Abel Gance

Napoleon

Kevin Brownlow’ restoration

Gance embarked on his greatest project, a six-part life of Napoléon. Only the first part was completed, tracing Bonaparte’s early life, through the Revolution, and up to the invasion of Italy, but even this occupied a vast canvas with meticulously recreated historical scenes and scores of characters. The film was full of experimental techniques, combining rapid cutting, hand-held cameras, superimposition of images, and, in wide-screen sequences, shot using a system he called Polyvision needing triple cameras (and projectors), achieved a spectacular panoramic effect, including a finale in which the outer two film panels were tinted blue and red, creating a widescreen image of a French flag. The original version of the film ran for around 6 hours. A shortened version received a triumphant première at the Paris Opéra in April 1927 before a distinguished audience that included the future General de Gaulle. The length was reduced still further for French and European distribution, and it became even shorter when it was shown in America. Napoleon is a silent film directed by Abel Gance, dramatising the youth and early career of Napoleon Bonaparte. Its most complete screening, said to be nine hours long, took place in Paris in 1927 – but this version was subsequently lost. British film-maker Kevin Brownlow saw a version as a schoolboy and subsequently restored the film to close to its original length from various prints. His restoration was first shown in London in 1980 with a score by Carl Davis.

Lera Auerbach

Gogol
“The opera’s three acts are divided into seven scenes which blend fact with liberal amounts of invention. Among other things, Gogol wrestles with his (and Russia’s) demons by night, obsesses over his will and funeral arrangements, gets abused by doctors (‘but I don’t drink alcohol,’ he cries; ‘all the more reason for a leeching,’ they reply), bats away bothersome suitors with disconcertingly large papier-mâché breasts, falls in love with a nymph, and undergoes a literary show trial which culminates in his death.”
By Zwölftöner

Liu Wa

2020 Got Me Like
As COVID-19 speeds around the world and continues to shut down more cities, people begin to consume Internet culture in order to escape the apocalyptic anxiety in 2020, allowing Internet memes to go viral across the globe. Built upon social media, this work merges everyday sentiments with classical movie scenes to deconstruct the common imagination of “apocalypse” in entertainment industry. The video also incorporates the artist’s footage during protests, turning memes into public commentary and political satire. In this eventful year, meme does more than hijacking and decontextualizing meanings, it has become a form of silent revolt against the absurd.

NILS VÖLKER

Two Hundred and Seventy
Through the combination of an everyday material with precise technology the mixed media installation fills the whole columned hall from the 19th century with its fluid movement and peculiar sound. Concavely arranged and floating above the spectators heads the form of the artwork seems to pass the skylight like the sun’s rays. Subdivided into nine columns, the nearly 70 square metres large piece of art follows a site-specific choreography determined by a program. Its moving surface is made from 270 white garbage bags, being inflated and deflated. In this way shapes and the boundaries of the installation itself start to dissolve. “Two Hundred and Seventy“ is the first installation with an undisguised view behind the scenes and onto the origin of the wavelike and organic movement: 1080 fans, lots of cables and 45 circuit boards

Fellini

Satyricon
Fellini Satyricon, or simply Satyricon, is a 1969 Italian fantasy drama film written and directed by Federico Fellini and loosely based on Petronius’s work Satyricon, written during the reign of Emperor Nero and set in imperial Rome. The film is divided into nine episodes, following Encolpius and his friend Ascyltus as they try to win the heart of a young boy named Gitón within a surreal and dream-like Roman landscape.
The film opens on a graffiticovered wall with Encolpius lamenting the loss of his lover Gitón to Ascyltus. Vowing to win him back, he learns at the Thermae that Ascyltus sold Gitón to the actor Vernacchio. At the theatre, he discovers Vernacchio and Gitón performing in a lewd play based on the “emperor’s miracle”: a slave’s hand is axed off and replaced with a gold one. Encolpius storms the stage and reclaims Gitón. On their return to Encolpius’s home in the Insula Felicles, a Roman tenement building, they walk through the vast Roman brothel known as the Lupanare, observing numerous sensual scenes. They fall asleep after making love at Encolpius’s place. Ascyltus sneaks into the room, waking Encolpius with a whiplash. Since both share the tenement room, Encolpius proposes they divide up their property and separate. Ascyltus mockingly suggests they split Gitón in half. Encolpius is driven to suicidal despair, however, when Gitón decides to leave with Ascyltus. At that moment, an earthquake destroys the tenement.

PHILIPPE RAMETTE

フィリップ·ラメット
Филиппа Рамета

Born in 1961, Philippe Ramette is a French conceptual artist who plays with the viewer’s mind. Ramette creates gravity-defying photographs that appear to be digitally manipulated, using cleverly designed weight-bearing structures (or lead weights for the underwater shots), but in fact they are real world settings that were carefully arrangement, in order to achieve these impressive scenes. In Ramette’s surreal photography, surrealism literally invades reality.

IZIMA KAORU

伊岛薫
Landscape with a Corpse

The early 1990s saw Kaoru enter the phase for which he is most well-known. Combining beauty and glamour with bloodshed and revulsion, he began to photograph attractive models and actresses, all elegantly adorned, in sequential shots where their own deaths are portrayed […] Preferring to leave the circumstances of these grisly scenes to the viewers’ imaginations, Kaoru begins with wide-angle shots and narrows to close-ups. In doing so, he makes the woman herself the focus, rather than her death. In fact, he lets the actress or model determine the scene by eliciting her opinion on the perfect death.

Susan Hiller

Psi Girls
Psi Girls is a video installation composed of five scenes from feature films depicting girls or young women manipulating telekinetic powers to move or destroy household objects. Hiller selected short excerpts from The Fury (1978) directed by Brian de Palma, The Craft (1996) by Andrew Fleming, Matilda (1996) by Danny De Vito, Firestarter (1984) by Mark Lester, and Stalker (1979) by Andrei Tarkovsky. Each excerpt has been enlarged, tinted with a different colour, and heavily edited by Hiller. Certain scenes have been slowed down and others spliced and looped so that each clip has an identical running time of two minutes. The only footage presented in its entirety is that taken from Tarkovsky’s film Stalker. The scenes are synchronised and play simultaneously along a single wall. Psi Girls was commissioned by the Delfina Foundation, London, in 1999. The word ‘Psi’ in the title refers to paranormal or psychic faculties.