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05.0518:30Talk about the project Onze Roeping, on Joyful Militancy – Mercedes Azpilicueta
May 5, 18.30: talk about the project Onze Roeping, on Joyful Militancy
Doors open at 18.30 (with soup), the talk starts at 19.00.
Together with archivist and If I Can’t Dance curator Anik Fournier and Rozenstraat curator Sjoerd Kloosterhuis, Mercedes Azpilicueta will share parts of the process in preparation for the performative walks in July and try to answer questions such as, what are the affective elements lying underneath the Aardappeloproer, if we consider that ‘tenderness and vulnerability can thrive alongside these militant commitments? And why is joyfulness an important part in these political commitments?
Alongside these questions the conversation will also look deeper into the architectural and material conditions in the Jordaan where this matriarchal organisation was born as well as the aesthetics and imaginaries of representations of women in uprisings such as Ni Una Menos where Mercedes has been taking part since 2015 and in the Jordaan in the aftermath of the riots.
More information Onze Roeping, on Joyful Militancy
Women have fought several times in history for the rights of the working class, despite the engendered assumption that they had no contribution to society besides their capacity – and often the obligation – to procreate. During critical situations such as the World Wars and the Spanish Flu, where the scarce resources were distributed to the ‘productive’ part of the population, women stood up and formed a collective body performing a strong political gesture of care. The resulting jolt was an encouraging example of solidarity and hope for the part of the population facing repression and lack of social justice.
With a focus on the Aardappeloproer (1917), one of the leading historical revolts of the early 20th century, the research will examine the importance of these movements in promoting solidarity and answering questions such as: What are the affective elements lying underneath this event, if we consider that tenderness and vulnerability can thrive alongside these militant commitments? How have domestic economies evolved and what is the role of the public space in it? How did the daily private discussions between women become slogans and street songs in upheavals, making visible what has been silenced? How can an individual body become plural when performing? How can a collective movement keep the intimacy of a domestic relationship? The trans-historical approach of public interventions and women’s activist militancy, today relevant more than ever, reflects on current social movements and grass-root feminist initiatives such as #NiUnaMenos ‘No One [Woman] Less’ in today’s Argentina.
Onze Roeping, on Joyful Militancy is initiated by ROZENSTRAAT curator Sjoerd Kloosterhuis and Mercedes Azpilicueta in 2019 and is developed in close collaboration with Mieke Krijger, director of the Jordaan Museum.
Mercedes Azpilicueta is a visual and performance artist from Buenos Aires living and working in Amsterdam. Her artistic practice gathers various characters from the past and the present who address the vulnerable or collective body from a decolonial feminist perspective. In fluid, associative connections she counters rigid narratives of history in an attempt to dismantle them and make room for the affective and dissident voices to emerge. Mercedes was an artist in residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam in 2015-16, and received the Pernod Ricard Fellowship in 2017. Solo exhibitions include ones at Gasworks, London (2021), CAC Brétigny, Brétigny-sur-Orge (2021), Museion, Bolzano/Bozen (2020), CentroCentro, Madrid (2019), and MAMBA, Buenos Aires (2018). Mercedes was nominated for the Prix de Rome 2021 for which she made a large scale installion with the research for Onze Roeping, on Joyful Militancy as starting point.
Onze Roeping, on Joyful Militancy is supported by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts.
04.0520:30Jeffrey’s Cinema #14 – Workers for the Good Lord
WORKERS FOR THE GOOD LORD (2000)
(Les savates du bon Dieu)
Directed by Jean-Claude Brisseau
In French with English subtitles
Doors open at 20.30, the film starts at 21.00
The great Jeffrey Babcock joins us with his returning spectaculair underground cinema’s. In line with the themes of Onze Roeping, on Joyful Militancy Jeffrey selected the hidden gem WORKERS FOR THE GOOD LORD (2000). This film about revolution – social revolution, love revolution and spiritual revolution – is connecting Onze Roeping, on Joyful Militancy with other calls for more social solidarity.
“Renegade director Jean-Claude Brisseau (Celine, Noce blanche) was always a lone wolf. His films never fit in the boxes, always creeping up like ‘flowers of evil’ between the cracks of the cinema industry. They can have a hard-edged urban social aspect, but they can also have a kind of weird spirituality that borders on supernaturalism. A really bizarre mix.
