Monday, July 21, 2014

The Box Theory, 19/07/2014


Oporto apresenta #34 and #35


The Box Theory by Owen Land
Video transferred to DVD, sound, 15'36'', 1984 

In the text, Land O' Lakes, Land O' Snakes, Mike Kelley confesses his early sexual arousal by the kneeling Indian girl figured on the Land O' Lakes butter box. The children's game of folding the printed image on the butter box, revealing what looks like the girl's breasts, triggers a latent eroticism, making the candid Native American into an almighty evil priestess. 

In The Box Theory, Owen Land, the uncanny American structuralist, king of the absurd and a religious addict, recreates the image of the Indian girl, holding the butter box with the image of herself, to produce an ad-eternal video zoom. This operation generates a vertiginous and hypnotic mise-en-abyme centered on the female body. This moving mantra raises the figure of the girl to the status of medieval icon – Our Lady of the O – a fertility goddess from the prodigious and polysemic land Of Land.

"An infant hymn for fertility's hum."
Alexandre Estrela


Saturday july 19, 10.30pm

Spacy, 19/07/2014



Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Oporto apresenta #34 and #35

Spacy by Takashi Ito
16mm film, sound, 10', 1980-1981


Takashi Ito is the ultimate film virtuoso, one of the last filmmakers whose obsession for sequential photographs and motion controlled camera movements matches the accuracy of a computer.

Spacy is the quintessential spacial film. The action takes place in a multipurpose gym where a camera moves along the boundaries of various court lines. On its way it  encounters images that trigger infinite regressions. The movement of the film accelerates into an insane geometric maelstrom revealing an infinite fractal structure that exhausts not only the space, but above all, the viewer's act of perception. 


"That blank arena wherein converge the hundred spaces."


Hollis Frampton



Saturday, 19 July 10.30pm

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Oporto apresenta #33


"Land"by Maarten Ploeg 
Commodore Amiga file transferred to video.Colour, stereo sound, loop, 1992
In an old edition of Enciclopédia Luso-Brasileira, the entry word computer (then called ordenador) is illustrated  with a vector-based drawing of a face. It shows the first computer-generated drawing, depicting the kind face of a samurai. That funny looking picture can be seen as the computer's first attempt at a self-portrait, a clear demonstration of its highly complex level of self-determination.
Maarten Ploeg was a multi-talented genius born in the flat lands of Holland. Trained as a visual artist, he was part of the punk music scene in the late seventies (Soviet Sex, Blue Murder and Astral Bodies), as well as a pioneer in computer art and in the art of TV piracy. He was co-founder of PKP TV, a channel that hacked regular broadcasting and of Park 4DTV (http://www.park.nl/), a still operational art platform.
For years he produced bright and colorful abstract paintings, halfway between geometric landscapes and bi-dimensional portraits of computer beings, a personal research into digital foolishness as a way to humanize computers.  But it was with the help of a friendly Amiga computer (the Commodore Amiga 4000) that he finally found a medium that matched his multiple skills. Ploeg's computer videos are kinetic paintings embedded in mesmerizing sound, windows to a deeply immersive universe, an "O.K. World", where computers fulfill their destiny as emotional and melancholic entities.
"Towards the emotional digit."  Alexandre Estrela
This session would not be possible without the precious help of Ryu Tajiri, Peter Mertens, Rogier Van Der Ploeg and a large team of friends who share his memories and work.http://maartenploeg.nl/trust/PloegisOKcompleet.pdf)
 Friday, June 6, 10.30 pm  

Grimoire Magnétique, 31/01/2014


Monday, January 27, 2014

Oporto apresenta #32


"Grimoire Magnétique"
A musical video-poem by Joëlle de La Casinière

Video U-matic transferred to digital, color, sound, 26', 1982


There was a time when humans still believed in video as a valid poetic medium and television as a means  for the outreach of art . Back then, poets happily abandoned their pens and notebooks, painters abandoned brush and canvas for the promised horizons of the video fields. 
But then came the dark ages and art was expelled from the broadcast schedule. However, some artists maintained their faith in a poetic video core and in its democratic assumptions. Joëlle de La Casinière is a writer that belongs to a community of such believers,who still see the medium as prime poetic substance.
It is hard to find a work as committed and joyful as La Casinière's. Her videos are a  collage of vibrating moving images, from all sorts of backgrounds (found, pop, kitsch, home and computer…) woven together to create a new language embedded in pulsating energy. 
Grimoire Magnétique, in La Casinière's words, is not a film, a show or a book. It is neither a video-game or an opera. Rather, it's a multilayered magnetic tapestry, of  colorful sound and image, the illuminated story of the life and death of the Persian mystic and revolutionary Sufi, Hallâj al-Mansûr.

