Unexplainable phenomena and things considered paranormal are of all ages. But only since the late 19th century and its discoveries like X-rays, telegraphy or film, scientists started to investigate the paranormal phenomenon in a more elaborate and methodical way than decades before. Their experiments have had strong influences on various movements in the arts and in literature: artists of futurism, surrealism or dadaism have been inspired by the new and expanding knowledge, which was instantly used by them to create art beyond rational comprehension.
Although the verve of occult phenomena hasn’t lost its attraction until today, there is just a little amount of artwork dealing with the subject in an adequate manner. Due to the high expenses of film stock and the difficulty to grasp the elusive moments, historic documents on film can be counted at one hand.
The program ‘Okkult’ combines rare film documents about scientific experiments and works by artists who are inspired by the world of occultism and parapsychology.
Curated by Romeo Grünfelder
Grünfelder develops and realizes film projects in the field of aesthetics and media philosophy, like [desi‘re:] The Goldstein Reels (2006) and The ghost who refuses to play dead (2007). His films are shown on diverse international film festivals as well as in art and exhibition contexts.
Thursday 8 May, 14.00 hours, Filmtheatre ‘t Hoogt, 5 EURO
Intense emotions may evoke local atmospheres which exist independently from people and may cause or instigate abnormal events. This cliché is on the minds of many contemporary video artists and they use it to legitimize the uniqueness of their art or even their position. However, it is a fact that the unique, extra-normalized product of an artistic moment of genius, which allegedly originates from a deeper perception, quite often ends up as a screensaver just as it is a fact that people with the gift to provoke scientifically unexplainable and uncanny appearances are often scorned as dreamers or freaks.
I Make Things Happen, Steven Eastwood (United Kingdom 2001, 6:00 min)
Eastwood works with the vernacular of film fiction and the documentary, and the collapse of this vernacular, investigating behavior on and off screen, particularly in terms of the ‘take’ as a behavioral gap.
Wilfried 9, Jörg Zboralski (Germany 2002, 15:00 min)
A telekinetic phenomenon, observed in an uncanny backyard.
Kulagina Case, unknown (UdSSR, 1965, 5:00 min)
Nina Kulagina (1926 – 1990) was a Russian woman who reportedly had great psychic powers, particularly in psychokinesis. She was tested repeatedly and on no occasion was any thread or other form of trickery detected, not once in ten years of exhaustive testing.
Spuk, TV PSI-BERICHTE ÜBER UNERKLÄRLICHES (1974, 41:00 min, 16mm / video)
Poltergeist activity tends to occur around a single person called an agent or a focus. Unexplainable sounds or the movement of objects through the air appear often in relation, but not limited, to pubescent children. According to the researchers, the “poltergeist effect” is the outward manifestation of psychological trauma.
Program 2: Apparitions
Thursday 8 May, 16.00 hours, Filmtheatre ‘t Hoogt
For ‘believers’ and skeptics alike, the attempt to distill messages from apparitions from the hereafter comprises an insolvable contradiction of logic: after all, if the result is established by humans and can be technically verified, the phenomenon can in principle be explained from a law of nature and is no longer paranormal. However, if it cannot be reproduced or instigated the phenomenon can never be considered evidenced.
Miracle, Stanislav Mucha, (Poland, 1996/1997, 9:00 min)
The trail into the footsteps of the prophet Elija is full of miracles, life and myth. The search leads to the here and now, has no ending but still touches on a fundamental theme of humanity in the 20th century: people who let dreams direct their life.
Paranormal, Gerda Lampalzer/Manfred Oppermann (Austria 1997, 12:00 min)
It appears that the “Demystification of the World” as referred to by German sociologist Max Weber has prompted a counter-movement after the peak of the Age of Reason. The interest in unexplainable phenomena is only increasing as is demonstrated by the clear trend of the growing number of television programs on this subject matter.
Weltuntergang, Stefan Demming (Germany 2007, 2:00 Min)
In the video The end of the world 1 lightnings from behind a window and before a window are shown in short moments. There’s “natural” and “artificial” lightnings. In addition there are ephemere features at the edge of the perception possibilities. Outside a tempest raves, inside the curtains blow
Stimmen auf Tonband, TV PSI-BERICHTE ÜBER UNERKLÄRLICHES (1974, 41:00 min, 16mm / video)
EVP (Electronic Voice Phenomena) are intelligent utterances upon sound recording media which are physically unexplainable. The voices received by various means are often reasonable messages replying to corresponding questions. All the side effects – the contents of the statements, the characteristics of the speakers etc. – suggest that they are manifestations by deceased persons.