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RE-OPENING OF SAVVY CONTEMPORARY:

WELCOME TO APPLIED FICTION

A Film Exhibition by Jean-Pierre Bekolo

A DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program & SAVVY Contemporary Collaboration

February 11 – 25, 2016 | Tuesday - Sunday 2 - 8pm

Guided Tours | Fridays and Saturdays 4pm (donations welcome)

Workshops | Wednesdays, Thursdays & Sundays 6-8pm by Heather Moore & David Bovill | MORE INFORMATION HERE

SAVVY Contemporary | Plantagenstraße 31 | 13347 Berlin-Wedding

Opening: February 10 | 6pm

Beats & Dancingwith DJ PAM BAM | 10pm

Curated by Katharina Narbutovic and Bonaventure Ndikung

Curatorial Assistants: Lema Sikod, Lauren Moffatt

One has to choose between engaging in stylistic research or the mere recording of facts. I feel that a filmmaker must go beyond the recording of facts. Moreover, I believe that Africans, in particular, must reinvent cinema. It will be a difficult task because our viewing audience is used to a specific film language, but a choice has to be made: either one is very popular and one talks to people in a simple and plain manner, or else one searches for an African film language that would exclude chattering and focus more on how to make use of visuals and sounds. Djibril Diop Mambéty

“Can we call this an exhibition? A film exhibition? Is this really about showing films? Viewing film, reading film or living cinema? Wouldn't it be more appropriate to say we are View-ding (from viewing, reading and living)? Viewding, a practice imposed on us by what the moving image has become in the new media far from the big screen in the dark room...we have to read images as we read books. This obliges us filmmakers to write films in a way one can read... I mean viewd them... away from the formulae-films, the recipes that have hijacked humanity from storytelling experiences and imaginaries.” (Jean-Pierre Bekolo)

Welcome To Applied Fiction! Where filmmaker, writer and critic Jean-Pierre Bekolo radically questions and deconstructs the notions, processes and perceptions of both film- and exhibition-making. By dissecting, unpacking or dismantling the concepts of cinema and exhibition into their singular units and by displaying them, Bekolo engages in a pathological inquest, an autopsy of the arts of film- and exhibition-making. Inherent to this diagnostic process are the etymological logia (to account of/for) and pathos (experience or suffering) that might help understand what film- and exhibition-making mean in our contemporary.

Like many critical voices before him, Bekolo neither takes cinema at face value nor takes it for granted, as he questions the essence of cinema, that is to say he rummages in the being of cinema, which one could also superlatively call the quintessence of cinema. “If cinema is made of things and of people, it is important that we revisit what we make cinema with; the tools, the language and the process through which we capture and organize this second life we call cinema that we can see outside of ourselves like radiologists and that is a narrative speculation on our lives,” says Bekolo. In this process of revisiting, uncovering, turning the pot up-side-down to see what is underneath the pot, but also giving room for the pot to be used as something else other than the pot – say as a drum – Bekolo carves out a couple of theoretical concepts, bodies or questions that will each materialize in the exhibition WELCOME TO APPLIED FICTION as the installations: Motion Thinking, Filmmaker Without a Camera, Return to Sender, Cinema with Everything, Cinema in Everything, Cinema of Everything, Film Brain – The Memory, Mining for Minds, Auteur Learning, The Miracle Room.

At this juncture it seems appropriate to ruminate on the ‘application’ of ‘applied’ in the context of WELCOME TO APPLIED FICTION. What is ‘applied’ in the age of apps (applications) – these technological achievements meant to facilitate or even perform our beings, as they coordinate our activities, functions and thoughts? The app as a second spinal cord of the human being, to shorten or reduce the use of the brain, as reflexes now are either coordinated through the nervous system of the spinal cord or through the computational system of the app. So ‘applied fiction’ as facilitated, accessible fiction? But if the ‘applied’ in Applied Mathematics is about the practicality or the implementation of mathematics to study the biological, physical, economic and sociological world, then ‘applied fiction’ might also be the implementation of fiction to understand these the biological, physical, economic and sociological worlds and beyond. Bekolo's exhibition could be understood as an enactment of the presentational and representational in real-time, which includes both reality and its fictions, and in which both the maker and the spectator are appropriated into the process on filmmaking, and in which real life is the cinema and its fiction.

