Language has all the time been on the forefront of social and political unrest. All through historical past, dominant methods of management have manipulated phrases and free speech. With the rise of far-right libertarian populist, authoritarian regimes, and the rising censorship of dissident voices worldwide, acknowledging the importance of language as a instrument to problem prevailing narratives and to foster dialogue appears extra pronounced than ever. Poetry, working on the periphery of the dominant discourse and in its distilled essence, wields phrases with precision—a testomony to fact that serves a lens via which the unspeakable is rendered utterable.

“Let Us Imagine within the Starting of the Chilly Season” is titled after the 1965 eponymous poem by Iranian filmmaker and poet Forugh Farrokhzad (1934–1967), whose writings—regardless of controversy and censorship—sought to articulate the sorrows and longings of Iranian girls and to redefine literary in addition to social conventions. Conceived as a sequence of screenings, every week of the exhibition is devoted to a person artist’s work offered in a steady loop in Portikus’ foremost gallery.

This system begins with Cecilia Vicuña’s influential video What’s Poetry to You? (1980), during which the artist, whereas in exile in Bogotá in the course of the Chilean dictatorship, interviews passers-by about their private relationship to poetry, unraveling its transformative potential in individuals’s lives. Giving a stage to marginalized voices is on the core of Trinh T. Minhha’s movie Surname Viet Given Title Nam (1989) that gathers archival footage, poetry, songs, and interviews to render a portrait of the historic and modern roles imposed on Vietnamese girls. The interaction of the temporal ranges of the previous, current, and future defines Alexander Kluge’s filmessay The Assault of the Current on the Remainder of Time (1985), offering a multi-layered perspective on post-war Germany.

In Aimé Césaire – le masque des mots (1987), Sarah Maldoror portrays the Martinican poet via his affect on the Négritude literary motion, the impression of his political engagement and wrestle in opposition to racism. Highlighting the bridges between poetry and activism, Cana Bilir-Meier’s movies SEMRA ERTAN (2013) and Zwischenwelt (2022) each cope with the coping mechanisms and lived expertise in a xenophobic society, whose ramifications are mirrored on the racialized politics of remembrance. In the meantime, the violence of invisible forces of management is addressed in Maryam Tafakory’s video Nazarbazi (2022), a collage of texts and located pictures, depicting the symbolically charged interactions between women and men in post-revolutionary Iranian cinema. Combining archival paperwork, written phrases and 16mm footage, Sky Hopinka’s movie Sunflower Siege Engine (2022), tackles the complicated histories of Indigenous communities in the USA via collective and private narratives. Luiz Roque’s richly structured cinematic compositions O Novo Monumento (2013) and XXI (2022) set queer tradition in opposition to the backdrop of city and rural landscapes in South America to problem conventional notions of monumentality, id and physique politics. At a time when his imaginative and prescient was impaired by AIDS, Derek Jarman aimed to convey a frank and putting portrayal of his sickness and impending loss of life together with his movie Blue (1993), during which poetic texts are learn in opposition to the background of an unchanging blue display.

By interweaving historic recordings and modern narratives, the artists’ works grant prominence to language whereas yielding to the poetic energy of pictures. Impressed by Farrokhzad’s highly effective verse, which mixes grief with hope, “Let Us Imagine within the Starting of the Chilly Season” invitations us to think about language as a catalyst for collective and private transformation.

Taking part artists: Cana Bilir-Meier, Sky Hopinka, Derek Jarman, Alexander Kluge, Sarah Maldoror, Trinh T. Minh-ha, Luiz Roque, Maryam Tafakory, and Cecilia Vicuña

at Portikus, Frankfurt
till February 11, 2024



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