Mathias Poledna film program

In conjunction with his exhibition, Mathias Poledna will present a special film screening, Films with Music from Central Africa China Haiti Jamaica North America. The program will feature three shorts: Peter Kubelka’s metric film Adebar (1956), Maya Derens’ seminal movement study Meditation on Violence (1948) as well as Mathias Poledna’s minimal dance sequence Sufferers’ Version (2004), a companion piece to his film installation Version presented at Witte de With. The film program is introduced by Nicolaus Schafhausen and Renske Janssen.

Adebar, Peter Kubelka, 1956, 16 mm, 69 sec.

Produced as a commercial for a café of the same name, Peter Kubelka’s (1934) Adebar is composed out of high-contrast black-and-white shots of dancing figures. Only certain excerpts of this footage are used, combined with single phrases of Central African music, all according to a set of complex rules which determines the appearance and sequence of these units within the film. For instance, there is a consistent alteration between positive and negative images, creating a precise construct of image, motion, and repeated sound.

Meditation on Violence, Maya Deren, 1948, 35 mm, 12 min.

Maya Derens’ (1917-1966) Meditation on Violence chronicles a series of training exercises in use in two schools of Chinese boxing – the Wu-Tang and the Shao-Lin – for several centuries. The Wu-Tang school of shadow boxing, sometimes referred to as “interior boxing”, derives from philosophical concepts in the Book of Changes and is followed by the swordplay of the Shaolin. In an uneven sparring match, described by Deren as “cubism in time”, the movements of the camera follow those of the performer, Chao-li Chin. As his performance grows more intense, the soundtrack shifts from the sounds of a Chinese flute to Derens’ own field recording of Haitian drum patterns.

Sufferers’ Version, Mathias Poledna, 2004, 16mm, 6:30 min.

Mathias Poledna’s Sufferers’ Version can be thought of as a companion piece or supplement to his film installation Version. Conceived exclusively for cinema screenings, the film is based on footage created during the shooting of Version and, in this way, is itself a version. The title refers to the genre of music that accompanies the scene, a Jamaican Sufferers’ Song recorded for the Bronx-based roots-label Wackies by Junior Delahaye in the late 1970s and released in the early 1980s. In a single static take, the film shows a minimally choreographed dance fragment that could equally suggest a rehearsal scene, a camera test or a stripped-down musical revue.

Location: Lantaren/Venster
Gouvernestraat 133, 3001 HG Rotterdam
Box office 010-277 22 77


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