directors lounge monthly screenings
Thursday, 27 April 2017
Z-Bar Bergstraße 2
The artist, musician and composer Thanos Chrysakis was born in Athens. He lived for sixteen years in London until he moved to Belarus in 2015. He is a trained musician who performs his music internationally in festivals, in concert halls and alternative places. He always had a strong connection with images and thus has created his own videos, or has found people for sound/image collaborations. Since 2007 he operates the record-label 'Aural Terrains' focusing in electroacoustics, composed and improvised music.
The program thus presents the composer/musician - Thanos Chrysakis - working with his own visuals and with the audio-visual collaborations of film director Félix Brassier. In our perception of video, or film, of audio-visual material, sound guides the reception of images, sound creates the continuity of space and time or its disruption more than any visual effect, even though the sound editing rarely comes to the surface of our perception. Chrysakis with his sounds on the other hand loves to work with the thresholds of our perception, with the fragility and ambiguity of sounds, and the edges of discernibility. The images of his films, and of those of Brassier, thus play on a similar congenial level of ambiguity on the picture layer, as Chrysakis' sounds. The visuals may even take up some of the functions, "music for film" traditionally has: a marker for the continuity of space and time. However, the stream of ambiguous consciousness between industrial urban spaces and dreamy imaginations the films provoke, are a product of a fine tuned balance of sound and image creation.
For the collaboration of short films with Chrysakis, filmmaker Brassier chooses effects, that take the images out of realistic real-time, he namely uses time-lapse, but also color effects and a twist of the horizons, that creates a more abstract space. Time, thus more relies on the rhythm of the sound than the image. Day Two Hundred Ninety Six - Smoke Space is mostly shot at twilight at some industrial harbor. The false colors are more than what we would expect from the color shifts of dusk or dawn. After hearing some food steps in an outdoor space, the short movie starts with the sound of hum, from a device that is being turned on, like large air conditioner. The hum starts together with the sharp sound of a clap, and the sound will stay with a further modulated hum for the rest of the film, as with this returning clap, that without further modification gives the whole movie a pace and rhythm. Smoke from chimneys, drifting clouds, the occasional downwards movement of the camera and the dominance of red and blue colors create the dominant pictures of the film, which still does not appear to be as an abstract film. The narrative however, more than describing different places in the same industrial landscape, seems to be the drift in the atmosphere and time itself. Of cause, this is owed to the multi-dimensional drift of the sound modulation by Thanos.
Day Two Hundred Seventy Nine Trails uses some similar strategies on both sound and video track. It starts with sounds from the streets and the ringing of a bell, both very atmospheric, it could be the bell of the church we see in the first picture, and which seems to be located in small town France. The short movie could be interpreted as showing the day cycle in that town, but what is significant on the video level are the ways Brassier melts together the single images from time-lapse. When people appear in the movie, their images are being morphed into each other, which is a stronger effect than just fading in and out, as the surrounding area of the person is being affected and becomes liquified before or after the person is visible. On the sound level, Chrysakis is also liquifying local sounds, voices and urban noises that seem to be speeded up without change of pitch. The sounds are then mixing with some more melodic sounds and finally moving to some kind of amplifier noises. Everything is melted to a stream of atmospheric sounds where the single sound events are liquified, creating a resonance to the trails of people moving and lights turning on and off.
Nocturnal Dance is the movie by Chrysakis that most resembles the videos by Brassier, as there is a narrative that could be recounted in certain ways. Two female dancers rehearse their steps in a public square at night, while people passing by. The images are over-laid onto images of the same couple doing very similar moves. The sound is much more ephemerally electronic and has a hypnotic quality. Even though the two dancers stop, seem to discuss their steps, trying different figures, the scene as a whole becomes more a more trance-like and out of this world.
Very like a trance experience is also Passage. A couple enters what seems to be a cave. They appear out of the over-exposed white background walking towards the viewer, running in slow-motion. After entering the cave, the guy slows down, waiting for the girl to catch up. When the two are side by side, the movement of the video freezes. It is also, the moment when the two figures which are still slightly out of focus seem to be most different, the male figure clearly a guy on a tour with base-cap and shoulder strap bag, while the female figure still seems to be almost transparent in white dress against the back light. The same cave entrance appears from the beginning on a second screen, but without figures walking. While the sound increases in a kind of suspense, the viewer always expects another figure to appear on the right screen. After seeing the film, the viewer might even think to remember another figure on the other screen, but it stays without movement. In similar ways, the memory of the music may fail in interesting ways: while the sound becomes softer, and less industrial over time, the later on memory might tell that the sound was increasing over the whole 5 minutes of the film. At the same time associations of antique stories like Orpheus and Eurydice come up in my mind, only to be destroyed as the couple moves out of frame, but no, a shadow image still stays.
Periplous will be the first and longest part of the screening. Thanos will play live to the pictures of a storm on a container ship, which he experienced himself: some years ago, his father had invited to join him on a trip on one of his tours as a seaman from Antwerp to Portland and then to Avonmouth. It will be very interesting again how he will transform the rumblings of the sea into some sound and image experience standing for itself.
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