Ben Russell & Black Cracker
Curated by Atelier Impopulaire
The psychedelic ethnographic cinema of Ben Russell — filmmaker, artist, curator — challenges conventions of documentary representation from within, to produce intense, hypnotic and hallucinating experiences between experimental cinema and a form of speculative ethnography.
During the first of the two nights of total immersion in his work, Ben Russell will present a selection of his most rare short films followed by “Black and White Gods”, an expanded cinema performance which can be considered a “classic”, never presented in Berlin.
June 29 9pm
Black and White Trypps Number One (6:30, 16mm, B/W, silent, 2005)
Black and White Trypps Number Two (8:00, 16mm, B/W, silent, 2006)
Black and White Trypps Number Three (12:00, 35mm, color, sound, 2007)
Black and White Trypps Number Four (10:30, 16mm, B/W, sound, 2008)
Trypps #5 (Dubai) (3:00, 16mm, silent, 2008)
Trypps #6 (Malobi) (12:00, 16mm, 2009)
Trypps #7 (Badlands) (10:00, Super16mm, 2010)
River Rites (11:30, Super16mm, 2011)
Black & White Gods (performance)
Using a short segment of Russell’s early ethnographic film Daumë as its foundation, this double-projection performance employs a variety of 16mm film loops, hand-built electronics, prismatic lenses, and analog components to create an audiovisual feedback loop that edges steadily towards the phenomenological. With echoes of Tony Conrad’s The Flicker and William Basinski’s Disintegration Loops, The Black and the White Gods seeks to interrogate the possibility of representation via the abstracted field of bodily experience.
June 30 9 pm
Black Cracker Mirror Test 13
Mirror Test are a series of site specific performative poems through which Black Cracker encourages and documents failures accumulated during the process of challenging points and breaking. These preparation serves as the uncensored stream of conscious culminating in distraught moments of aversion, and experimentation.
More meditation then mainstage in its function, Mirror Tests explore the challenges of misrepresentation, expectation and implicit negation as provoked thru the peripheral elements surrounding each staging. The poem are the receipts of construct and conflict resolved and then presented.
Eliminating the body and primarily utilizes sound, text and film Mirror Test 13 is a response to Ben Russell’s apocalyptic films, exploring more specifically ending, anxiety, and the artist own thoughts on genre, labels, and (class)ification.
Ben Russell We Have Always Lived in the End Times
For this special event curated by Atelier Impopulaire for VariaVision, the Berlin-Based cult artist and musician Black Cracker will perform a new episode of his Mirror Test series, introduced by a new multimedia performance by the Los Angeles based film-maker Ben Russell, both conceived for the space of the Roter Salon. During the evening will be screened a selection of Russell’s “apocalyptic films” which became the starting point for the two commissioned works.
Black Cracker Mirror Test 13 (performance)
Ben Russell Ponce de León (co-directed w/Jim Drain) (26.00, HD, color, sound, 2012)
Ben Russell Greetings to the Ancestors (29:00, Super16mm, color, sound, 2015)
Ben Russell We Always Lived in the End Times (performance)