In conjunction with the exhibition “Rivane Neuenschwander: A Day Like Any Other,” the New Museum presents Constructing Views, a series of contemporary Brazilian film and video that explores relationships between visual art and film, while portraying a playful and poetic perspective on the world. Constructing Views is curated by João Dumans with additional support from Maria Chiaretti, Assistant Curator and Producer.
Free of conventions that imprison the functions of daily life, cinema allows one to experience the utopia of a new space—dreamed or invented—a space susceptible to all types of games, inventions, and conflicts, which respects its own law but does not negate its effect on life and the real world. Constructing Views features a selection of films that is not easily limited by the parameters of traditional cinema. Instead, these works take the form of contemplations, interventions, and performance documentation, comprising three distinct programs of short experimental cinema works produced by Brazilian artists within the last decade. In addition, the series includes three important contemporary independent feature films: Aboio by Marilia Rocha; Andarilho by Cao Guimarães; and Lands by Maya Da-Rin. In these works, a realistic (documentary and factual) approach to the world reconciles itself with invention and fable, underscoring a sensitivity and range of social and historical contexts rarely explored in Brazilian cinema. Common in these works are a creative and productive independence, the refusal to follow formulas, and the impulse to bring new forms and new stories to life on the big screen. This distinct and adventurous approach—as opposed to industrial notions of cinema—has made a major mark on experimental production of Brazilian film in recent years.
Limite (1931), by the pioneering Brazilian experimental filmmaker Mario Peixoto, completes the program. Limite is a work that became legendary not only for its formal qualities, but is also recognized as one of the first major works of Brazilian cinema. Unfortunately, due to conservation issues that have plagued the film for the more forty years, this unknown masterpiece has rarely been seen since its initial release.
Historical Fiction Limite, by Mário Peixoto, 1931, 95 min
Mário Peixoto’s visually entrancing Brazilian classic Limite is a stunning silent poem inspired by a photograph by André Kertesz. It was described by Peixoto as “a tuning fork” to capture the pitch of a moment in time, recounting a simple story of three people adrift on a boating trip.
Aboio, by Marília Rocha, 2005, 73 min
Brazilian outback cowboys preserve their age-old customs, communicating with their cattle in a form of plaintive singing known as Aboio. The chant resounds an improvised, ancient form that is an entrance to the life and the imaginary of the ancient Brazilian cattle drivers.
Drifter, by Cao Guimarães, 2007, 80 min
Drifter is a film about the relationship between walking and thinking. It portrays the place where things are in constant displacement and don’t settle, a place of transitory thoughts, ephemeral sounds and images, and of life as a mere passage.
Lands, by Maya Da-rin, 2009, 74 min
Three frontiers. Two towns. The Forest. At the triple border among Brazil, Colombia and Peru, the twin cities Letícia and Tabatinga form an urban island surrounded by the Amazon forest. The border boundaries are many times covered by the thick vegetation. The film is built in an immersion movement of the everyday of the border and its inhabitants. A place that keeps the rhythm of the constant flow of people from different places, where ancient and contemporary cultures live side by side.
EXPERIMENTAL SHORT FILM PROGRAMS
PROGRAM 1 - 57 min
Objects of Desire, by Marco Paulo Rolla, 1999, 9 min (fragment)
The body performs its inertia in front of desire, which is presented by low-quality furniture.
The Worm, by Lia Chaia, 2006, 5 min (fragment)
The artist regurgitates images of buildings.
Unus Mundus—Confrontation, by Cinthia Marcelle, 2005, 8 min
Eight jugglers simultaneously occupy a crosswalk causing uproar among the cars desperate to go through the traffic light.
The Imprescindible Ones, by Carlos Magno Rodrigues, 2003, 5 min
A father tries to subvert his son, who reacts and resists. Based on domestic images, the video deals with manipulation.
Paradise Hotel, by Sara Ramo, 2005, 6 min
The plan comes to life in the middle of a set of mirrors in a motel in downtown Belo Horizonte—a snake made of fabric moves inside the room.
Nightmare, by Janaína Tschape, 2001, 4 min
Transfigurations of the body and distortions of the voice make the sphere of life, death, dreams, and cinema intertwine within the same imprecise object.
Éternau, by Gustavo Jahn, 2006, 20 min
Travelling by land and sea and through space and time, searching for gold and beauty, the Mercenary Archaeologists have trespassed the limits of the Ancestral Garden, causing disorder between the sky and the sea.
PROGRAM 2 - 64 min
From the window of my room, by Cao Guimarães, 2004, 5 min
Two boys fighting and playing in the rain as witnessed by the author through of the window of his hotel room.
3196, by Marcellvs L., 2005, 13 min
A man. A canoe. An ocean.
KO, by Dellani Lima, 2008, 5 min
Fire in the lake: the image of revolution. Series of imagens (hexagrams) with reference in the chinese “Book of Changes.”
Wild Life, by Wagner Morales, 2006, 9 min
The film works like an ethnographic register of wildlife. But, instead of pointing the camera to the animals or native tribes, the lens are focused on a group of tourists drifting in a boat trip through the glacial of Patagonia.
Saint Emilion, by Ilan Waisberg, 2009, 7 min
Men working against the sunset.
Constelations, by Marilá Dardot, 2003, 5 min (fragment)
Cities at night, a hidden word.
Landscape Theory, by Roberto Bellini, 2005, 4 min
A dialogue and a landscape. A brief discourse on the possibility of contemplation, the politics of gazing, and authority.
Flash Happy Society, by Guto Parente, 2009, 8 min
Scientific fiction based on real facts.
Tokyo, by Rodrigo Matheus, 2008, 6 min
Zooming out from the city of Tokyo, recorded by satellite, ending at the point where the icons signaling Google Earth transform the city into pure virtuality.
PROGRAM 3 - 65 min
The World, by Ticiano Monteiro, 2006, 9 min
An absurd and dreamlike situation of a man inhabiting a room situated under the waters of a river.
Red Project, by Luiz Roque Filho, 2006, 5 min
Alternative clouding process.
In Progress, by Gisela Motta and Leandro Lima, with Carlos Issa, 2007, 8 min (fragment)
The borders between image and sound are blurred in these pieces. The waveform edits the pictures and reconfigures the images, recreating a moving landscape.
Black Hole, by Cinthia Marcelle and Tiago Mata Machado, 2008, 5 min
Two drafts of air create abstract figures in lines of dust. A subtle and powerful interpretation of sex and possibly love.
Collecting Mist, by Brígida Baltar, 1998-2004, 16 min
Collecting traces Brígida Baltar’s attempts to collect humidity through an elaborate vial. The work is part of a series of actions, photos, and videos in which she attempts to collect dew, mist, and ocean breeze
Sentinela, by Cristiano Lenhardt, 2008, 5 min
To give himself to the sound of the news, the sentinel stepped away from his line and reached the shore. Booming his presence, defending his kingdom.
Hommage to William Turner, by Tiago Rocha Pitta, 2002, 17 min
A boat is slowly set aflame upon the dirty waters of the Bay of Guanabara.