100 Years of Dada: Dada in Dialogue in the Present


Main Theater - Michigan Theater Thu, Mar 23, 2017 7:30 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Shorts Program
Totally Out There
Release Year:2017
Production Country:USA


A short film program curated by John Canciani and Aline Juchler (Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur) The selection contains clusters with dialogues between the original Dadaist films and their contemporary counterparts. Dada is everything and nothing; Dada is dead; Dada is alive; Dada is a well-meaning contradiction. It was politically in reaction to current events and sometimes playfully in search of new art forms. With the newer works screening in response to the original Dada films, we ask whether contemporary filmmakers are able to evoke the spirit of Dada: Do their films simply exhibit formal similarities or do they come from kindred spirits? The program presents historic films by Marcel Duchamp and René Clair alongside contemporary work by filmmakers such as Réka Bucsi and Mirai Mizue.


Aline Juchler, art historian and film scholar, studied at the University of Zurich and Université Paris III - Sorbonne Nouvelle. Currently gallery manager at RaebervonStenglin, Zurich, she also works as programmer and curator for the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur and for free curatorial projects on the interface between art and film. Prior professional experience includes working at the Art History Institute of the University of Zurich, at the small publishing house Nieves, at Cabaret Voltaire, for LISTE -  Art Fair Basel, and at the Kunst Halle Sankt Gallen. Author of various press releases and catalog contributions. 


John Canciani is the artistic director of the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur and is programmer at the Cinema Cameo in Winterthur. He has curated several film programs like Moving Art II: O Cinema where are thou?, Heavy Metal, VROOOM!, Who?s afraid of the Public?, Independent Cinema USA: 9/11, Wonderland has transformed into Walt Disney's Nightmare, Women in Early Japanese Film, Tattoo im Film, Blow-Up: der voyeuristische Blick, and retrospectives of Alfred Hitchcock, George Mélies, Ivan Ladislav Galeta, H.R. Giger, Christoph Girardet and Matthias Müller, Jan Soldat, Kim Ki-duk, and Hans-Christian Schmid. Canciani is member of the Swiss Film Academy. He has a Master of Advanced Studies in Curating from Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK) and published OnCurating Issue 23: The Future of Short Films, which he presented at Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Germany. 


Anémic Cinéma  

Marcel Duchamp 

France | 1925-26 | 8 | 16mm 

This characteristically dadaist film by Marcel Duchamp consists of a series of visual and verbal puns with nonsense phrases inscribed around rotating spiral patterns, creating an almost hypnotic effect. Marcel Duchamp (1887 - 1968) was a conceptual artist and painter, and is one of the central art figures of the 20th century. He was part of the Dada movement in New York and Paris, and was looking for anti-art even before Dada was founded in Zurich in 1916. 




Jean-Gabriel Périot 

France | 2002 | 10 | digital file 

The film tries to find answers to moments of deep existential crisis, caused by personal matters mixed with a feeling of impotence in view of political developments - in this case the first round of the presidential elections in France on April 21, 2002, a choice between pest and cholera. Jean-Gabriel Périot (born 1974) has worked in the fields of film and art since 2000. He is interested in the manipulative power of images, unafraid to address political matters through his films.  


Broken Tongue  

Mónica Savirón 

USA | 2013 | 3 | digital file 

An ode to the freedom of movement, association, and expression that challenges the way we represent our narratives. With images from the January 1st issues of The New York Times since its beginning in 1851, Broken Tongue is a heartfelt tribute to avant-garde performer Tracie Morris and to her poem "Afrika." Mónica Savirón has worked as a film writer, editor, and programmer. Her work explores the cinematic possibilities of sound and avant-garde poetics.  


Komposition in Blau 

Oskar Fischinger 

Germany | 1935 | 4 | 16mm 

In this abstract film, every motion is strictly synchronised with the music. Within a deep blue environment, one red cube slowly drifts on a reflecting floor until we see a multitude of different shapes and colours moving in Busby Berkeley-like formations. Oskar Fischinger (1900 - 1967) was an abstract filmmaker and painter, known for creating abstract musical animations, decades before the appearance of computer graphics and music videos.  


Modern No. 2  

Mirai Mizue 

Japan | 2011 | 4 | digital file 

In this seemingly simple animation, which consists only of straight lines drawn with a pencil on a sheet of squared paper, architectural details and patterns that resemble optical illusions come to life. A short and appealing work driven by a powerful soundtrack. Mirai Mizue (born 1981) studied animation at Tama Arts University. He also works as an illustrator and provides drawings to some Japanese novelists. He is a member of the Japan Animation Association and a teacher at the O-HARA school. 



René Clair 

France | 1924 | 22 | 16mm 

Entr'acte is a 1924 French short film directed by René Clair, which premiered as an actual entr'acte for a ballet production at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. The music for both the ballet and the film was composed by Erik Satie, and the Dadaist Francis Picabia was involved as an actor and writer. René Clair (1898 - 1981) was an infamous french director and writer; Francis Picabia (1879 - 1953) was one of the most important Dada collaborators and artists in Paris, New York, and Zurich; Erik Satie (1866 - 1925) was a composer and pianist, and an important figure in the avant-garde movement. 


Symphony No. 42  

Réka Bucsi 

Hungary | 2014 | 10 | digital file 

The film uses an unconventional narrative. It presents a subjective world through 47 scenes. Small events, interlaced by associations, express the irrational coherence of our surroundings. The surreal situations are based on the interactions between humans and nature. Réka Bucsi (born 1988) is a Hungarian independent animation filmmaker and illustrator. She studied at the Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design (MOME) in Budapest. 



Miranda Pennell 

United Kingdom | 2004 | 11 | digital file 

Six actors punch, kick, and wrestle their way through the Wild West of an East London drinking establishment. The ritual of the Western bar brawl is relocated to a London working men's club. The violence appears to have no consequences, with the actors' bodies being as rubbery and invulnerable as those in the TV Westerns that inspired the film. Miranda Pennell originally trained in contemporary dance and later studied visual anthropology at Goldsmiths (London). Her current practice reworks colonial photographic archives as a material for film. Prior to this, she produced a body of work exploring aspects of collective performance through film and video. 


Presented by Kilian Lilienfeld of Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur 

Additional Information

Sponsor: University of Michigan Institute for the Humanities

Education Partner: University of Michigan Germanic Languages and Literatures

Community Partner: Chelsea River Gallery