Festivals

European Media Art Festival No. 32

One of the most influential forums of contemporary Media Arts


EMAF sees itself as a place of experimentation and a laboratory where extraordinary works, projects and ventures are created and presented. As a meeting point for artists, curators, distributors, galleries and the audience the festival has a great impact on the topics and aesthetics of Media Arts. Each year the festival offers its visitors a current overview of experimental films, installations, performances, digital formats and hybrid forms, ranging from personal and political subjects to formal experiments.

In its international competition programmes, the EMAF is once again presenting a current selection of top-class short and long films from more than 20 countries. Thematic focuses are approaches to places, their economy and history, the reflection of very personal experiences and memories, but also the positioning of one's own artistic creation in cinematic history and the media present.

Vincent Meessen's "Ultramarine" (2018), which will be shown for the first time in Germany, is one of this year's more than 50 contributions. It revolves around the colonial history of the colour blue. Museum artefacts enter into dialogue with a spoken word performance by the poet Kain and a drum improvisation by Lander Gyselinck and are reinterpreted in the rhythm of the present. Also on view is the German premiere of "Black Bus Stop" (2019) by Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena Harold. The film is dedicated to a historical meeting place for black students. In the film, this place becomes a stage: young African Americans gather to perform the dances of their student fraternities and thus appropriate this place anew. Eva van Tongeren's "Still from Afar" (2018) is based on an exchange of letters lasting several months, which the artist conducted with a convicted and imprisoned paedophile. Her correspondence deals with the memories, experiences and desires that both share and that always tell of the distance between the two writers. Yalda Afsah's "Tourneur" (2018) is also about a sensitive relationship that takes place in a clearly defined field, but could get out of control at any time. In surreal images, the artist documents a bullfight in southern France in which young people intoxicated with adrenaline and a bull incited by them face each other in a foam-covered arena.

In addition to the competition, the curator duo Gabriela Monroy and Caspar Stracke (Berlin) will present a five-part program on this year's theme "Wild Grammar", which includes current contributions as well as classics from video art and experimental film. They range from films that abandon all ties to a text-based language and work exclusively with precisely composed and rhythmic image sequences to films that focus on the productive opposition and coexistence of image and text. Another program brings together films that must be perceived with the entire body - films that can be viewed with closed eyes, for example, or that make imaginary smells perceptible. The final work is Jean-Luc Godard's "Bildbuch" (Livre d'Image, 2018), which was honored last year in Cannes. This "avant-garde horror essay" (Festreviews), which eludes any clear categorization, is representative of Strackes and Monroy's understanding of "Wild Grammar.

Another highlight is the special programme "Dogs Leaving the Factory" curated by Graeme Arnfield (London) - filmmaker and winner of the EMAF Award 2018 - which deals with the stories we tell about dogs in works from the 1970s to the present day, as well as the images we produce of, alongside and in collaboration with them. Among others, videos by Joan Jonas, William Wegman, Steve Reinke, Joe Gibbons and Heather Phillipson can be seen.

Complete programme will be online soon!

For more information go to https://www.emaf.de/en/index.h...