Patricio Guzman’s film La batalla de Chile (The Battle of Chile) chronicles the political upheaval and coup d’etat that deposed President Salvador Allende in 1973. Guzman’s film was aligned with the Third Cinema movement of the 1960s and 1970s, a body of cinema was largely being made in situ, parallel to the active political unrest and change it sought to portray. These were films that were very much rooted in the urgencies of immediate presents, but which necessarily contended with the befores and afters around these political moments. At the start of the third decade of the 21st century, Chile is again a country protesting en masse, now against the income inequality that flourished in the country following the events of 1973. Here, as elsewhere around the globe, the immediate present is no less urgent.
When we are is an exhibition that looks to Guzman’s film as a point of departure. The works in this screening-based exhibition are as much about the immediate present as they are about the gap—the one between then and now, between here and there, between one and another. Here, the gap isn’t a void or the negative space between two poles, rather, it is a vital space that contains a multiplicity of points across temporalities, localities, corporealities.
Included in this program are films by Basma Alsharif, Karrabing Collective, Sky Hopinka, Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, and Lis Rhodes, each of which operates in these aforementioned gaps. The urgent present that these films exist in—from Standing Rock, to the Gaza Strip, to the environmental wake left behind by the settler-colonial state in Australia—is not simply a document. These films are not a record of event, they are propositions and radical imaginaries, that eschew linear temporality and a fixed, single point of perspective. Not just seeing the world reflected in an image, the works in this exhibition locate ways of being, relating, and resisting in the gaps.
Image: Sky Hopinka, Dislocation Blues [video still], 2017. Courtesy of the artist.
Lis Rhodes, In the Kettle, 21 min.
Sky Hopinka, Dislocation Blues, 17 min.
Basma Alsharif, Home Movies Gaza, 24 min.
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, Black Beach/Horse/Camp/The Dead/Forces, 8 min.
Karrabing Collective, Windjarrameru: The Stealing C*Nt$, 36 min.