"A triumph of the electronic image over universal gravity"
Words taken from Nam June Paik


Friday, January 31, 10.30pm 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Basis of Make-Up, 16/11/2013


Oporto apresenta #31


"The Basis of Make-Up I-III"
by Heinz Emigholz
16 mm film transfered to video, color, sound, 90', 1983-2005

The Basis of Make-Up I-III is the  primal soup that stands behind Heinz Emigholz abundant body of work. This  life-size film compilation, depicts  two decades of notebooks in an unstoppable flickery  flow. A blend of collages,  workaday writing  and  filming  is intersected by elaborate drawings halfway between medical and technical illustrations which somehow encapsulate the author's highly personal time and vision.





"An image vortex where Ideas fall"
Alexandre Estrela after Ezra Pound





Saturday, November 16, 10.30pm 

From the Age of Recklessness, 23/03/2013





Monday, March 18, 2013

Oporto apresenta #30


"From the Age of Recklessness"
by Klaus Wyborny
16 mm film transfered to video, color, sound, 70', 1994

Oporto is finally presenting the  seventy-minute-long autobiographical film by Klaus Wyborny. In this film the film-maker, a former quantum physicist, talks about memory and traveling along with history and geometry, all seen from his adventurous past relationships. The film is an eternal flow of memories presented alongside a cocktail of extremely dry humor and melancholia. Wyborny approaches film as a scientific experiment in fiction and truth, and his goal is to capture (with a special camera device) the untenable flux of life in order to trigger the untenable flow of memories.


"Instructions on death avoidance and the eternal energy flow"
Alexandre Estrela


Saturday, March 23, 10.30pm 


Sunday, September 30, 2012

Oporto apresenta #29

"Voyage to the Center of the Phone Lines "
 by Michel Auder
 Analog video, color, sound, 53', 1993

Voyage to the Centre of the Phone Lines borrows its title from Jules Verne’s science-fiction novel Voyage au centre de la terre from 1864, in which a German professor explores volcanic tubes that lead him to the earth’s core and to an 1860s understanding of our planet’s geological development. ‘Voyage’ usually denotes faraway travel by sea, and Auder uses ‘holiday’ images of beaches, sunsets and verandas, already stamped with that vintage VHS look, to illustrate a sound track entirely consisting of excerpts from cordless and wireless telephone conversations between unnamed, unknown people. We all know eavesdropping is supposed to be bad, but even if we put up some resistance at first we cannot help being sucked into this maelstrom (another word that Jules Verne liked) of religious and financial speculation, parental despair, gleeful psychobabble and frank erotic revelation. Auder is usually right about what captures our attention and what constitutes unadulterated human interest.

"floating words in an echo world"    
Alexandre Estrela

Thursday, October 4, 10.30pm 




Friday, April 27, 2012

Oporto apresenta #28


"A Fire in My Belly"
by David Wojnarowicz
Film In progress, 1986-87. Super 8mm film transferred to video (black and white and color, silent) 








It’s quite common to see in experimental filmographies, footage migrating from project to project. David Wojnarowicz’s body of work is also haunted by footage that he constantly recycled from film to film, unveiling in each new montage a raw malaise."A Fire in my Belly" is an unfinished project, based on Mexican indigestible footage. The film is a violent stream of oppressive images, that Wojnarowicz exorcises, unleashing its dark energy. This silent film, presumably edited to the sound of Diamanda Galás, has been blasting the most sensitive and reactionary ears, leaving at its passage/screening a necessary open wound. 
David Wojnarowicz (1954.1992) was an activist, writer, an accomplished painter, performer, a transgressive filmmaker and above all a post-modern martyr.


Shadows from a flaming tongue."
Alexandre Estrela
Saturday, April 28, 2012, 10 pm


Courtesy of The Estate of David Wojnarowicz and P.P.O.W Gallery, New York and The Fales Library,Special Collections/ New York University

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oporto apresenta #27

"Money"

by Henry Hills

16mm film, color, sound (optical), 15', 1985


The mechanical specificities of film made it by far the most adequate medium to reveal cities’ inner rhythms. In the early 20th century, a film genre coined City Symphony vividly captured on celluloid the core of cities like Berlin, Paris, Odessa and Oporto. Pioneer filmmakers such as Ruttman, Sauvage, Vertov and Oliveira were able to translate and synthesize the urban struggle towards modernity, while channeling it towards a highly subjective mechanical ballet.


The film "Money", composed by the synesthetic genius Henry Hills, might be the last of the City Symphonies. The film is a concrete collage, a masterpiece that unveils New York City’s ultra fast inner currents, fueled by the lack of money and the creativity of its inhabitants. From the remainings of a city destroyed by financial crisis, Henry Hills builds up the ultimate mechanical view of his town.