Jean-Pierre Bekolo is a film maker, writer and critic from Cameroon. His debut film Quartier Mozart received the Prix Afrique en Création at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival. His second film, Aristotle's Plot, was commissioned by the British Film Institute to celebrate the 100th anniversary of cinema, and was the first African film selected at Sundance. His 2005 released film Les Saignantes won the Silver Stallion and Best Actress Awards at FESPACO. Bekolo's video installation An African Woman in Space was on display at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris in 2008. Banned in Cameroon in 2013, Jean-Pierre Bekolo's controversial film Le President questions the phenomenon of Africa's "perpetual governments". His 4-hour documentary Les Choses et Les Mots de Mudimbe was part of the official selection of the 2015 Berlinale. In 2009 he published Africa for the Future – Sortir un Nouveau Monde du Cinéma. Bekolo has also taught at UNC Chapel Hill, Duke University, and the University of Yaoundé. Since 2006, Bekolo has served as the Secretary General of the Guild of African Filmmakers, and is the founding member of the World Cinema Alliance. In 2015 he received the Prince Claus Award. Since the summer of 2015 he is a fellow of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program.


Deutsche Version: „Können wir dies eine Ausstellung nennen? Eine Filmausstellung? Geht es wirklich darum, Filme zu zeigen? Filme zu schauen, Filme zu lesen oder Kino zu leben? Wäre es nicht angemessener zu sagen, was wir tun, ist View-ding (von viewing, reading und living)? Viewding, eine Praxis, die sich uns aufdrängt durch das, was aus dem bewegten Bild wurde in den neuen Medien fern ab der großen Leinwand in einem dunklen Raum. Wir müssen Bilder so lesen, wie wird Bücher lesen. Dies verpflichtet uns Filmemacher dazu, Filme so zu schreiben, dass sie gelesen werden können … Ich meine, geschaut werden können… jenseits der berechneten Formelfilme, deren Rezepturen die Humanität aus dem Erleben und Erdichten der Erzählkunst geraubt haben.“ (Jean-Pierre Bekolo)

Welcome To Applied Fiction! Wo der Filmemacher, Schriftsteller und Kritiker Jean-Pierre Bekolo die Begriffe, Prozesse und Wahrnehmungen des Filme- wie auch des Ausstellungsmachens radikal hinterfragt und dekonstruiert. Indem er die Konzepte von Kino und Ausstellung seziert, entkleidet und in ihre einzelnen Einheiten zerlegt und präsentiert, begibt sich Bekolo in eine pathologische Untersuchung, eine Autopsie des Film- und Ausstellungsmachens. Diesem diagnostischen Prozess wohnen das etymologische logia (berichten/ erzählen von) sowie pathos (die Erfahrung von Leiden) inne, was behilflich sein kann, beim Verusch zu verstehen, was Film- und Ausstellungmachen heute bedeutet.

Wie zahlreiche kritische Stimmen vor ihm, nimmt auch Bekolo das Kino weder für bare Münze noch hält er es für selbstverständlich, wenn er dessen Essenz in Frage stellt, oder vielmehr wenn er im Sein des Kinos herumwühlt, was man wiederum superlativisch als die Quintessenz von Kino bezeichnen könnte. „Wenn Kino aus Dingen und Menschen gemacht wird, ist es wichtig, zu überdenken, womit wir Kino machen – die Werkzeuge, die Sprache und der Prozess, durch den wir dieses zweite Leben, genannt Kino, erfassen und organisieren und das wir außerhalb unserer selbst sehen können wie Radiologen und das eine narrative Spekulation über unsere Leben ist,“ sagt Bekolo. In diesem Prozess des Überdenkens, Aufdeckens aber auch des Topf-Umdrehens um zu sehen, was unter dem Topf ist, aber auch, um den Raum zu bieten, ihn als etwas anderes zu benutzen als einen Topf – zum Beispiel als Trommel - in diesem Prozess arbeitet Bekolo theoretische Konzepte, Gebilde oder Fragen heraus, die sich innerhalb der Ausstellung WELCOME TO APPLIED FICTION als die folgenden Installationen materialisieren: Motion Thinking, Filmmaker Without a Camera, Return to Sender, Cinema with Everything, Cinema in Everything, Cinema of Everything, Film Brain – The Memory, Mining for Minds, Auteur Learning, The Miracle Room.

