Artists’ Film Screening @ Lagos Photo 2017

27 November 2017

Location: African Artist Foundation, Lagos, Nigeria.

With films by Raqs Media Collective, Angki Purbandono, Julika Rudelius, Ben Russell, and Floris Schönfeld.

At Lagos Photo 2017, VRIZA presents a program of artist films engaging with the representation of truth by cinematographic means. The screening program includes five short films by international visual artists crossing the fields of fiction and documentary. The films meditate on the nature of the image as well as on definitions of nature. They are experiments with forms of realism, animation, and storytelling. The artists sometimes use image materials found in archives and/or their own, recent digital recordings. In so doing, the short films touch upon the relation between image technology and human memory.

Raqs Media Collective, The Surface of Each Day is a Different Planet, 2009, film still.


Raqs Media Collective |2010 | 38 minutes

The Surface of Each Day is a Different Planet combines historical photographs from collections in London and Delhi with video, animation, and a soundscape of overlapping voices.

Stories leak, histories collide; bones, bodies, faces and handwriting blur; crowds gather and move en masse. Intentionally open-ended and anti-documentary, the work examines how collectivity and anonymity have been represented over time and how, in the present, the conditions of post-colonialism and globalisation contribute to an ongoing crisis of identity and entitlement.


Floris Schönfeld | 2013-2016 | 27 minutes

A Brief History of the Damagomi Group recounts the history of the Damagomi Group; a group of spiritualists and academics active in Northern California from the 1920s until the late 1970s. It was the goal of the group to find alternative forms of communication with the natural world. The film pieces together the history of this elusive group using historical as well as fabricated documentation.


Ben Russell| 2016 | 26 minutes

A speculative portrait of a Dutchman living in the Surinamese jungle, fixing canoe motors, who is accused of eating the locals’ children.

“…and we Antilleans, we know only too well that – as they say in the islands – the black man has a fear of blue eyes.”
— Franz Fanon, Black Skin White Masks

Ben Russell plunges into the depths of the Surinamese jungle to shoot a film portrait about M., the blue-eyed Dutchman who runs a motor-repair workshop there. M. has been living in the jungle for years and knows all the stories people tell about him: He is a maneater. Children pull on white masks and scare one another. Many are scared of him. “You are the monster now and you have to eat us!” A girl covers her eyes and Ben Russell follows her with his camera. Russell is always directly involved in the search. His work strategy and research are tangible for all those involved. This practice of directly conveying the search and discussions in the creative process leads to a sensuousness in the image, in the film, in which the access to the story, to the myths and conceptions is a mirror.


Julika Rudelius | 2004 | 6 minutes

Occupying the space between fact and fiction, Rudelius explores the boundaries between narrative, documentary and cinema vérité.

A montage of found family footage from a public archive in Hungary. Daily scenes in an average family-life on relationships, dependencies, abuse of power and voyeurism.


Angki Purbandono | 2017 | 30 minutes

Post Jungle is a film consisting of a series of recordings made by Angki Purbandono during his one month stay in Tangkahan village, Sumatra, Indonesia. There he tested his theory of the forest as being a place of the past. Tangkahan is an eco-tourism site that pretends to be ‘as if real nature’, butPost Jungle portrays it as a strong personal memory of the artist about his time in the forest. With this film he aims at conveying his intense experience of nature to his audiences. This is the first film work of Angki Purbandono.

The screening is organized by Kerstin Winking for VRIZA & Lagos Photo with support by the Goethe Institut Lagos.