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Art exhibition "How's it going? After Godard" at Verksmiðjan Hjalteyri

19. July 2019 kl. 14:00 - 19. July 2019 kl. 00:00

LAUGARDAGUR, 15. JÚNI OPNUN KL. 14 - 19_____

Open Tue-Sun from 2pm to 5pm 

Curators: Pascale Cassagnau, Gústav Geir Bollason
Text: Pascale Cassagnau see below

15.06 / 28.07

How's it Going/Comment ça va? After Godard.

The Comment ça va? D’après Godard project and programme draws on the eponymous 1978 film by Jean-Luc Godard ("How's It Going?") to showcase documentaries and informational films that demonstrate an ability to transcend time and capture the essence of truth and reality, not as a means to an end, but rather as tools and resources that forge a path, undertake a journey through a complex political landscape. All the works here are elaborated as virtual meta-essay on the communication process.

In Comment ça va? (1978, 70’), a wide-ranging cultural implications movie, Jean-Luc Godard filmed an exchange between the editor of a communist and trade unionist newspaper and his colleague, a left-wing activist, as they put together a piece designed to show the processes involved in producing their daily paper. The film is about politics and the media, in which two workers in a newspaper plant attempt to make a film. Combining video and film, Comment ça va? is a dialectic on the dissemination and the processing of information, a movie about the transmission of ideas by the major media..

The pair disagree on how information ought to be handled, and in particular on how two specific images should best be used and captioned. The first shows civilians and soldiers in conflict during Portugal's Carnation Revolution, and the second a clash between strikers and French anti-riot forces during a protest.
While the film succeeds in 'exposing' all the complexities of the ideological tensions and dissent that divide France's left wing, through the editing and sense of movement it also dissects the rhetorical dimension at play when news is written.
Comment ça va? (How it is going?) asks Comment ça va le cinema? ( How is the cinema going?) as well. With Comment ça va ?How it is going?, Jean-Luc Godard was reaffirming an aesthetic programme, a thought by the media and the cinema.

The works that feature in the Comment ça va? D’après Godard line-up put forth a certain number of hypotheses that simultaneously touch upon a cross-section of the various motifs inherent to contemporary art, the artistic process itself, and the scope for narrative in doing justice to "stories that cry out to be told", to use a turn of phrase coined by the philosopher Paul Ricoeur in Temps et Récit I. This is a collection of films anchored in conscious thought.

Films/Screenings: About a nomadic form of cinema.

Among all the parallel histories which have been woven between contemporary art and the expanded field of creation, the mutual relationships between cinema and art have played an essential role throughout the aesthetic history of the twentieth century, producing an analysis of images and of the mass media as well as a critique of representation. A certain number of contemporary works in the field of video or motion pictures make explicit references to cinema in various ways which designate a set of common hypotheses concerning representation and which Serge Toubiana primarily defines as motion. He says: “cinema is motion, it is a way of going with reality, of perceiving part of it, of following its course and of marking it with signs.” Even though dialogues between art and cinema go from contemporary art towards cinema, they also designate a move from cinema towards contemporary art with the invention of Unidentified Filmed Objects (another kind of UFOs).
For a few years interactions between contemporary art and documentaries have proved particularly fecund because documents and archives considered as an issue and a method have constituted a true mental horizon of empirical data and marks of historicity. This applies to art and cinema alike.
The territory of documentaries reveals a working process common to artists and film-makers – the fact that they set up film elements in a non-linear way and outside purely narrative structures. In that regard, the relationships between documentaries and reality or narration are always critical and ambiguous.
The horizon of contemporary works of art or cinema – be they close to the audience or more remote – constitutes a specific meta-aesthetic frame due to the fact that entities of universality and wholeness have been irrelevant for a long time. A long time ago they gave way to entities of intersubjectivity and personal re-appropriation of History and individual stories.
The own nature of documents could be defined as a value for claiming back forms of subjectivity and historicity. Cinema is now part of the definition of the new conditions of subjectivity, when everyone can write their own biography and claim back their own identity in tight relationship with other people.


The programme of video films conceived in the framework of Comment ça va? How it is going? aims to present works that look at the question of information, of which Jean-Luc Godard ‘s film speaks. The works chosen belong to the realm of the new documentary practices that are representative of contemporary french creation in its wider context. These works also show a specific architecture, the architecture of the media, overturning the form of the information in order to criticise the ideological and rhetorical dimension, as well as its effects of violence. The works show a political approach to filmic narrative that sketches a politics of the subject. The work of the image, the way of making editing , the fragmentation, the reference to the filmic space are their most decisive concerns.

-Eric Baudelaire, L'Anabase de May et Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi et 27 ans sans images, 2011, 66'
-Louidgi Beltrame, Energodar, 2010,36', Gunkanjima, 2010, 33'
-Safia Benhaïm, La Fièvre , 2014, 40’.
-Wang Bing, 15 Hours, 2017,15h ( 2x7h50)
-Nicolas Boone, Hillbrow, 2014, 32’; Psaume,2015, 41'; Las Cruces, 2018,29'
-Jean- Luc Godard, Reportage amateur ( maquette –expo), 2006, 47'
-Parfait Kaboré, Place à la révolution, 2017,84'
-Lamine Ammar Khodja, Demande à ton ombre, 2012, 82'
-Lech Kowalski, I Pay for Your Story, 2015, 86’
-Allan Sekula, The Lottery of The sea, 2006, 27'44''
-Marie Voignier, Hearing, The Shape of the Drum, 2010, 17'

+Special screenings:
Paul Grivas, Un film catastrophe ( 2018) et Jean Luc Godard, un Film Socialisme , 2010 .

* All films are supported by the Center for contemporary art- Image Mouvement committee or purchased.
Pascale Cassagnau


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