An dieser Stelle scheint es angebracht, über die Begriffe application (Anwendung) und applied (angewandt) im Kontext von WELCOME TO APPLIED FICTION nachzudenken. Was bedeutet applied im Zeitalter von Apps (applications) – diese technischen Errungenschaften, die dazu dienen sollen, unser (Da-)Sein zu erleichtern oder gar zu verrichten, in dem sie unsere Aktivitäten, Funktionen und Gedanken koordinieren? Die App fungiert beinahe als ein zweites Rückenmark des Menschen, das die Nutzung des Hirns verkürzt oder reduziert, da Reflexe mittlerweile entweder koordiniert werden durch das Nervensystem des Rückenmarks oder durch das rechentechnische System der App. Ist applied fiction (angewandte Fiktion) also erleichterte, zugängliche Fiktion? Wenn aber das applied in Applied Mathematics (angewandte Mathematik) Praktikabilität und den Einsatz von Mathematik zur Untersuchung der biologischen, physikalischen, ökonomischen und soziologischen Welt bezeichnet, dann könnte auch applied fiction den Einsatz von Fiktion zum Verstehen dieser biologischen, physikalischen, ökonomischen und soziologischen Welten und darüber hinaus meinen. Bekolos Ausstellung könnte begriffen werden als Darstellung des Vorstellbaren sowie des Gegenständlichen in Echtzeit, was sowohl die Realität als auch deren Fiktionen einschließt. Dabei sind sowohl Schöpfer als auch Zuschauer eingebunden in den Prozess des Filmemachens und das echte Leben ist sowohl das Kino als auch dessen Fiktion.

Jean-Pierre Bekolo ist ein Filmemacher, Schriftsteller und Kritiker aus Kamerun. Sein Debütfilm Quartier Mozart wurde 1992 mit dem Prix Afrique en Création beim Cannes Film Festival ausgezeichnet. Sein zweiter Film, Aristotle's Plot, wurde vom British Film Institute anlässlich des 100-Jahr-Jubiläums des Films in Auftrag gegeben und war der erste afrikanische Film, der für Sundance Film Festival ausgewählt wurde. Sein 2005 herausgekommener Film Les Saignantes gewann den Silver Stallion und Best Actress Awards bei FESPACO. Bekolos Videoinstallation An African Woman in Space wurde 2008 im Musée du Quai Branly in Paris ausgestellt. 2013 wurde Bekolos kontroverser Film Le President, der das Phänomen von Afrikas „immerwährenden Regierungen“ in Frage stellt, in Kamerun verboten. Seine vierstündige Dokumentation Les Choses et Les Mots de Mudimbe lief 2015 auf der Berlinale. 2009 veröffentlichte er das Buch Africa for the Future – Sortir un Nouveau Monde du Cinéma. Bekolo hat zudem unterrichtet an der UNC Chapel Hill, der Duke University und der University of Yaoundé. Bekolo ist Gründungsmitglied der World Cinema Alliance und seit 2006 Generalsekretär der Guild of African Filmmakers. 2015 wurde ihm der Prince Claus Award verliehen. Seit Sommer 2015 ist er Gast des Berliner Künstlerprogramms des DAAD.


For further information please read the FULL CONCEPT

WELCOME TO APPLIED FICTION is a coproduction by the Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD and SAVVY Contemporary - The laboratory of form-ideas, funded by Auswärtiges Amtes (AA)

Credits and global thanks:

CAMEROON Christelle Magne | Junior Chavez (Paul Engo) | Malou Zogo

UGANDA Arlen Dilsizian | Derek Debru

SOUTH AFRICA Marc Nekaitar | Motlago Masoka | Eugene Paramoer

NAMIBIA Oshosheni Hivelua

BERLIN Heather Moore | David Bovill | David Guy Kono

BARCELONA Monica Rikic | Inongo Makome

PARIS Pierre Fezeu

With kind support by


SAVVY NEW YEAR!

