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Paris

Galerie Jocelyn Wolff

Exhibition Detail
SUN CINEMA
78, rue Julien-Lacroix
75020 Paris
France


April 29th, 2011 - July 2nd, 2011
Opening: 
April 28th, 2011 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
 
, Clemens von WedemeyerClemens von Wedemeyer
© Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Jocelyn Wolff
> QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://www.galeriewolff.com/
NEIGHBORHOOD:  
20th Arrondissement
EMAIL:  
jocelyn.wolff@galeriewolff.com
PHONE:  
+33 (0) 1.42.03.05.65
OPEN HOURS:  
Tuesday - Saturday, 11 am - 7 pm, and by appointment
TAGS:  
film, cinema
> DESCRIPTION

Notes à propos de SUN CINEMA

En raison de sa population reconnue pour sa diversité religieuse et linguistique (Arabe, Kurde, Turc, Araméen...), la ville de Mardin, dans le Sud-Est de la Turquie, était parfois appelée "la Petite Jérusalem". Cependant au cours des récentes décennies la région a été marquée par le conflit turco-kurde.

Après une période de 25 ans sans cinéma en fonctionnement, ce n'est que l'année dernière qu'une salle, gérée par une association qui se consacre au cinéma, a réouvert dans la vieille ville de Mardin. Un festival de cinéma s'y déroule chaque année en septembre, et les spectateurs sont plus susceptibles d'y participer lorsque les projections ont lieu en plein air.

Dans un projet artistique initié par le British Council et en coopération avec des architectes d'Istanbul, j'ai conçu un cinéma en plein air (qui sera dirigé par l'association consacrée au cinéma) pour la ville de Mardin. Pendant longtemps j'ai cherché l'endroit idéal, un emplacement nouveau, permanent, spécialement pour ce cinéma en plein air. Je voulais qu'il soit situé entre la ville et les plaines de Mésopotamie plus bas. Finalement nous avons trouvé l'emplacement : en contrebas de l'école Coranique Kasimyie Medrese datant du XVIe siècle, en bordure de la partie occidentale de la ville, au sommet d'une crête rocheuse. Il se trouve à environ un kilomètre de la vieille ville avec, immédiatement derrière l'écran, les débuts du paysage ouvert sur les plaines.

Pour moi il était question de créer un cinéma à ciel ouvert (et  puisse être expérimenté par un grand nombre de personnes, et en même temps dans lequel les principes formels du cinéma deviennent visibles. "Sun Cinema" est composé de trois parties : un écran vertical, un amphithéâtre, et la base triangulaire du projecteur. Le triangle symbolise les rayons de lumière du projecteur. Je voulais également établir un lien entre le cinéma et le soleil : le matin les premiers rayons de lumière du soleil frappent l'écran de 6x12 m, heure à laquelle quelqu'un pourrait jouer une pièce de théâtre d'ombre avec la silhouette de son propre corps. Le soir, la lumière du soleil couchant est reflétée en direction du Sud sur des panneaux de miroir métallique qui couvrent l'arrière de l'écran.

______________________________

In an art project initiated by the British Council and in cooperation with architects from Istanbul, I designed an open-air cinema (to be run by the cinema association) for Mardin. For a long time I searched for an ideal site, a new, permanent location, specifically for the open-air cinema. I wanted it to be lodged between the city and the Mesopotamian plains below. Finally we found the spot: below the 16th century Koran school Kasimyie Medrese, on the western edge of the city directly above a ridge. It lies about a kilometer from the old town with, immediately behind the screen, the beginnings of the open landscape of the plains.

For me it was about creating an open (and opened) cinema, meaning one that could be experienced by many and, at the same time, in which the formal principles of cinema could become visible. "Sun Cinema" is composed of three parts: a free standing screen, an amphitheater, and the projector’s triangular base. The triangle symbolizes the beams of light of the projector. I also wanted to draw a connection between the cinema and the sun: in the morning the first rays of sunlight strike the front of the 6x12 meter screen, at which time one could enact a shadow play using one’s own body. In the evening, the setting sun is reflected back to the south by metallic mirror panels that cover the backside of the screen.

THE SUN AS ILLUMINATOR

This sun imagery refers to studies of light in ancient Arabia, which were concurrent with investigations of the human eye. In his book Florence and Baghdad: a West-Eastern history of Seeing, Hans Belting writes that investigations of the eye and the sun made by Arabian scientists in the Middle Ages led to the introduction of perspective in Western Europe during the Renaissance. Even older ties of this region to the sun are evidenced by solar cults and religions, which focus on sun and fire (Yezidi, Semsi, Zoroastrianism, etc.). In Mardin a room with a window facing the East was found under an ancient Aramaic cloister. Presumably, it had been used by sun or fire worshippers, such as the Zoroastrians. Tour guides present the room as a curiosity. Today, the local Christian and Moslem inhabitants might view these solar cults as heretical, yet aspects of these could have been integrated into these religions, for instance the eternal flame or the Ramadan tradition of fasting in rhythm with the sun’s visibility.

Cinema was preceded by shadow plays and the camera obscura before taking over as the dominant art form utilizing the absorption and projection of light. Alexander Kluge describes another connection between the sun and cinema in his book Geschichten vom Kino with the idea of a cosmic, universal cinema ("Kosmischen Universalkino"). He traces this concept back to an 1846 publication by the lawyer Felix Eberty, The Stars and the Earth. Kluge writes, "Eberty (…) rightly assumed, that a ray of light which left the earth on Good Friday in the year 30 A.D. continues to move out into the cosmos and away from us.  Therefore the entirety of history is preserved in the path of light. The entire history of the world is therefore crossing the cosmos in the form of moving pictures (Eberty himself had never heard the term cinema).”

BEHIND THE SCREEN ONE SEES ONESELF

Not only does the rear side of the screen mirror the sun, but one can see in it one’s own reflection. Other people’s films are shown on the screen’s front, but when one makes a step behind the screen during the day, one can view one’s mirror image in the landscape or the sun reflecting off one’s skin and clothing.

Notes:
In addition to the cinema building project, I shot a film about the city Mardin and the search for the site for the new cinema: Light&Space, 45 min, 2010. The design of the open-air cinema was discussed with architecture students from the Technical University of Istanbul and realized together with the architect Gürden Gür.


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