The News Belongs to Us!
Newsreel 63 – The Train of Shadows
Commissioner: Zdenka Badovinac, Moderna galerija / Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana
Curator: Andreja Hribernik
At the 57th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, Slovenia will be represented by the artist Nika Autor and the curator Andreja Hribernik.
Press conference: Wednesday, 12 April 2017, at 12 a.m. at the Moderna galerija / Museum of Modern Art
Opening: 10 May 2017 at 4.30 p.m. at Arsenale, Artiglierie
Recently we have witnessed an intense and revitalised (re)appearance of newsreels as a form of radical guerrilla non-fiction film in committed cinema, which sprung from modern-day class struggle and worked to contribute to the process of social change. And just as the committed newsreel efforts of the 1960s and 1970s originated in and with the immediacy of social struggle and the political activism of collectives in the USA, the UK, and France, current newsreel practices, too, proceed from social struggles and global hot spots. The newsreels of the 21st century thus draw their inspiration from the work of anti-globalisation movements, the Occupy movement, escalating racism, the increasingly heated immigrant-refugee question, and other forms of violence spreading among various social groups.
In Slovenia, today’s newsreel work unfolds within an informal collective of creators (Newsreel Front) from the fields of film, culture, and socio-political criticism and art. It draws primarily from efforts advocating rights for refugees and rightless workers; and takes inspiration from the social protests that shook the country in the form of mass uprisings in 2012 and 2013. Nika Autor works within the framework of the collective and her Newsreel 63 is an expression of social criticism – which is inherent to the very form of anti-newsreels – and takes the concept of trains, travel and the pursuit of happiness as the film’s point of departure.
Newsreel 63 follows newsreel-related practices and tries to position and understand a particular image – a shred of video taken on the once famous Belgrade - Ljubljana rail-line, where refugees now travel not in couchettes but between the train’s wheels. Newsreel 63 drifts into a visual investigation of railways and explores its historical, social and political narrative. The essayistic and associative elements of Newsreel 63 link this historical narrative to our pursuit of happiness, the idea of voyage in the current social constellation, where our longing for happiness is all too often tied to the idea of travelling somewhere – or indeed the need to secure the means for mere basic survival. In her conception of the newsreel, Autor refers to traditional forms of the genre and employs various layers of content, connecting them through essayistic narration and visual elements. What makes Newsreel 63 specific is the way it straddles the line between the traditional informative, committed anti-newsreel form and a more textually-driven and experimental cinema, guiding viewers through the story while leaving them to fill in the blanks with their own thoughts and reflections.
Intrinsic to the exhibition is a dedicated publication, which follows the structure inscribed in the newsreel form. The publication, edited by Nika Autor, Andreja Hribernik, Ciril Oberstar and Andrej Šprah, brings together scholarly texts as well as literary and visual elements, and focuses on analyzing the state of current work in the newsreel genre and on places and instances of particular interest and importance. At the same time it reflects on certain historical facets and developments with which the issues addressed by the current project enter into a dynamic dialogue – and from which they draw their creative charge.
Contributors: Uroš Abram, Darran Anderson, Nika Autor, Zdenka Badovinac, Franco Berardi - Bifo, Igor Bizjan, Sezgin Boynik, Nicole Brenez, Creative Agitation (Travis and Erin Wilkerson), Mirjana Dragosavljević, Anja Golob, Andreja Hribernik, Miklavž Komelj, Matjaž Lunaček, Jurij Meden, Bill Nichols, Ciril Oberstar, Svetlana Slapšak, Igor Španjol and Vladimir Vidmar, Andrej Šprah, Ivan Velisavljević, Thomas Waugh, Jelka Zorn.
Moderna galerija /Museum of Modern Art plus Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova, Ljubljana in collaboration with Koroška galerija likovnih umetnosti / Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška, Slovenj Gradec
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