This flick is about a guy living in the suburbs of St-Etienne, whose life is smashed when his wife decides enough is enough and dumps him. This throws him into a catharsis, and leads him to radically change the course of his life. He becomes a kind of modern day Robin Hood, robbing banks to give the money to the poor, until something enters his life in the form of a mysterious man named Maguette (a brilliant performance by Emile Abossolo M’Bo) the son of an African king who juggles with occult amulets as easily as with computers. Like this eclectic Maguette character, director Brisseau himself is a guy who believes hard science is only one side of the story, and his movies opt for in-between worlds. After this meeting, the film takes off from there with many twists and turns, mixing surrealism, drama and black humor. In some ways it is a metaphysical road journey, attempting to find a way to combine benevolence with revolutionary aims. Many actions our main characters take make a spoof of the conventions and superstitions that hold our modern society together. This film is totally off-beat. Like I said it works on the level of black humor, but does manage to reach a state of grace at times. In some ways, Brisseau traverses similar ground as the Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky—combining public intervention with a spiritual kick…. but how each of them achieve this is totally different. A very strange adventure, and totally unique.”
“Plays like a cross between The Wizard of Oz and It’s a Wonderful Life if Karl Marx had a hand in the script…”
17.0420:30Jeffrey’s Cinema #13 – Le Camion
LE CAMION, 1977
(The Lorry or The Truck)
Directed by Marguerite Duras
In French with English subtitles
This is certainly not one of the easiest films I have ever programmed, but remains one of the most crucial. Directed by French writer Marguerite Duras, it is a movie that reflects the spiritual death of the 1960s, as France moved into the late 70s – the death of dreams. A world of dead-ends. This flick fits our pandemic world like a glove.
It is a desolate film, about the lack of real alternatives in the world. It is so sincere in the message it is conveying, it is almost an anti-movie. It reveals cinema as being dried up, and Duras positions herself as the polar opposite of the cinema of spectacles and gimmicks and cheap thrills and entertainment. Don’t expect any of that. We enter a world that is empty and dark as our city streets during the pandemic. It has an ‘end of the world’ feel. But for Duras the end of the world won’t happen with brimstone and fire, but already happened when we lost our sense of humanity and poetry. When we succumbed to alienation and consumerism, we allowed everything to become banal.
Like I said, this flick has discarded all the frills, all the decoration. Instead it demands a discussion. Much of the time is spent with Duras herself sitting at a table chatting with a pensive Gerard Depardieu (yep, the famous actor Depardieu, but this was made before anyone knew who he was). They talk about the ideas behind the film, about the characters, about the state of the modern world. In this film, everything is questioned, uprooted and re-invented, even how we see and experience cinema.
It remains important, and in many ways outlines our current situation. As culture critic Mark Fisher says, since the turn of the century there has been no new kind of music, politics, or cinema. All there is is tinkering with scraps from the past. When we decided to kill off all alternatives, we also lost our spirit of creativity, and replaced it with marketing, consumerism and a spirit-killing comfort. Duras saw it coming, and said it clearly in this movie way back in the 1970s.
+ Short film:
Directed by Valie Export
Female visual-performance artist Export has been exploring the possibilities and borders of the body for the last 50 years. In this short film she tosses an open letter to us to find a new way to feel and move. Especially in a densely consumer-based society like ours, everything we experience everyday becomes deadlocked, dulled and mundane. Here Valie wants to create a new sensation of the body, unleashing a myriad of different variations, opening up the body and how we see it.
16.0420:30Jeffrey’s Cinema #12 – Silent Souls
SILENT SOULS, 2009
Directed by Alexsei Fedorchenko
In Russian with English subtitles
One of the favorites of the festival circuit, this visually stunning Russian film has largely been unseen in normal cinemas. When the wife of the central character dies, he decides to honor her in accordance with the ancient Merya culture of West-Central Russia. Although the Merya people finally blended in with the Russians in the 17th century, their myths and traditions live on in some of their descendants. He asks a friend to help him carry out his plans, and together they set out to travel across the wild and barren landscape on his pilgrimage. It’s a road trip in which they share their memories, as they travel to bring her body to the lake where they had their honeymoon and to burn the wife’s body on the lake, in accordance with their ancestral Merya tradition. Ghosts—of people, places and rituals—accumulate and eventually dominate the journey, making it a road movie operating on many levels… including a spiritual one.
This will be a high-definiton screening
16.0413:00Special Private Tour through through the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica
Join us for this special tour in one of Amsterdam’s most iconic canal houses! The core collection of the library in the Embassy of the Free Mind, the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, contains c. 2300 books and 300 manuscripts from the 15th, 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, the period from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. When we think of the Renaissance, we often think of the rediscovery of classical Antiquity, while we generally associate the Enlightenment with rational thought. But a lot more was happening at the time. The core collection throws a unique light on a vibrant spiritual tradition that continued to flourish in this period.
In this tour you will meet the books in the current exhibition and hear about the reactions they provoked. Showing original editions and manuscripts, the exhibition tells the story of outstanding collection items, which will be introduced by one of our specialists. You will also have the chance to have an in-depth chat with our specialists about the exhibition topics that interest you most and learn more about this unique collection.
The costs are 17.50 pp, ex Museum Entree. Museumkaart and ICOM are valid.
Max participants: 10
Please send a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot.