The first Moving Image Art Prize awarded at the Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin
– The experimental documentary Places of articulation: five obstacles of the Belgians Effi & Amir seduced the jury of the Paris branch of the festival
Places of articulation: five obstacles by Effi & Amir
Founded in 1997, the International Meetings has been held every year since in Paris and Berlin. The festival is a platform for experimental forms of moving images oscillating between cinema and contemporary art. From May 2-8, Paris hosted the gathering at some of the city’s most prestigious venues, such as the Louvre, Center Pompidou and the spectacular Palais du Cinéma de Louxor.
The program of the Rencontres Internationales includes screenings, exhibitions and performances by international artists and filmmakers of different generations. Admission is free for all events, in keeping with the organizers’ policy of making access to new forms of video art as easy as possible.
During the seven days of the festival, the public encountered exceptional works that often do not find their place on the big screen. On the program this year, a VR Lab which presented ten virtual reality experiences that challenge “our principles of reality, our daytime perceptions and our daily representations”. In addition, a series of temporary exhibitions has been designed for the Museum of Fine Arts and the “Rue Française” creative platform.
One of the main sections of the Rencontres Internationales was the retrospective devoted to the Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul. With a total of 27 titles, it was the first major French presentation of short and medium-length films by the artist. Another pillar of the festival, the “carte blanche” given to an American videographer Dara Birnbaum.
Finally, for the first time, the Rencontres launched the Moving Image Art Prize. A four-person jury, made up of professionals from important artistic institutions in Paris and Lisbon – namely, Vittoria Matarresedirector of the performing arts program at the Palais de Tokyo; Kevin MuhlenCEO of Casino Luxembourg; Pascale Raynaud, film curator at the Louvre; and Emilie Tavareschief curator at the Museu do Chiado in Lisbon – was in charge of awarding a “unique work in the field of the moving image”.
The selection contained a total of 13 works, including documentaries and fictional videos, by international artists. In the end, the winner was the experimental documentary video installation Places of articulation: five obstacles by Belgian filmmakers Effi Weiss and Amir Borenstein (a.k.a Effi & Amir). The duo is made up of artists and filmmakers who have been working together since 1999. Their work, which uses audiovisual media, performance and participatory strategies, sits on the blurred boundary between documentary and fiction, and deals with the mechanisms of construction, encompassing the construction of identity, group membership, history and the art itself. In its press release, the jury mentioned “the radical and innovative form” of this installation dealing with “important and omnipresent current issues in our contemporary society”.