March 10, 2017 - Slovenian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale - Nika Autor: Newsreel 63
March 10, 2017

Slovenian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Nika Autor, Newsreel 63 (still), 2017. Film.

Nika Autor
Newsreel 63
May 13–November 26, 2017

Opening: May 10, 4:30pm

Slovenian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
Arsenale, Artiglierie

Commissioner: Zdenka Badovinac
Curator: Andreja Hribernik

At the 57th Venice Biennale, Slovenia will be represented by Nika Autor, who sees her artistic practice as a reflection of social reality that helps to focus the gaze and sharpen the thought, empowering and giving voice and image to the inaudible and the invisible.

Nika Autor works within the framework of the informal collective Newsreel Front. Her Newsreel 63 is an expression of social criticism—which is inherent to the very form of anti-newsreels—and takes the concept of trains, travel and the pursuit of happiness as the film's point of departure.

We have recently witnessed an intense revitalised (re)appearance of newsreels as a form of radical guerrilla non-fiction film in committed cinema, which originated at the heart of modern class struggle and worked to add their contribution to the process of social change. And just as the committed newsreel efforts of the 1960s and 1970s originated in and with the immediacy of social struggle and the political activism of collectives in the USA, the UK, and France, current newsreel practices, too, proceed from social struggles and global hot spots. The newsreels of the 21st century thus draw their inspiration from the work of anti-globalisation movements, the Occupy movement, escalating racism, the increasingly heated immigrant-refugee question, and other forms of violence spreading among various social groups.

In Slovenia, today’s newsreel activity unfolds within a collective of creators (Newsreel Front) from the fields of film, culture, and socio-political criticism and art. It draws primarily from efforts advocating the rights of refugees and rightless workers; and takes inspiration from the social protests that shook the country in the form of mass uprisings in 2012 and 2013.

Newsreel 63 follows such newsreel-related practices and tries to position and understand a particular historical narrative—a shred of video taken on the once famous Belgrade–Ljubljana train-line, where refugees now travel not in couchettes but between the train's wheels. Newsreel 63 drifts into a visual historical investigation of railways and explores both the social changes and the changes in the way such images were visualized and constructed; and the resulting impressions that such train-travel conveyed. The essayistic and associative elements of Newsreel 63 link this historical narrative to our pursuit of happiness in the current social constellation, where our longing for happiness is all too often tied to the idea of travelling somewhere—or the need to secure means for mere basic survival. In her conception of the newsreel, Autor refers to traditional forms of the genre and employs various layers of content, connecting them through essayistic narration and visual elements. What makes Newsreel 63 specific is the way it straddles the line between the traditional informative, committed anti-newsreel form and a more textually-driven and experimental cinema, guiding the viewers through the story while leaving them to fill in the blanks with their own thoughts and reflections.

Intrinsic to the exhibition is a dedicated publication, which follows the structure inscribed in the newsreel form. The publication, edited by Andreja Hribernik, Ciril Oberstar and Andrej Šprah, brings together scholarly texts as well as literary and visual elements, and focuses on analysing the state of current work in the newsreel genre and on places and instances of particular interest and importance. At the same time it reflects on certain historical facets and developments with which the issues addressed by the current project enter into a dynamic dialogue—and from which they draw their creative charge.

Contributors: Darran Anderson, Nika Autor, Franco "Bifo" Berardi, Igor Bizjan, Sezgin Boynik, Nicole Brenez, Creative Agitation (Travis and Erin Wilkerson), Mirjana Dragosavljević, Anja Golob, Andreja Hribernik, Miklavž Komelj, Matjaž Lunaček, Jurij Meden, Bill Nichols, Ciril Oberstar, Svetlana Slapšak, Igor Španjol, Andrej Šprah, Ivan Velisavljević, Vladimir Vidmar, Thomas Waugh.

Production: Moderna galerija / Museum of Modern Art plus Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova (MG+MSUM), Ljubljana, in collaboration with Koroška galerija likovnih umetnosti / Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Koroška, Slovenj Gradec

Press contact: Andreja Bruss
c/o Moderna galerija, MG+MSUM
T +386 1 2416817 / andreja.bruss [​at​]


Supported by:

Slovenian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale
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Newsreel 63
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