In three consecutive solo presentations, Joined Narratives shows work by the young filmmakers Katarina Jazbec, Lavinia Xausa and Heidi Vogels, created in close collaboration with the protagonists. The narrative film works brought together by curator Mariska van den Berg question how experiences of exclusion, uprooting and loss – which are hidden from view – can be visualized and put into words, and made tangible and discussable. The emotional world, memory, desire and imagination are key.
In ‘Further than Hip Hop’, narratives become intertwined and perspectives shift. The performing artists are filmed in Arminius, a Rotterdam debate centre housed in a former church, breathing a glorious past. This footage is interwoven with 19th-century archival material showing Dutch missionaries in colonised Indonesia. Through this juxtaposition Xausa’s film makes painfully clear how colonialism –once legitimised by the bible and a narrative of salvation, but practiced through domination and exploitation– still has a deep impact. Who we are, our identity –-individual and collective– is formed by our history and ancestry, but also actively and continuously shaped in the present. In the film, the performers articulate their stories from personal experience. By doing so they claim space for marginalised histories and take a stand in the present, inviting us to do the same.
Joined Narratives #1, Reading with Twelve Eyes (on view until 06.12.2020)
This first edition of Joined Narratives shows two films by Katarina Jazbec (1991). For ‘Our Bearings’ (2016), Jazbec brought the women in her family together after the loss of both grandmothers, to read the story ‘The Woman with the Wolf’. In ‘Permeating Hearts’ (2018), a reading group of young inmates in a Belgian prison gathers weekly for two months to discuss short stories. In that process they encounter everything: fear, anger and hate, but also hope, friendship and courage.
The films are part of an ongoing project in which Jazbec probes how the shared reading of literary stories can initiate an exchange that allows for divergent interpretations, confrontation, as well as mutual understanding. Literary fiction offers the opportunity to experience the world from a different perspective. In the reading sessions, reality and fiction become entwined, creating an intimate space in which the stories bring out emotions and questions about truths and beliefs.
The texts from ‘Permeating Hearts’ are also available in the exhibition, inviting us to read and think along.