerika: Bahia de las Flechas, Ana Vaz, 2016, 9 min

From extraction to domesticity, from East Germany to Asbestos, Quebec, from the Walter Benjamin monument to Columbus’s first encounter with the Taíno: the films in this program utilise performative, rather than representational, approaches to engaging with spaces that reveal and conceal human, material, and ecological histories. Vertical landscapes are embedded in collective practices and infrastructural entanglements of naturecultures-in-transformation. Vertical landscapes incorporate times beyond the present by pointing to the ongoing unfolding of past-present-future. Vertical landscapes are experienced from within, rather than viewed from a distance.

In [ˈdʊŋkl̩ˌdɔɪ̯ʧlant] the camera visually probes each post-industrial environment on its own terms. Nude Descending a Staircase contrasts and transforms remembrance and forgetting, the singular and the plural, through two monuments and two approaches to image making. Shot in Fort McMurray in the Canadian tar sands and the refining town of Port Arthur Texas, the fragmented images of Spiritual Myopiaecho the fragmentation of industry and life. Asbestos juxtaposes extraction from the earth with extraction from the walls, to ask how both photographing and the use of archival material can be forms of extraction: extracting images from forms and from contexts. The embodied camera of Amérika: Bahía de las Flechas, set at an ancient and now desalinating lake, performs the motion of the Taíno’s arrows to re-activate the gesture of resistance in the present.