Micro-Environments, Affect, and Politics: A Screening of Salomé Jashi’s Films
Admission starts at $5
172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
I’m really interested in spaces. I mean, you call it public spaces, but what I’m really curious about is spaces and environments and how these spaces and environments affect people.
Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Tuesday, May 26 at 7pm, for the screening of Salomé Jashi’s Speechless (2006), Their Helicopter (2006), A Swim (2011), The Tower (2018), and Bakhmaro (2011), introduced by the artist via video call.
In her in her award-winning films and videos, Jashi focuses on micro-environments and their affective resonance. Following an observational approach, Jashi puts a special emphasis on the snippets of daily life of people inhabiting various places that are impacted by the political context of today’s Georgia. Inspired by a wide range of moving-image artists, including the documentary style of Sergei Dvortsevoy and Sergei Loznitsa, the visual language of Leos Carax’s films, and Ulrich Seidl’s subversive storytelling, Jashi stands out as one of the most distinct voices on the Georgian moving-image art scene today.
Speechless (2006, 12 minutes)
The 2008 Georgia-Russia War resulted in the deaths of several hundred people and the expulsion of tens of thousands from South Ossetia. Is there a way to show the tragedy of families that lost their loved ones, thousands of people forced to leave their homes, soldiers doing the fighting, and children who cannot comprehend the situation? Salomé Jashi answers this question in a way that leaves few apathetic, though the horrors of war are never visible on the screen. Her short film is based on an interesting formula of making the audience witness to a tragedy it never sees.
Their Helicopter (2006, 22 minutes)
This is a gentle and slightly absurdist documentary about the Ardoteli family in the mountains of Georgia who discovered that a Chechen helicopter carrying cheese had crashed by their house. Dropped into the life of this family, a helicopter is gradually enfolded into their daily rhythms, transformed into something utterly unexpected. In this land free of electric cables, cows find a shelter and children set up their private playground in it. Patient observations through the rusted “eyes” of this helicopter unfold a story of a remote place exposed to just one piece of civilization.
A Swim (2011, 12 minutes)
A Swim is an observational film of monochromatic settlements built in lines and rows. The heat-shimmer exaggerates a sense of immobility while a faded attempt at a breakout lingers. This settlement in Tserovani, which was built for those displaced after the war with Russia in 2008, is a visualization of the system—a social scheme—that exists in Georgia.
The Tower (2018, 4 minutes)
The Tower was an iconic place in the village of Ksuisi. This is where kids went when they skipped school, where men gathered to have a drink, and couples hid to kiss. After the Russo-Georgian war of 2008 the village was occupied by Russia, while the tower remained on the Georgian side. The villagers of Ksuisi were forced to leave and settle down in a special settlement for displaced people.
Bakhmaro (2011, 58 minutes)
A journey into a lively but rotting building in a provincial Georgian town, where there used to be a hotel called Bakhmaro. At the center of the building is a restaurant whose walls are covered with bright green and orange plastic foam and where tables are set, waiting for customers—who rarely come. A Chinese shop, slot machines, and a political party office can also be found here. The building is a microcosm intruded by the constant anticipation of change. It is a model of this troubled country with its endless demonstrations and opposition rallies. On the backdrop of political events, somehow, all of life is here.
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