Concerning Violence, the latest documentary from Swedish filmmaker Göran Hugo Olsson, has been screening to packed audiences on the film festival circuit.
Olsson’s claim to fame, at least in the US, was a recent documentary – Black Power Mixtape – that brought together dormant archival footage from the Black Power movement. This documentary was appreciated partly because of the ease with which the material could be digested and the straightforward collage approach to the narrative.
Concerning Violence is a completely different beast.
Relying yet again on possibly forgotten footage from Swedish archives, the film has been anchored in Martinican psychiatrist and anti-colonial thinker Frantz Fanon’s controversial essay, Concerning Violence, from his 1961 book The Wretched of the Earth. I had the impression that we were being provided with a visual exegesis on Fanon’s famous, misunderstood, and over-read text about violence, and that the images, in fact, served to bolster, or rather, offer, a kind of choreography to the text.
Olsson’s interest is in decolonisation – that short yet potent moment at the tail end of an anti-colonial war followed by the transfer of power when the new nation comes into being. This has often proven to be one of the most violent episodes in post-colonial history, and Fanon is its most articulate philosopher.
Stephan Crasneanscki, What We Leave Behind - Jean-Luc Godard Archives, 2014.
Stephan Crasneanscki’s photographs are taken from a genuine yet largely forgotten audio-visual archive of Jean-Luc Godard, (re)discovered by chance somewhere in France. The images are mostly documentary in nature and feature vast piles of cardboard crates, packaging, reels and VHS tapes. They offer, directly or indirectly, an impression of the life of the film-maker and his works.
As is often the case with archives, the sheer volume of content is sometimes overwhelming, perhaps even disheartening. Where do we start in our efforts to make sense of it all? Is this attempt to find meaning even a worthwhile pursuit? It is a collection that titillates and evokes memory.
From this apparently chaotic arrangement, he captures a number of more abstract images, with superimposed documents, scribbles, papers and notes, some of which are reminiscent of the style of Cy Twombly. They may offer some important insights, but they also add to the confusion. The eye is keen to understand; what it may learn from this encoded mystery is the fact that the pen, the visual quality of the ellipses and the imprint are the bedrock of indexing. Yet the spirit is keen to know. What can we learn from these archives? Are they used? Can they even be used?
Starting today, you will see a post with the title, “From the archives of.” For some time now, while culling for photos to reblog, I dig in Tumblr photographers’ Archive for some overlooked or long forgotten treasures. These archive reblogs will be from random photographers. This is a fascinating look, a “throw back” thing. Throw back is still a thing, no?
Here are two pencil sketches for a “prison cave”. It was for a film that was never made, just some production sketches from my archive of forgotten art. I remember that the art director really wanted the rock face to feel directional.