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The Arts Natura Programme

The ‘Arts Natura’ Programme investigates how audiovisual art and nature are related and how art can arise from forays into the surrounding space.

‘Land Art’ is a movement within the field of visual art which deals with showcasing the unique relationship between art and natural elements. Works of art are created using natural elements or from human interaction with nature itself. The natural elements exist independently within the work. Artists have occupied themselves with nature in other areas of visual art as well. Film and video, at first glance may seem to be incapable of incorporating natural elements. Experimental filmmakers such as Stan Brakhage were able to break this notion and succeed in merging nature and celluloid into an organic whole.

It is also possible to construct a powerful dialogue between nature and audiovisual media without even physically including nature in the work. Bill Viola’s Chott-el-Djerid (1979) perfectly demonstrates this phenomenon. Chott-el-Djerid, a large, dry, salt lake in the Tunisian Sahara, coupled with the manipulation and distortion of light due to the intense heat in the area, are amplified by Viola, creating an imaginary world.

 

 

The Autonomous Images Programme

In addition, this year also includes a programme intended to convey meaning through a historical context. ‘The Autonomous Images’ Programme contemplates how authorship may be a redundant concept in contemporary digital culture.

Taking control over one’s own visual representation and desire is a way of inscribing those two elements in one’s own story or history. A vast majority of film diaries and autobiographies are based on the claim that desire is specific and hence are often seen displaying themes related to sexual encounters, homosexuality and desiring bodies since such shots and pictures are commonly censored. Interactions between the genres of ‘film diaries’ and ‘autobiographies’ results in the transformation of the raw content of a diary into a pool of virtual images.

Film diaries and autobiographies escape from present times by creating the possibility to travel up and down the time scale. Through film, one observes the creative process involved in remembering and bringing back memories. It is indeed difficult to figure out the thoughts of people shot in the film as well as the filmmaker.

The film and video screenings this year fall under the broader themes of ‘Pleasant and Bitter Memories’, ‘Haunted Shadows’, ‘Reminiscences’ and ‘A Kind of Pink’ that reflect this interaction between the genres of film diaries and autobiographies.