Artists’ Film International show at Whitechapel Gallery, London

This summer, the Whitechapel Gallery hosts a showcase of artists’ films from around the world for Artists’ Film International, a touring programme of film, video and animation.

The Italian artist Yuri Ancarani creates seductive and hypnotic frames with his monumental film II Capo (2010); A surprisingly poetic documentary which spotlights the dialogue between the man and the machine through an aesthetically choreographed portrait of a marble quarry of Canara turning an operational excavation into something more immense, using signs and gestures. Yuri’s II Capo is selected by GAMeC in Bergamo, Italy.

Image 33                  Yuri Ancarani II Capo (2010). Courtesy of the artist

Although he has been living in the USA for more than two decades, Vietnam is never far from the work and the thoughts of Asian artist UuDam Tran Nguyen; highlighting the withdrawal from agrarian communities and the dramatic and overwhelming industrial growth of the country, his single-channel video, Waltz of the Machine Equestrians, depicts 28 scooter drivers – in brightly coloured raincoats and masks, attached by rubber strings to the heads of the drivers – choreographed in unison in response to the numerous motorbikes that dominate the streets of Vietnam while exploring how the country’s bucolic fields have been replaced by  giant skycrapers and chaotic highways and the increasing tensions between the individual and the collective and the paving over of the natural landscape. The work is selected by Hanoi/DOCLAB in Vietnam.

Image 11                     Uudam Tran Nguyen Waltz of the Machine Equestrians – The Machine Equestrians (2012)
Courtesy of the artist

Chosen by Video-Forum (n.b.k) in Berlin, Detroit is a film by the German artist Amir Yatziv, which observes some city planners examining a map of a nameless Arab town and analyzing the impacts of its structure on its imaginary inhabitants without being aware that that place was built as a military area. Detroit is a simulation of a Palestinian city generating an alternative reality which conceals the real one since the essence of this city is replaced by its fictive image; it’s devoid of flowering gardens; the city’s residents are mere extras, and the houses contain no books or any other sign of life.

Image 55Mattias Härenstam, Reconstruction (2013). Courtesy of the artist

Norwegian artist Matthias Härenstam’s film Reconstruction (2013) re-enacts an unresolved suicide case. The static camera, almost like a surveillance one, records a quite suburban area and the ordinary citizens come driving home from work; Through the static aerial shot the viewers become passive spectators of a terrible incident without access to all the information, gaining only an external view and constructing the rest by their imagination, creating their own experience. Reconstruction is selected by KINOKINO Centre for Art and Film in Norway.

Image 88Masooda Noora (…) (2013). Courtesy of the artist

Masooda Noora, an award-winning young artist from Afghanistan and her 2014 film chosen by the Centre for Contemporary Art Afghanistan in Kabul contributes to woman empowerment. Following a group of Afghani women in a remote part of the city, showing their power as a collective force and emphasizing the way women in the developing countries should be treated; as figures of courage, success, determination and commitment.

by Xenia Founta

The exhibition  is on until October, 12 at Whitechapel Gallery, London