16 – 20 February 2014
- Goethe Institut – Max Mueller Bhavan
- India International Centre
- Khoj International Artists’ Association
The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act. This becomes even more obvious when posterity gives a final verdict and sometimes rehabilitates forgotten artistes.
– Marcel Duchamp, (Session on the Creative Act; Convention of the American Federation of Arts, Houston, Texas, April 1957)
We bring you five days of conversation and discussion with filmmakers and their documentary cinema.
Unlike previous episodes of Persistence Resistance, this year will see greater engagement with documentary makers. Thus, the number of screenings has been kept low to avoid a unidirectional format of information flow which characterizes film festivals. Rather, more time has been allotted to foster interaction between filmmakers and audience. We hope to experience a temporal-spatial entity that will be of cultural consequence as much as the films.
The shift from a screening-based to a conversation-based Persistence Resistance is an experiment. It is in response to technological changes that are radically altering methods of viewing. Distributive networks of technology have made access to films easy. Thus, the objective of Persistence Resistance 2014 is to bring the filmmakers and the viewers together, at a time when films enjoy relatively smooth circulation.
Cinema is about a language of change. Cinema is about choice, narrative, representation and technology. It is about politics and assertion. It is about visuals and voices from the margins. Cinema is about conversations between films, filmmakers and film lovers. Conversations at Persistence Resistance 2014 will focus on interrogating collaborative practices in filmmaking. Collaborations between filmmakers and creative crew, directors and subjects, politics and ideologies, aesthetics and technology will be emphasized.
Collaboration between the director and the subject is not innate. Rather, it is the result of a series of successful negotiations between subjectivities on either side. Any involvement with the marginalized, visual or even textual, necessitates constant observation, comprehension, doubt and clarification to make collaborative efforts fruitful. The issue of collaboration in documentary practice assumes an altogether different dimension when it is at stake between the filmmakers themselves. Particularly when their contributions are unguided by any fixed division of intellectual labour. Conversations with shared practitioners will bring forth the ethical and political intricacies of such filmmaking.
Subjectivity is political. The pursuit of subjectivity is a political act as it is an assertion of interest. Any cultural product is likely to have its antecedents in terms of content and form. Why does a filmmaker choose a certain content and form? How do they advance the political position of the filmmaker? Do political positions of filmmakers and subjects clash? How does the dynamics between a filmmaker and the audience unfold whose cherished beliefs and values her film has just challenged? These too are some questions we hope to address during Persistence Resistance 2014.