Artist Cinemas

Screaming from the Inside

Convened by
Camille Henrot

With films by Ilana Harris-Babou, Monster Chetwynd, Mindy Faber, Alexa Karolinski and Ingo Niermann, Caroline Leaf, Peter Wächtler

And texts by Ilana Harris-Babou and Camille Henrot, Jacob Bromberg, Orit Gat, Mathilde Henrot, Estelle Hoy, Jean-Luc Nivaggioni

The more the digital world claims its own existence, the heavier it feels to inhabit a physical body. During the pandemic our personal lives were physically limited and for some time, many of us subscribed to the mirage that our digital existence could expand the spaces in which we felt restricted. Ultimately, we’ve discovered that the in-person sensations of the flesh and the mind—even the active choice to disengage and do nothing—is what truly makes us feel alive. But we have also discovered that home is not a safe space, that neither online nor in the flesh is our privacy fully protected, and that there is no intimacy without drama,  intensity, and the desire to escape.  Screaming from the Inside took as its starting point the feeling of claustrophobia, isolation, and inescapability (both inside the home, and inside our own bodies) induced by the pandemic and sustained by digital experience. It was through a meditation on the desire to recoil and regress, and the unspoken emotions associated with this return, that I made an intuitive selection of films to feature in this program. 

In many of the films, there is a wound associated with with close relationships. Peter Wächtler’s Untitled (Crutches) (2013) portrays a character walking with a limp, in a loop, reciting a bitter lament of a love lost. Caroline Leaf’s Two Sisters (1991) is about an overprotective sister who, out of care for her blind sibling, a famous writer, essentially denies her the experience of life. 

In an environment surrounded by only close relatives, suffering is a condition of intimacy—any declaration of love can easily become a declaration of war. When the boundaries between the self and the other are in constant flux, all love is essentially ambivalent. Are we at odds with those we love, or at odds with ourselves? Is a lack of confidence in the other essentially a lack of confidence in ourselves? Our relationships with loved ones and the comforts of the home replicate a womb-like environment, and it is only natural that the thoughts and fears of a pre-verbal stage resurface. Monster Chetwynd’s The Call of the Wild (2007) features a primal scream that resonates as a protest against home—a gray suburban landscape seems inescapable as the camera scans for a possible exit that is nowhere in sight.

Our concept of home is closely related to the associations we make of maternal or parental figures. In Ilana Harris-Babou’s Decision Fatigue (2020), the artist’s own mother is the main actress. The portrayal is not one of pure celebration or reverence—it is burlesque, tender, cruel, and sarcastic all at the same time. Mindy Faber’s Suburban Queen (1985) is seemingly a dedication of love and admiration while also a rejection of origin stories. Alexa Karolinski and Ingo Niermann’s Army of Love (2016) shows characters extending tender gestures while floating in a pool, reminiscent of a sort of collective return to an idyllic, amniotic environment. 

Proximity sets the stage for a complex bundle of emotions—a combination of comfort in the familiar, and deep disgust arising from habitual monotony. It is in the grappling and attempted resolution of this ambivalence that the artists featured in this program have created space. They have given shape to the confrontational nature of intimacy in order to ask the fundamental questions: Who am I, where do I come from, where is my home, and what lies beyond it? Ultimately, there is no resolution or escape from that which made us who we are—only a venture towards new illustrations and narratives.

Program

Week #1: Monday, July 18–Sunday, July 24, 2022
Ilana Harris-Babou, Decision Fatigue
2020, 8 minutes
Text: Camille Henrot in conversation with Ilana Harris-Babou

Week #2: Monday, July 25–Sunday, July 31, 2022
Mindy Faber, Suburban Queen
1985, 3 minutes
Text: Mathilde Henrot

Week #3: Monday, August 1–Sunday, August 7, 2022
Alexa Karolinski and Ingo Niermann, Army of Love
2016, 40 minutes
Text: Jean-Luc Nivaggioni

Week #4: Monday, August 8–Sunday, August 14, 2022
Peter Wächtler, Untitled (Crutches)
2013, 8 minutes
Text: Estelle Hoy

Week #5: Monday, August 15–Sunday, August 21, 2022
Caroline Leaf, Two Sisters
1991, 10 minutes
Text: Orit Gat

Week #6: Monday, August 22–Sunday, August 28, 2022
Monster Chetwynd, The Call of the Wild
2007, 6 minutes
Text: Jacob Bromberg

Monday, August 29, 2022
Last day

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Screaming from the Inside is a program of films and accompanying texts convened by Camille Henrot as the eleventh cycle of Artist Cinemas, a long-term, online series of film programs curated by artists for e-flux Video & Film.

Screaming from the Inside in six episodes released every Monday from July 18 through August 29, 2022, streaming a new film each week accompanied by a commissioned text.

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

Category
Film
Subject
Covid-19, Motherhood and Reproduction, Family, Love, Domesticity, Intimacy, Experimental Film, Animation & Cartoons, Video Art
Return to Artist Cinemas

Camille Henrot (born 1978, France) is recognized as one of the most influential voices in contemporary arttoday. Over the past twenty years, she had developed a critically acclaimed practice, encompassing drawing, painting, sculpture, installation and film. Inspired by literature, second-hand marketplaces, poetry,cartoons, social media, self help and the banality of everyday life, Henrot’s work capture the complexity of living as both private individuals and global citizens in an increasingly connected and over-stimulated world. In 2013, Henrot received widespread critical acclaim for her film “Grosse Fatigue”,made during a fellowship at the Smithsonian Institution and awarded the Silver Lion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013.She elaborated ideas from Grosse Fatigue to conceive her acclaimed 2014 installation “The Pale Fox” at Chisenhale Gallery in London. The exhibit, which displayed the breadth of her diverse output, went on to travel to institutions including Kunsthal Charlottenburg, Copenhagen; Bétonsalon–Centre for art and research, Paris; Westfälischer Kunstverein, Münster, Germany; and Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery, Japan.In 2017, Henrot was given carte blanche at Palais de Tokyo in Paris, where she presented the major exhibition “Days Are Dogs." She is the recipient of the 2014 Nam June Paik Award and the 2015 Edvard Munch Award, and has participated in the Lyon, Berlin, Sydney and Liverpool Biennials, among others. Henrot has had numerous solo exhibitions worldwide, including the New Museum, New York; Schinkel Pavilion, Berlin; New Orleans Museum of Art; Fondazione Memmo, Rome; Tokyo Opera City Art Gallery,Japan, and the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne,among others. Current and upcoming solo exhibitions include “Wet Job” at Middelheim Museum in Antwerp, Belgium (2022),“Mother Tongue” at Kunstverein Salzburg (2022)and “Mouth to Mouth” at Munch Museum in Oslo, Norway (2022).

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