Me, you and everybody we all know: interrelationality, alterity, globalization – bulletins
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Join us on e-flux Video & Film for Interrelational Arrangements (Interdependency and Survival), the third part of the online film and discussion series Me, You, and Everyone We Know, programmed by Irmgard Emmelhainz.
No biological organism can live alone, but our relationships with others and with the environment are determined by the modern imagination of the independent individual fighting for himself in a Darwinian pursuit of success and survival. These relationships also shape how we sustain ourselves, how we survive in the world, and how we see ourselves as individual subjects. In globalized capitalism, the qualities and intensities of interpersonal and environmental relationships also transcend the market and are characterized by extreme alienation and distancing. The work in this program deals with the hopes and dysfunctions of contemporary subjectivity and interrelationships as determined by modernity and capitalism. Today the market has lifted the boundaries between biological life and politics, maintaining the colonial hierarchy of racialized social and political life that leaves certain bodies vulnerable and susceptible to technologies of oppression and dispossession while protecting others. While precarity is exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, discussions are emerging about decolonial interrationality, reciprocity and mutual help in order to finally overcome the white-savior complex behind human rights and welfare state discourses. In our hyper-individualized imaginations we have established empathy as a structural emotion to relate to others, but we are either insensitive to their pain or embedded in toxic forms of empathic codependency. We can only hope for impossible bonds and autonomous forms of mutual help.
Me, you and everyone we know: interrelationality, alterity, globalization
Third part: interrelational arrangements (interdependence and survival)
Screening: Wednesday, July 21st – Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021
Miguel Calderón, Camaleón, 2017, 26:23 minutes
When birds hunt in falconry, they bridge and lose sight of each other between the falconer and the sky; but they generally return because of the symbiotic relationship they have established. Camaleón explores this connection through a real-life character who depends on his bird as if it were an anti-anxiety drug he needed to face reality. This film explores the connection between man and nature by following the protagonist for 24 hours, from his shift as a bouncer in a city nightclub until he shows up at dawn to hunt his hawk. The protagonist subtly explores the parallelism between the animal urge to kill and the effects of this act when it comes to a person.
Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, Beauty Plus Pity, 2009, 14:19 minutes
By combining ditties, stories, cartoons, spied video footage and the installation of stuffed animals and other sculptural elements, Beauty Plus Pity explores the perverse ethical, emotional and existential relationships between adults, children, animals and God. Syracuse-based Canadian artists Emily Vey Duke & Cooper Battersby suggest that generational legacies and natural cycles both comfort us with their promise of continuity and entangle us in destructive patterns. They are fascinated by how salvation can sprout from the present like a tree from a seed. By reciting Philip Larkin’s poem on parental dysfunction, “This Be The Verse,” they challenge us to get out of the grip of our parents “as early as possible”, “and not have children ourselves.” Although children are not good, the narrator claims, they contain the potential for good.
Miguel Calderón, Enjoyment After, 2019, 30 minutes
Much of Miguel Calderón’s work integrates personal experiences by exploring encounters and objects that have shaped his memory. Shortly after the September 19, 2017 earthquake that struck Mexico City, Calderón established a close relationship with the maintenance staff of the Cibeles Well. The video tells a series of events narrated by a real character who also recreates them around that particular landmark.
Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, you were astonished on the day you were born, 2019, 30 minutes
You Were an Amazement on the Day You Were Born is a picture-rich film that accompanies a woman through a life marked by damage and loss, but in which she finds humor, love and joy. With a soundtrack that traces Lenore’s life span from her birth in the early 1970s to her death in the 2040s, the film takes us from moments of harrowing loss to moments of urgency and black humor. Her life is narrated through voice-over, narrated by cast members ages nine to sixty-nine, and beautifully illustrated with images of animals (including people), insects, and landscapes. The film theorist Eli Horwatt writes: “You Were an Amazement … conveys how the inevitable death drive of the human animal can be the source of both profound comedy and tragic cruelty. In the many stories that are told in this short but verbose film, viewers are invited to an intimate identification with the experiences of marginalized others. “
bh Yael, Lessons for Polygamists, 2017, 14:33 minutes
Lessons for Polygamists plays with animation and collage in the diary of a young girl who grows up in a polygamous household. She lists the lessons she would share with Dad if only she could. Every teenager knows better than the adults in their life. Lessons for Polygamists echoes the sincere voice of adolescence as the young narrator tries to understand her family dynamics and, most importantly, her father’s behavior. Lessons for Polygamists is the artist’s story about growing up in a polygamous family. Through animated playfulness, the pictures are drawn from family photos and documentaries and the stories expand the lessons to a wider audience.
Discussion: Tuesday, August 3, 2021 at 1 p.m. EST
bh Yael, Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke, moderated by Irmgard Emmelhainz
Livestream and Q&A with audience.
About the series
In the prehistory of globalization, modernity was promoted by international post-war agencies, which prescribed epistemologies, economic methods of organization and production, and even a cultural sensitivity for the so-called Third World countries. From a decolonial point of view, modernity and colonialism are inextricably linked; in fact, they form the basis of today’s globalized socio-economic and political systems: market-based predatory relationships. In order to normalize these toxic forms of interdependence and correlations that lead to the collapse of civilization and the environment, human and non-human world inhabitants become religion on the basis of signifiers such as alterity, class, gender, ethnic origin, etc. These differentiations influence how we deal with one another and how we become subjects. This series brings together audiovisual works from Canada, Europe, North and South America and Australia, from within or on the edge of Western civilization. Beyond the question of whether decolonization would mean dissolving these different categories and bringing justice to oppressed peoples, they provide pieces of a puzzle that could enable us to see global capitalism not as a generalized, abstract whole, but as heterogeneous processes that Beliefs are compounded of seeing better, knowledge, relationships, everyday practices and the detachment from our body and from social relationships that denigrate the reproduction of life in favor of production and consumption cycles. As such, they bring a haunting view of the contradictions and toxic interrelationships of the subject of Western modernity, which wanted to feel at home all over the world, but is increasingly alienated from the basic means of reproducing life.
Me, You, and Everyone We Know: Interrelationality, Alterity, Globalization is a new online series of films and discussions, programmed by Irmgard Emmelhainz for e-flux video & film. It runs in four thematic parts from June 23 to August 18, 2021. Each part includes a two-week group screening and a live discussion.
With films and videos from Ariela Aïsha Azoulay, Yael Bartana, Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke, Ursula Biemann, bh Yael, John Bock, Maja Borg, Noël Burch and Allan Sekula, Miguel Calderón, Sara Eliassen, Jwithout Greyson, Clarisse Hahn, Mike Kelley and Paul McCarthy, Nicholas Manganese, Juan Manuel Sepulveda, and Miguel Ventura; and discussions with Franco “Bifo” Berardi, Anita Chari, Elena Comay del Junco, Siobhan F. Guerrero Mc Manus, John Paul Rich, Miguel Ventura, Soyoung young, and more to be announced.
For more information, contact email@example.com.