force (2020) by Jennie MaryTai Liu & Simon Liu
CROSSROADS 2021 — program 2
a future so bright
Livestream (with live filmmaker intros!) Saturday, September 18 at 7 pm PDT. Watch the livestream here.
Program online September 18–October 21
program community partners: Canyon Cinema and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Do you want to live life to its fullest? You’re worth it! You deserve love! If so then join us for a rollicking adventure through works exploring the ironies of institutionalized leisure, the spectacle of tourism, the escapist joys of smart phone serfdom and the surrealism of globalized consumer capitalism! Thrill to chromatic/dramatic parables of alienated labor beamed directly from the shining sundazed surfaces of the Anthropocene era! Can your heart stand the shocking facts?
SCREENING: Masters of the Land (2021) by Jan Locus; digital video, color, sound, 14 minutes. you’re a plant whisperer and for me, it’s enough (2019) by Julien Champagne & Charlotte Clermont; digital video, color, sound, 4 minutes. La cuarta plantación (2020) by Azucena Losana; digital video, color, sound, 13 minutes. Lucina Annulata (2020) by Charlotte Clermont; digital video, color, sound, 4 minutes. force (2020) by Jennie MaryTai Liu & Simon Liu; digital video, color, sound, 9 minutes. People on Sunday (2020) by Tulapop Saenjaroen; digital video, color, sound, 20 minutes.
TRT: 64 minutes
The rise of mining made post-communist Mongolia the fastest growing economy in the world in 2012. However, the poor were not profiting from this booming industry, and climate change plus overgrazing were leading to vast desertification. According to Mongolian shamanistic belief, violation of nature by men provokes the anger of the ruling spirits or the “masters of the land.” Texts by shamaness Kyrgys Khurak and Hungarian poet Ferenc Juhasz, who experienced the painful initiation of a shaman in 1957, cut the medium long shots. Interweaving the rich spiritual Mongol tradition with a visual portrait of the country, Masters of the Land submerges the viewer in an intoxicating finale. (Jan Locus)
you’re a plant whisperer and for me, it’s enough is a co-direction between Julien Champagne and Charlotte Clermont. This collaboration studies the materiality of the analog image and the relationship between the musicality of the image and sound, in an attempt to create an introspective atmosphere. The video consists of two monochromatic shots generated using a VHS video mixer, each combining with a figurative image shot on Super 8 film. Treating colour as a conductor of emotions, all the images evoke inaccessibility, perfection and dream, in parallel with a meditative and transcendent soundtrack. (Charlotte Clermont)
During the enhancement of the audiovisual heritage of the Embassy of Mexico in Argentina we found promotional tourist material in different media. I chose some 16mm film titles published 1968–72. At that time, the National Tourism Office commissioned and distributed these short films emphasizing modernity and comfort in contrast to the exotic and almost pristine nature of our tourist destinations. This new wave of mass tourism to underdeveloped countries, which would become one of the main sources of income for Mexico and the Caribbean, was what the Cuban historian Manuel Moreno Fraginals called “the fourth plantation,” alluding to economic practices of monoculture and neocolonialism. This is a compilation of the most interesting moments to review the speeches of that time. (Azucena Losana)
Sunny. Semantic sequences guide the gaze, a gaze that is sometimes raised, propelled downwards, then too high or motionless in front of an unrecognizable and yet so familiar vision. The images, linked by echoes of chromatic palettes and linear layers, scroll to the rhythm of a voice, reminiscent of an incantation. Sacred. (Charlotte Clermont)
Placid views merge with dizzying, semi-abstract digital animations; avatars in a parable of control. A mesmerizing, menacing voice-over—part body politic regulator, part cyberpunk travel guide—promises order, accountability and satisfaction while threatening trouble, polarization and tears. A fire has been started, movement has gone on to reach multiple points of no return. (Jennie MaryTai Liu & Simon Liu)
People on Sunday is a reinterpretation, a response and an homage to the 1930 German silent film Menschen Am Sonntag, done from a different context, a different country, different era and different working conditions. The original film was one of the first films that marketed itself as employing amateur actors/non-actors and was promoted as “a film without actors.” Anecdotally, the film was shot only on Sundays in 1929 as these non-professional actors had to work on weekdays, performing leisure for the camera while they were actually working. This response film questions the representability of free time, of cognitive labor, of contemporary work ethic and of control and freedom via the frame of cinema. (Tulapop Sanjaroen)
Jan Locus (Belgium): The long-term projects of photographer and filmmaker Jan Locus study the complexity of worldwide, socio-political issues. His books include Mongolia, De Bewegende Stad and Devoted. His films have been screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam; Kasseler Dokfest, Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen; Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin; Asolo Art Film Festival; Split International Festival of New Film, Croatia and FIFA Montreal, among others. He lives and works in Brussels.
