IV. Supernatural Agency and Queer Futures: Isadora Neves Marques, Peggy Ahwesh, and Mati Diop

IV. Supernatural Agency and Queer Futures: Isadora Neves Marques, Peggy Ahwesh, and Mati Diop

Mati Diop, Atlantics (still), 2019.

This Was Tomorrow

IV. Supernatural Agency and Queer Futures: Isadora Neves Marques, Peggy Ahwesh, and Mati Diop

Admission starts at $5

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Date
July 25, 2024, 8:30pm
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172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
USA

Join us at the e-flux Screening Room rooftop for Speculative Futures and Fabricated Memories, the last screening of the four-part series This Was Tomorrow, presenting cinematic visions of the future that illuminate and comment on our present-day realities.

The films and videos in this series challenge common perceptions of time, identity, technology, and community, in a curated selection that invites thoughtful reflection while also promising entertainment. Each evening will present a thematic pairing of an artist film(s) with a cinema feature, showcasing the diverse and innovative possibilities of science-fiction storytelling.

Screenings take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from July 16–25, 2024, and begin after sunset.

IV. Supernatural Agency and Queer Futures
Thursday, July 25, 8:30pm

Films in this screening explore how speculative and supernatural elements address themes of gender, power, and resistance. These films depict futures where women reclaim agency and challenge oppressive structures through supernatural means.

Isadora Neves Marques, The Pudic Relation Between Machine and Plant (2016, 2 minutes)
A laboratorial image of sexuality beyond humans. In a simple, looped scene a robotic hand fingers a “sensitive plant””—Mimosa pudica, a species characteristic for closing on itself when touched. Iconic within the history of botany, the plant has posed questions such as: Did it have a nervous system? Was it a plant or an animal? It also overflows with sexual innuendos: Its name comes from botanist Carl Linnaeus sexual taxonomy of plants, pudica referring both to external sexual organs and shyness or modesty; and in Erasmus Darwin’s 1789 poem “The Loves of the Plants,” it is compared to botanist Joseph Banks’s infamous sexual encounters in the tropics.

Peggy Ahwesh, The Third Body (2007, 8 minutes)
The Third Body is an experimental film that explores the intersections of gender, technology, and identity. Using a combination of found footage, documentary-style interviews, and narrative segments, Ahwesh creates a complex narrative that challenges traditional notions of identity and selfhood. The film examines how technology mediates our understanding of our bodies and identities, making it a thought-provoking exploration of contemporary themes.

Mati Diop, Atlantics (2019, 106 minutes)
Atlantics is a supernatural romance set in Dakar, Senegal. The film follows Ada, a young woman whose lover Souleiman disappears at sea along with other migrant workers. As strange occurrences begin to happen, Ada discovers that the spirits of the lost workers have returned to seek justice. Diop addresses themes of migration, economic inequality, and spiritual resilience. The film’s blend of social realism and supernatural elements creates a poignant and haunting narrative.

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

Category
Film, Feminism, Gender, Migration & Immigration, Technology
Subject
Experimental Film, Video Art, Queer Art & Theory, Plants & Forests
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This Was Tomorrow

Isadora Neves Marques is a film director, visual artist, poet, and writer. She was the Portuguese Official Representation – Portugal Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia in 2022, and was awarded a Pinchuk Future Generation Art Special Prize in 2022 and the Present Future Art Prize in 2018. With fellow artist Alice dos Reis, she is cofounder of the poetry press Pântano Books. As a writer, she has published poetry and fiction, and her articles on art and theory can be found in magazines like e-flux journal and in publications by Sternberg Press, MIT Press, Verso, and others. Most recently she edited the anthology YWY, Searching for a Character Between Future Worlds: Gender, Ecology, Science Fiction with Sternberg Press (2022). She previously worked under the name Pedro Neves Marques.

Peggy Ahwesh (b. 1954, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania) is a filmmaker and video artist who has produced one of the most heterogeneous bodies of work in the field of experimental media. A true bricoleur, she is recognized for employing a wide array of technologies such as Pixelvision, drone and heat-sensitive cameras, 16mm film, Machinima, improvized performance, scripted dialogue, synch-sound film, found footage, and digital animation. This range of narrative and documentary styles has offered her a sustained investigation of cultural identity and the role of the subject. Ahwesh’s retrospectives have been hosted by the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Filmmuseum, Brussels; and the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, Berwick-upon-Tweed, UK among other international institutions. She has taught Film and Electronic Art at Bard College, New York.

Mati Diop is a French filmmaker and actress working in both France and Senegal. Her formally adventurous films explore exile and identity, memory and loss using fiction and documentary tools. Diop’s films conjure faraway places. Characters both fictional and quasi-documentary long for locales beyond their reach, or sometimes, as if in a trance, they drift magnetically toward them. No matter where the films take place, there is always the specter of somewhere else, and, perhaps with it, the possibility of a different life. These evocations of distant locations—a friend’s tropical Yucatan adventures relayed by text message in Snow Canon, memories of home mournfully recalled in Big in Vietnam, and the idea of an opportunity-rich Europe worth risking one’s life for in Atlantics and A Thousand Suns—suffuse the concrete worlds her characters inhabit so that her films often seem to be in multiple places at once.

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