How Does the World Breathe Now? N°29

How Does the World Breathe Now? N°29


On wednesday June 28th the 29th film screening and discussion, as part of SAVVY Contemporary’s weekly film series, took place at Archive Kabinett.

For this screening, Sînziana Paltineanu presented an encounter with a film by Moyra Davey. A work of autofiction, 50 Minutes approaches the world first and foremost through the personal archive:

“In 50 minutes we see and almost feel cyclical collections of semi-classified (or clustered) photographs and negatives, of dusty books, magazines, newspapers, notes, postcards, correspondence as intersections of personal timelines, of physical traces of selves, of memory sheets left blank etc. At times, the objects open up as potential escapes, offering a fleeting relief – “the ritual is about creating a lacuna, a pocket of time into which I will disappear.” (26:48-55) But objects are never hold onto. They’re seemingly kept at a nostalgic distance through steady pacing in front of the camera, recitations of diary-like entries or readings of scripts with lost and found objects, conversations with authors and fragments. Surrounded by flat surfaces, folds, objects – a fictionalized self, its shadows, and companions are meandering through this collection in what appears to be an intellectual and experiential game of “lost and found” performed indoors, almost exclusively in the quotidian of the private sphere with bright windows. NYC after 9/11 lurks outside.

After the screening I would like to place Moyra Davey’s film in conversation with a poetic experiment that blends in documents and images mostly drawn from the Mundaneum Archives – the current repository of an early 20th century universalist project of collecting all world’s knowledge as envisaged and pursued by Paul Otlet and Henry Lafontaine. I will read from “An experimental transcript” a fictional text I wrote in autumn 2015 for Mondothèque. A project initiated by Femke Snelting and other artists associated with Constant, a Brussels-based association for art and media, Mondothèque grew first as a semantic media wiki and then it turned into Mondothèque::A radiated book. This collective project zooms in and around the Mundaneum and the digitization project undertaken by Google in Otlet’s archives. “An experimental transcript” engages with archiving as obsession and triggers questions about entering an archive that is not one’s own, about inhabiting one’s own archive, and about Google’s archive fever.”

Sînziana Paltineanu is a writer, historian, and librarian based in Berlin. Sînziana graduated from the Babe?-Bolyai University, in Cluj (Romania), with a BA in Philology. In 2013, she earned a PhD in the Comparative History of Central, Southeastern and Eastern Europe, from the Central European University in Budapest (Hungary). In 2014, she was awarded a fellowship for literature at Akademie Schloss Solitude, in Stuttgart (Germany), where she finished writing her first novel, Elephant Chronicles, published with Fiktion, in 2015. Among recent publications: “The Woman Without a Mouth” (in Daisy Atterbury, Tarek El-Ariss, and Mirene Arsanios, eds., Makhzin, Issue 2: Feminisms, Beirut: 98weeks, September 2015) and “An experimental transcript” (Femke Snelting et al, eds.,Mondothèque::A radiated Book, Brussels: Constant, 2016).

Concept: Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung
Curators: Antonia Alampi, Elena Agudio, and Pia Chakraverti-Wuerthwein

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