A warm heartfelt THANK YOU for your support, love, and inspiration in this challenging but nevertheless beautiful last year.

Our moving boxes are packed – let's make 2016 an exciting year together!

Stay SAVVY.


TURN AND FACE THE STRANGE

SAVVY Contemporary is moving to Wedding

from 2016 on you find us here:

SAVVY Contemporary c/o Silent Green

Plantagenstraße 31 | 13347 Berlin-Wedding

Yes, the rumours are true. We are leaving our beautiful, our capricious home in Neukölln after two troublesome years of restraints and unnecessary battles. As from 2016 on we will be happy to welcome you all again to our new home, the cultural centre SILENT GREEN in Wedding.

We are leaving Neukölln with mixed feelings – it is our birthplace, our home which made us and which we have made. We worked hard, celebrated successes, welcomed old and new friends, widened our networks and deepened our knowledges. Nevertheless, the myriad of obstacles and the simultaneous lack of political support and cultural vision force us to make a change and move into a more enabling and inspiring environment. We look forward to the opportunity to work, live, think and create with our neighbours at Silent Green who are already showing us invaluable support and love.

Before our official opening in February 2016 we would like to invite you already to warm the space at our next event:


BREAKING NEWS

documenta 14

BONAVENTURE NDIKUNG JOINS CURATORIAL TEAM

Team documenta 14, 2015, Photo: Gina Folly

Founder and director of SAVVY Contemporary, Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, will join the curatorial team of documenta 14 as Curator at Large. "Learning from Athens", the 14th edition of one of the world's most significant exhibitions of contemporary art directed by Adam Szymczyk, will be held from April 8 - July 16 2017 in Athens and in Kassel from June 10 - September 17 2017.

Excerpt from Adam Szymczyks's concept for documenta 14:

The city of Kassel has been the host of documenta since its inception in 1955. Likewise, over the past thirteen editions, documenta has served as host to many artists and cultural practitioners from around the globe. But, ultimately, this position of host—with all the privileges involved—appears to be no longer tenable and begs to be questioned, if only temporarily.

To this end, Szymczyk introduced documenta 14’s planned twofold structure: In 2017, documenta 14 will establish a second site—Athens —bringing Kassel and the Greek capital onto equal footing as the two locations of the exhibition. Thus documenta’s undisputed position as host will be abandoned for another role, that of guest, in Athens.

Szymczyk noted that the main lines of thinking behind this move are manifold. They have to do with the current social and political situation both in Europe and globally, which motivates artistic action. Further, they indicate the need to embody in documenta 14 the palpable tension between the North and the South as it is reflected, articulated, and interpreted in contemporary cultural production.

The challenge involves avoiding the traps of binary logic, while resonating with changing realities. To that end, instead of the singular spectacle, with its clearly designated location and temporal order, typical for great international exhibitions, documenta 14 will comprise two iterations set in dynamic balance in space and time.

[...]

Greece in 2014 is not an isolated case; it is emblematic of the fast-changing global situation, and it embodies the economic, political, social, and cultural dilemmas that Europe must face today—much as Kassel in 1955 embodied the need to deal with the trauma of destruction brought about by the Nazi regime and simultaneously served as a strategic location at the onset of the Cold War. If Athens exemplifies the current issues that extend beyond the proverbial notion of the “Greek Crisis,” these problems—which are as much European and global as they are Greek—remain unresolved. Yet they present us with an opportunity to open up a space of imagination, thinking, and action, instead of following the disempowering neoliberal setup that offers itself as (non)action implied in the (non)choice of austerity. While the specific timing and choice of locale of Kassel in 1955 were precisely the factors that allowed documenta to develop into a now half-century-old venture, those socio-political parameters that made documenta urgent are no longer in play. This sense of urgency, then, must be found elsewhere.

Szymczyk and his team concluded by noting that documenta 14—in its temporary displacement and doubling of perspectives—would enable those artistic strategies that reach toward the reality of a contemporary world, one understood as a place for a multitude made up of individuals, and not as a territory defined by hegemonic relationships that make it a place of suffering and misery for many.

It is this world that will be addressed in the exhibition, the world larger than Germany or Greece.

www.documenta14.de