Summer Film Festival 4 Elements

23. 02. 2018
Kafe & Klub Spojár

Other Visions SK


After last year’s first Slovak participation in the competition Other Visions, here comes the second edition with new expectations about what’s to come, how surprising it will be and how many people will be attracted by the vision of a confrontation with the Czech environment. Skepticism that Martin Kaňuch showed a year ago is still here, however it doesn’t mean Slovakia has no creative potential. Although 16 entered works is not that much – there are still missing many names of established visual artists of the middle generation on the Slovak scene – it is not a reason to despair, since the collection of young artists (under the age of 35) has much to offer.

I decided to shortlist 8 videos using as the main criterion the concept clarity and the compactness of the final form. The videos that looked like exercises on the given topic and technique (self-portrait, morphing, animation), were too descriptive or ideologically empty or were an attempt at a narrative genre film that would fit a differently oriented festival better (e.g. Brno 16) were eliminated. In the final selection we will find (seemingly) simple and playful videos (Chaos/Order, Calibration) as well as formally mature artistic concepts (A Reason to Stay, Nylon Context), poetic-meditative contemplations (The Zoom World, Paradoxical Happiness 2) and space interactions and interventions (PRIVATe, With Valie).

An overview of the submitted films and the assembled section offers an interesting discovery: a predominance of female authors. Coincidence?Or is behind it the over-feminization of culture and arts and its consequence – precarization which Jana Kapelová points out in her collective performance? After all, artistic activity, social sphere (volunteer, integrative-educational, therapeutic…) (Daniela Krajčová) as well as identity, physicality and body, even the virtual, not biological one (Dominika Koššová) is often connected with the “typically female agenda”. Whether we want it or not, we are connected by an invisible nylon thread.

“’Nylon moon’, (s)he repeated, but this time it only meant PROJECT. Maybe they will invite her to the realization of the final version. And even if they won’t… (S)he drummed on the frame, longing to have in front of her some tracing paper and her good drafting tools. (S)he lit one more cigarette and then almost mindlessly, (s)he looked up at the yellow sphere, the shape of all shapes.” (Jaroslava Blažková, E.F.)

Eva Filová 

The Zoom World
Martin Zlievsky, 2017, 14 min.

Half a century ago, Antonioni’s film character – photographer Thomas – tried to discover what was hidden beneath objects by shooting and enlarging their surface. The magnifying revealed some things but at the same time obscured others. The analogue enlargement with its characteristic grain noise was replaced by digital macro zoom with geometric computer pixels. Such is the landscape of Martin Zlievsky which, in the eyes of the viewer, flows like an electronic binary river or rain, rotates and changes into mysterious geometric shapes.

Kriss Sagan, 2017, 2 min. 

What would the colorful spots that Len Lye once painted directly onto a film strip look like today? Maybe like computer patterns dancing to the rhythm, not of Caribbean jazz, but of electronic, atmospheric, almost hypnotic music.

Dominika Koššová, 2017, 13 min. 

One apartment and several inhabitants. Community housing transposed into motion performance. Situations that occur in crowded communal areas and even smaller private rooms. Where does the public space end and the private begin?

With Valie
Dominika Koššová, 2016, 34 min. 

Who doesn’t know the Austrian visual artist Valie EXPORT and her Body Configurations from the 1970s, in which she uses her own body to copy, trace and outline parts of urban architecture?Dominika Koššová, as a “Google user”, uses selected figures, liberates them from their original feminist context (a variable, pliable female body subordinate to a male-dominated public space) and through them examines (measures, occupies) the Internet interface. The video is part of a free triptych: With Marina (Abramović) and With Bruce (Nauman).

Andrea Uváčiková, 2017, 4 min. 

“’Abstronic’ is something that Lewis Carroll would call a briefcase word. It is a combination of the first half of the word ‘abstraction’ and the second half of the word ‘electronic’. By a lucky coincidence, the letter ‘r’ connects both parts together. The expression ‘abstronic’ was recommended to me by Albert Tomkins and it conveniently implies the following fact: today, an artist is able to aesthetically manifest and present otherwise invisible events of the subatomic world, control them and through film, organize them into interesting and meaningful visual experiences.”

Mary Ellen Bute, Abstronic (1954)
Quoted from: Moving Image Manifestos: Colour Music, PAF 2010, pg. 49


Paradoxical Happiness 2
Milan Mazúr, 2017, 9 min. 

The author continues to search for paradoxical forms of happiness. He mixes his favorite shots from F1 pits, simulated crashes with test dummies and wild beasts, while often looking at tense and dangerously-looking situations purely aesthetically. He sets them into a dream structure – among sleeping, relaxing people.Slowed-down meditative scenes seem to emerge from the stratosphere and they evoke familiar scenes – from Warhol (Car Crash) and Marker (Ramp), through Kubrick (2001: Space Odyssey) and Cronenberg (Crash) to Trier (Melancholia).

A Reason to Stay 
Daniela Krajčová, 2016, 52 min. 

Six stories, six intimate portraits of male and female immigrants seeking asylum in Slovakia. Daniela Krajčová has been dealing with the issue of social exclusion for a long time – on the basis of participatory activities, drawings and videos.She unfolds the stories in the form of animation, where she layers the characters (their desires, hopelessness and loneliness) with the familiar urban (Bratislava) environment and thus creates a contrast between the inner and outer world, or rather its façade as a hard-to-overcome barrier with a complex bureaucratic system and the prevailing distrust.

Nylon Context
Jana Kapelová, 2017, 16 min. 

What does the life of professional artists and art historians look like? No, this is not a new episode of a popular television series. Jana Kapelová deals with institutional criticism programmatically (e.g. the video installation Kunsthalle – A Global Report on the State of the Institution, 2012/2013) and this time she focuses on the issue of precarization – the economic uncertainty experienced mainly by women in over-feminized, socially and financially underrated areas of culture. Similarly to Kunsthall, these are simulated dialogues created from real accounts of women – colleagues, and shaped to the form of collective performance.