November 7, 2020 - Artist Cinemas - Here is where we are: Week #3
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November 7, 2020

Artist Cinemas

Here is where we are: Week #3
Pia Östlund, Paradise Field (Flowers and)

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Join us on e-flux Video & Film for the online screening of Pia Östlund's Paradise Field (Flowers and) (2020), the third installment of Here is where we are, on view Saturday, November 7 through Friday, November 13, 2020, and featuring a conversation between Östlund and Laure Prouvost.

Here is where we are is a six-part program of films, video works, interviews, and texts put together by Laure Prouvost. It is the fourth program in Artist Cinemas, a long-term, online series of film programs curated by artists for e-flux Video & Film

Artist Cinemas presents Here is where we are 
Week #3: Saturday, November 7–Friday, November 13, 2020
Pia Östlund, Paradise Field (Flowers and), 2020
4:35 minutes

Paradise Field is a series of collage sketches and a recorded short text conceived during lockdown when I took daily walks around a 1970s housing estate in East London. 150 years earlier this had been the site of Europe’s largest nursery and importer of rare exotic plants. The same area is also the location of no. 5 and no. 7 Darnley Road, where Laure and I (and several other friends) used to live around 2007. 

The wonders of the plants which once grew there and the love shared amongst friends (in the same place but later in time) fused into an idea of Paradise, which was amplified by the strange stillness of those spring months of 2020.

—Pia Östlund

Excerpt from the conversation between Pia Östlund and Laure Prouvost:

Laure Prouvost (LP):
When I watched the video again, it made me think about a moment with Steven (my boyfriend at the time), the year before the 2012 Olympics, when everyone was asked to leave their allotments. We went and climbed over the fences, and everything was growing like crazy—rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries. We came home with bouquets of flowers. Buckets and buckets. Just because these spaces were left alone for a few months. They became a little paradise. 

Pia Östlund (PO):
Having experienced London then, or at least East London, you felt that you could constantly find areas like that, that were left alone. They were almost like treasures. East London hasn’t had that for a long time now. 

LP:
And the first lockdown changed that in some ways.

PO: 
Yes. I don’t think things will ever stop again the way they did then. Because people didn’t know how to react. The government’s reaction wasn’t very calculated. But now people would much more readily oppose measures about who we can have sex with, whether we can see our parents…

LP:
...or which plant can pollinate another. 

PO:
It’s against democracy.

LP: 
The idea of stopping technology can be quite touching. The other day in Brussels they had a car-free day. You cycle through the city, it’s wonderful. Suddenly our street, which is not well-maintained by the city in terms of rubbish, is cleaned by the residents. Kids are hanging out in the street. It’s alive again. Plants are coming out. 

PO:
It becomes more southern—people live in the street, put their chairs outside.

LP:
Yes, and you meet your neighbors. It was the same during the lockdown, you started meeting the people who lived nearby, noticing the little plants growing in the corners. 

With the Wardian cases, they would import plants from everywhere, right? So, the plants would travel a lot…

PO:
They would ship plants out. For example, they would send ferns and primroses to Australia, and they would still be alive when they got there, after the sea journey. And then they would send plants back.

LP:
Were the plants seasick?

PO:
They were a bit wobbly. They would arrive a bit green, but then would get their natural color back! 

Watch the video and read the full conversation here.

About the program 
Here is where we are highlights a variety of ways of representing the real across the realms of the living. How do we—humans. animals, plants—leave a mark? The contributors in this selection move across a spectrum of criticality and lightness, each finding a unique way of expressing their inner drive. We are together in this world and travelling along the road as it curves. We traverse geographic and geological borders as well as a (mountain) range of styles, sensations, and cultures. Hopefully you are here where we are!

Here is where we are is a program convened by Laure Prouvost as part of the series Artist Cinemas. It will run for six weeks from October 24 through December 5, 2020, screening a new film each week accompanied by a text or interview with the filmmaker(s) by Prouvost and invited guests.

About Artist Cinemas 
Artist Cinemas is a new e-flux platform focusing on exploring the moving image as understood by people who make film. It is informed by the vulnerability and enchantment of the artistic process—producing non-linear forms of knowledge and expertise that exist outside of academic or institutional frameworks. It will also acknowledge the circles of friendship and mutual inspiration that bind the artistic community. Over time this platform will trace new contours and produce different understandings of the moving image.

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

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