OP-FILM: AN ARCHAEOLOGY OF OPTICS
Filipa César & Louis Henderson
TALK WITH FILIPA CÉSAR AND MARGARIDA MENDES
Date: 23 March 2019 | Saturday
Time: 6 pm
*Talk in Portuguese
Fotografia: João Ferro Martins
Op-Film: An Archaeology of Optics is a collaborative exhibition by the artists and filmmakers Filipa César and Louis Henderson.
The exhibition comprises a film and installation based on ongoing research that explores how optical technologies of military and colonial design – from lighthouse Fresnel lenses to global satellite navigation systems – both inform and are informed by Western models of knowledge. Taking a critical approach to the ideologies behind the development of these instruments of guidance and surveillance, the artists consider how imperial gestures of discovery, revelation and possession are embedded in associations between seeing and understanding, light projection and enlightenment.
Filipa César is an artist and filmmaker interested in the fictional aspects of the documentary, the porous borders between cinema and its reception, and the politics and poetics inherent to moving image. Her work takes media as a means to expand or expose counter narratives of resistance to historicism. Since 2011, César has been looking into the origins of cinema in Guinea-Bissau as part of the African Liberation Movement. Selected exhibitions and screenings have taken place at: 29th São Paulo Biennial, 2010; Manifesta 8, Cartagena, 2010; Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2011–15; Jeu de Paume, Paris, 2012; Kunstwerke, Berlin, 2013; SAAVY Contemporary, Berlin 2014–15; Futura, Prague 2015; Tensta konsthall, Spånga, 2015; and Mumok, Vienna, 2016, Contour 8 Biennial; Mechelen and Gasworks, London; MoMA, New York, 2017.
Margarida Mendes is a curator, educator, and lives in Lisbon. His research – focusing on the intersection of cybernetics, philosophy, ecology and experimental film – explores the dynamic transformations of the environment and its impact on social structures and the field of cultural production. She joined the curatorial team of the 11th Gwangju Biennial (2016) and the 4th Istanbul Design Biennial (2018). She also directed several educational platforms, such as escuelita, an informal school at the Dos de Mayo Art Center – CA2M, Madrid (2017); The project space The Barber Shop in Lisbon dedicated to transdisciplinary research (2009-16); and the curatorial ecology research platform The World In Which We Belong, active since 2014. Margarida Mendes is a PhD candidate at the Center for Research Architecture, Visual Cultures Department, Goldsmiths University of London with the project “Deep Sea Spectrum” and a frequent contributor to the online video reporting channel Inhabitants.