Kunstnernes Hus' Film Club at 11 May 2014, 19.00-20.15
In her film Non-Consensual Act (in progress),Goshka Macuga uses censored film clips received from the Afghan Film Archive in Kabul. In the process of re-editing the random collection of film footage of both Afghan and Western films, Macuga attempts to create a personal narrative, reflecting on the replacement of the term "rape" with "non-consensual act", as well as broader issues of gender discrimination.
The backdrop for the film is a lengthy and convoluted communication with the Afghan Film Archive, from whom Macuga decided to buy strips of film that had been discarded in the process of digitization. To her surprise, she was sent 19 rolls of censored film, showing scenes of a violent and sexually explicit nature. Macuga queried why the Afghan Film Archive had decided to make her the recipient, and ultimately the interpreter, of this material.
Macuga's work often focuses on institutional histories, researching and reinterpreting their social and political context. Through the orchestration of existing materials, collected items and archival documents, Macuga establishes an unconventional, associative narrative, examining the institution’s identity.
The screening is a part of the First Supper Symposium. In May 2014, the Symposium will be examining feminist art from Russia and the future of feminist performance art under censorship. In Afghanistan, censorship develops under Sharia law, which defines the conduct of women according to certain restrictivecodes. The Afghan government does not actively oppose Sharia law. The fear of women corrupting men, by being seen in public, drives Afghan women into a subordinate and invisible existence.
Similar to the situation in Afghanistan, the blurring of power relations between religion and state prevents Russian female artists from working freely. Russian society has experienced a chaotic and complex time in the post-Soviet era, in which the social and political codes of the former state collided with the new conservative values endorsed in the official rhetoric of the new government.What is the nature of censorship? What role does religious orthodoxy play in maintaining censorship as a tool for the ethical regulation of society?
Goshka Macuga is an internationally acclaimed artist who has had solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2012), the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2011), the Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw (2011), the Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010), the Kunsthalle Basel (2009) and Tate Britain, London (2007). Macuga's work has been included in dOCUMENTA 13 (2012), the 53rd Venice Biennial (2009), the 5th Berlin Biennial (2008) and the Liverpool Biennial (2006). She was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2008.
The screening of Goshka Macuga’s film is a part of a series of events and exhibitions in Oslo, including the symposium at Chateau Neuf entitled “Punk Protest Performance: Pussy Riot in Perspective” with Rosi Braidotti, Judith Butler, Viktor Misiano and Pussy Riot, and a parallel program, including the exhibition “Feminist Pencil”, the exhibition “Mordovlag”, produced at the colony of Pussy Riot, and a screening of the film by Milo Rau “The Moscow Trials”.
Goshka Macuga (born in 1967 in Poland) is a London-based artist. In 2008, she was nominated for the Turner Prize. Her solo exhibitions include those at Whitechapel Gallery, London (2010), Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw (2011), Kunsthalle Basel (2009), Tate Britain, London (2007). Macuga's works have been included in dOCUMENTA13, the 53rd Venice Biennial and the 5th Berlin Biennial.