Charlotte Clermont (Canada) creates a dialogue between video and audio explorations to examine our perceptions of the real. The performative aspect of her practice, moved by a desire to transpose the illusiveness of lived moments, is embodied in her singular way of working with analogue recording devices. Using materials from her immediate environment, she works upon the chemical sensitivity of film through various alterations while leaving a large place to chance. She holds a bachelor’s in Studio Arts from Concordia University and lives and works in Montreal. Her work has been presented in Canada and internationally in the framework of festivals and exhibitions, including the International Festival of Films on Art (Canada), Fracto (Germany), the Festival des Cinémas Différents et Expérimentaux de Paris, International Film Festival Rotterdam, and the Edinburgh International Film Festival. She was artist in residence at Studio Kura (Japan), Signal Culture (US), Fusion Gallery (Italy) and Shiro Oni (Japan).
Azucena Losana (Mexico/Argentina). Born and raised in Mexico City, 1977. I live and work in Mexico City and Buenos Aires. I attended the Multimedia Arts Degree at the National Arts University in Argentina, the Abigail Child Found Footage workshop and Claudio Caldini’s experimental film workshop. I work in film, installation and video. My films have screened at the Mar del Plata International Film Festival, BAFICI; (S8) Mostra de Cinema Periférico, A Coruña, España; Kurzfilmtage, Oberhausen, Germany; LA Filmforum’s Ism, Ism, Ism: Experimental Cinema in Latin America; and The Age d’Or Festival, Brussels among others. In 2021 was selected as a Professional Development Fellow of the Flaherty Film Seminar and received a Grant for Independent Audiovisual Training from The Mexican Institute of Cinematography (IMCINE).
Jennie MaryTai Liu (Hong Kong/US), is an artist working across performance, choreography, video and writing. She has worked in institutions and artist-run spaces including the LACMA, Human Resources, The Mistake Room, Bushwick Starr, HERE Arts Center, Dance Theater Workshop and Incubator Arts Center. She co-founded and edited Riting, an experiment in writing that engages with performance being made now in LA. She is currently organizing a 2022 performance exhibition funded by the Mike Kelley Foundation engaging Los Angeles dance artists to respond to modern dance activity in early 20th century LA. Jennie frequently collaborates as a performer in the work of Big Dance Theater, Adam Linder and Poor Dog Group.
Simon Liu (Hong Kong/UK) is a film artist seeking to build a lyrical catalogue of the rapidly evolving psychogeography of his place of origin in Hong Kong through alternative documentary forms, abstract diary films, multi-channel video installations and 16mm projection performances. Liu’s work has been presented at film festivals and museums globally including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Toronto International Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, The Shed, M+ Museum, Tai Kwun Contemporary, Cinéma du Réel, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Punto de Vista, 25fps, Light Industry and Images. An upcoming solo program at the Museum of Modern Art well be presented as part of their Modern Mondays series. Liu is a 2019 Jerome Hill Artist Fellow, a teacher at the Cooper Union School of Art and a member of Negativeland, an artist-run film lab in Brooklyn. Liu is currently editing his first feature film, Staffordshire Hoard.
Tulapop Saenjaroen (Thailand) is an artist and filmmaker currently based in Bangkok. His recent works interrogate the correlations between image production and production of subjectivity as well as the paradoxes intertwining control and freedom in late capitalism. In combining narrative and the essay film genre, he investigates subjects such as tourism, self care and free labor through re-making and re-interpreting produced images and their networks. Saenjaroen received his MFA in Fine Art Media from The Slade School of Fine Art and MA in Aesthetics and Politics from CalArts.