“Rapid movements for the listening eye.”

Alexandre Estrela


Saturday, January 21, 2012, 11 pm

Monday, November 14, 2011

Oporto apresenta #26

"Bleu Shut"

by Robert Nelson

16mm film, color, sound, 33', 1970


Robert Nelson is a celebrated film-maker that turned down the glories of the avant-garde for the joys of backyard projectionism. His films are ironic constructions, open questions made for the pleasures of gathering. “Bleu Shut” fits right in the so-called tradition of participatory-film. The film is an experiment built around a guessing game, where the act of “seeing is forgetting the name of the thing one sees”. *

*title of book by Robert Irwin


“On the cognitive mechanisms of boat-naming and its effect on the uncertainties of the real.”

Alexandre Estrela


Friday, November 18, 2011, 10.30 pm

Monday, October 17, 2011

Oporto apresenta #25

"Phæton"

by David Wharry

16mm film, b&w,sound, 7' 25, 1978



When a screen gets in contact with David Wharry`s films, it becomes a photosensitive membrane that, like an "Optogram" (an image imprinted on the retina), registers the surrounding action. The screen works, then, as a memory mechanism, a record of Wharry's actions, unveiling the inner-senses of his humorous cinematic charades.
It was in the late seventies that the author created "General Picture", a series of episodes built from the rubble of “noir” and mystery films. This body of work is a bright and mysterious plot on the foundations of the moving image. “Phæton” is one of the few episodes of "General Picture" which can be viewed independently. In this short film, Wharry makes us focus on the space between the retina and the eyelid to reveal the origin of the image and the birth of the otherness.



"Behind and beyond the eyelid"
Alexandre Estrela


Friday, October 21, 2011, 10.30 pm

with the presence of the author

Friday, June 17, 2011

Oporto apresenta #24

"Aleph"

by Wallace Berman

16mm film, color,silent, loop, 1956-1966



Jorge Luis Borges describes the Aleph as a converging point of infinitude and simultaneous space, that he saw materialized on the 19th step of a staircase in an old building. In his description he mentions that this strange phenomenon can appear in other specific places.

Oporto is fortunate to have the perfect conditions to host once again an Aleph. It is a hidden staircase camouflaged by a fake desk, once used by the sailors to flee from PIDE (Portuguese fascist police). The present Aleph is a film by the visual artist and self-publication wizard, Wallace Berman; a poetic concentration of images portraying the artist's time, life, influences and work. Structured on the Kabbalah, "Aleph" is simultaneously a meditation on everyday life and a cryptic beat trip into infinite time and space.




" The narcotic to the flower"

Tosh Berman




Wednesday, June 22, 2011, 10.30 pm

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Oporto apresenta #23

"You don't bring me flowers"
by Michael Robinson
16mm film, color, with optical sound, 8', 2005


Since the beginning of this millennium, Michael Robinson has been making film and video as trigger-objects for basic emotions. His work is a compilation of complex riddles, trails leading to ambiguous regions, places meant for the hard task of feeling. His narratives are deeply sensorial, warranting themselves difficult to translate into words.
Oporto is now presenting the film "You don't bring me flowers", a sublime diving experience into a succession of nostalgic images, centerfold pages from vintage National Geographic magazines.

"on deep image reading and other simmetry laws"


Alexandre Estrela


Friday, April 8, 2011, 10.30 pm

Monday, January 10, 2011

Oporto apresenta #22

"Dog Track"
by Phill Niblock

16mm film transfered to video, color, sound,8.5', 1969

If there is still someone with a nonconformist and experimental spirit in New York, that person is Phill Niblock. Since the sixties that the artist explores the power of sound and images to generate new frontiers and limits of perception. 
 Despite being a reference in the field of music, it was the film that led him to take the first steps in time-based-arts. Phill Niblock began by making structural experiments, short dance and sound films in collaboration with artists as diverse as Yvonne Rainer, Sun Ra and Max Neuhaus. After this period, Niblock starts to investigate the film medium itself by focusing on the inflow of movement in its various expressions. Working with a wide range of simple images, travel and ethnographic captures, landscapes or just abstract compositions, Niblock overlaps successive layers of sound, creating an open field, impervious to any definition.
Oporto presents "Dog Track ", a film that juxtaposes an inhuman sound, devoid of emotion, coming from a psychoanalytic interview, to images and landscapes of non-verbal beauty. "Dog Track" roughly exposes us, to an hypnotic report, a sad and monochordic chant produced by an impossible relationship. 
 

"The saddest song on earth" 
 Alexandre Estrela


Sunday, January 16, 2011, 10.30 pm