Multidisciplinary artist Floris Vanhoof is no stranger to OFFoff. He was part of ‘Still Moving’, the exhibition on film slides we presented in collaboration with Film Fest Gent in 2016. For the 10th anniversary of our ‘Night of the Experimental Film’ in 2013, he did an expanded cinema performance together with Makino Takashi. Already in 2009, he was a guest at OFFoff with a program of own work in combination with some of his personal favorites. We’re glad to welcome him back to perform new work and present an exciting carte blanche.
“Being at home during the lockdown inspired me to make this miniature sitcom set where every day something new happens, and to take the camera on walks. The absurd situations for the inhabitants of the film set and myself result in this layered stream of images. The middle part is an uncut three-minute roll of film that was scripted like a program: a 4-bit binary code and a long heximal code, written on paper, were used for positioning, layering and repeating what was filmed on these 30 meters.” (Floris Vanhoof)
The Mirror Egg can be shown as 16mm film, but will at OFFoff be presented as a longer expanded cinema performance with modified 16mm projector and live sound. This performance will be followed by a work with two slide projectors and sound. Just as The Mirror Egg, the slides are mainly multiple exposures, in this case made over the last ten years but never shown in its entirety.
Complementary to his own work, Floris chose three other films, including two 16mm-shorts of the American avant garde filmmaker Robert Breer. In his classic cartoon film A Man and His Dog Out for Air (1957), lines stretch, bend, twirl and break to also dynamically sketch a neighborhood, with its buildings and trees, its sidewalks and birds and, finally… a man walking his dog. A certain absurdism or irony returns in the nonsensical French commentary track by filmmaker and theoretician Noël Burch for Recreation (1957), a rapid-fire montage of single frame sequences that brings the idea of a stream of images to a head. In the CinemaScope musical A Summer in the Fields (1967), Dutch television director and artist Wim T. Schippers creates a kind of variation on The Sound of Music.
*** Together with the screening of A River Runs, Turns, Erases, Replaces (Shengze Zhu, 2021), this evening links up with a two-part program around ‘COVID films’ that Art Cinema OFFoff presents on November 8 and 15 in Sphinx Cinema and Kunsthal Gent. By now, the ‘COVID film’ has become a strange, multifaceted genre or category of films – think of Golden Bear winner Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Radu Jude, 2021), The Tsugua Diaries (Miguel Gomes, 2021), Four Roads ( Alice Rohrwacher, 2021), In My Room (Mati Diop, 2020) or Citadel (John Smith, 2021), just to name a few. This two-part program tries to bring an alternative or sidelong view. In A River Runs the virus is never even mentioned by name; Floris Vanhoof created his own miniature sitcom during the quarantine. ***