Conference I Double Helix: Ruminations around the essay film
DOUBLE HELIX: The film essay as form, ruminations around the essay film
Center for Arts & Humanities, Building 37
American University of Beirut, Lebanon
Wednesday, February 27
10am - 10:30am: Opening Remarks by Heather M. O’Brien
10:30am - 12:30pm: Artist Presentations by Maha Maamoun, Rana ElNemr & Jasmina Metwaly
12:30pm - 1:30pm: Lunch Break
1:30pm - 3pm: Artist Presentations by Katrin Winkler & Lee Anne Schmitt
7pm - 9pm: Film Screening at Sursock Museum with artists/filmmakers present for Q&A
Thursday, February 28
3pm - 4:30pm: Artist Presentations by Juli Carson & Rania Stephan
4:30pm - 5pm: Tea Break
5pm - 7pm: Closed-Door Roundtable Discussions with all participants + recent AUB graduates/students Karima Al Gelany, Lana Barakeh, Nataly Hindaoui & Noor Tannir
How do we make sense of the polemical term ‘essay film’ as well as the phrase ‘double helix,’ an expression coined by the late filmmaker Harun Farocki? Since the 1960s, artists have explored the narrative enigmas of the film essay. Still photography—cinema's ghostly parent—was eclipsed by the medium of film, but also set free. The rise of the moving image also obliged photography to make a virtue of its own stillness. Perhaps the essay film envied the simplicity, lightness, and precision of photography, and, as Chris Marker showed us in La Jetée (1962), it would be possible to create a compelling science-fiction film composed almost entirely of black-and-white photographs.
But what is a film essay today, in our contemporary moment of fleeting images? Is it a portrait, a conversation, a political statement, a question? To ponder this we look at frames made by four generations of moving-image makers—born in years ranging from the 1960s to the 1990s—this constellation of artists aim to challenge the traditional notion of the essay film in spaces ranging from Beirut to Cairo, Namibia to Detroit.
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The Center for Arts and Humanities at AUB is located in Building 37, behind the Lee Observatory. Please refer to the map in the discussion section of this event page.
This event is free and open to the public.
Co-Sponsors include The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) and The Department of Fine Arts & Art History at AUB, as well as Sursock Museum.