A great video art event, the Paris/Berlin International Meetings are back

From May 2 to 8, the Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin offers a wide selection of cinematographic and plastic works in various places in Paris and online. With a rich and often unprecedented program, the event highlights the growing formal hybridity of contemporary creation through moving images.

  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul, “Ashes”


    Apichatpong Weerasethakul,

  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul, “Hotel of the Mekong”

    Apichatpong Weerasethakul, “Hotel of the Mekong”
    Apichatpong Weerasethakul, “Hotel of the Mekong”

  • Apichatpong Weerasethakul, “Vampire”

    Apichatpong Weerasethakul,
    Apichatpong Weerasethakul,

  • Dara Birnbaum “Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman”

    Dara Birnbaum “Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman”
    Dara Birnbaum “Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman”

  • Zapruder, “Anubi is not a dog”

    Zapruder,
    Zapruder,

  • Amy Alexander, “What the Robot Saw”

    Amy Alexander, “What the Robot Saw”
    Amy Alexander, “What the Robot Saw”

  • Igor Bošnjak, “The future repeats itself more than history”

    Igor Bošnjak, “The future repeats itself more than history”
    Igor Bošnjak, “The future repeats itself more than history”

  • Julie Chaffort, “Spring”

    Julie Chaffort, “Spring”
    Julie Chaffort, “Spring”

  • Ghost Mountain Ghost Shovel Collective, “I May Doze for Millions of Years”

    Ghost Mountain Ghost Shovel Collective, “I May Doze for Millions of Years”
    Ghost Mountain Ghost Shovel Collective, “I May Doze for Millions of Years”

  • Sam Crane, “We are the stuff dreams are made of”

    Sam Crane, “We are the stuff dreams are made of”
    Sam Crane, “We are the stuff dreams are made of”

  • Carl Elsaesser, “When You Come Home”

    Carl Elsaesser,
    Carl Elsaesser,

  • Dora García, “If I could wish for something”

    Dora García, “If I could wish for something”
    Dora García, “If I could wish for something”

  • Tamar Guimarães, Luisa Cavanagh, Rusi Millán “Soap”

    Tamar Guimarães, Luisa Cavanagh, Rusi Millán “Soap”
    Tamar Guimarães, Luisa Cavanagh, Rusi Millán “Soap”

  • Vincent Hannwacker, “Musarion”

    Vincent Hannwacker,
    Vincent Hannwacker,

  • Salome Lamas, “Hotel Royal”

    Salome Lamas, “Hotel Royal”
    Salome Lamas, “Hotel Royal”


Parallel to traditional cinema and the heaviness of its production system, Alternative moving image practices have been around for about a century. Whether they are works by independent filmmakers or visual artists, films on film that explore extreme length parameters, emphasize the materiality of celluloid or silver salts, or propose unconventional narratives, have “naturally” given rise to video art, then to digital experiments, and today on the use of virtual reality technologies. Every year since 1997, the Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin present first in the French capital, then in the German capital, the result of a true research work on the diversity of current forms of the moving image.

At the crossroads of visual arts, film and new media, the festival makes a selection from a call for projects: this year 5,729 works from 105 countries were seen and 118 works from 39 countries were selected. Bringing together filmmakers, contemporary artists, great names who have marked the history of the visual arts and very young talents, this year’s edition will once again allow an inventory of the aesthetic and conceptual approaches of the medium previously called “film”. , today placed under the sign of absolute plasticity, hybridity, porosity to the most diverse questions and contemporary forms. By deconstructing the conventions of fiction, documentary, publishing, narration or projection devices, the practices are inspired, for example, by performance: Ariane Loze, whose film Conventional is in preview. Or revisit the world of video games to give them an artistic dimension, with the French premiere of We are the stuff dreams are made ofby British actor Sam Crane. Co-director and co-programmer of the Rencontres, together with Nathalie Hénon, Jean-François Rettig tells us more.

Ben Russell,
Ben Russell,

Ben Russell, “The Invisible Mountain”

Number: How would you define the precise angle of the Paris/Berlin International Meetings?

Jean-François Rettig: The event focuses on contemporary practices of the moving image. Since the avant-garde, visual artists have taken over the medium, first cinema and then video, to do something else with it, to question reality, the world we live in, in another way. And in the last twenty years, we have observed a movement of mutual exchanges, dialogues, sometimes oppositions between approaches related to cinema and those related to visual arts. These productions are, unfortunately, insufficiently distributed, and are actually addressed to a much wider audience. Hence the need to create a space of intersections open to the diversity of forms. At our event, classic screenings coexist with installations, all with 90% of the films presented in French, European or world premieres. The program also includes two exhibitions, round tables and performances. The VR trouve de plus en plus sa place dans les expérimentations des artists: aujourd’hui ces outils sont répandus et accessible, ce qui permet de s’en saisir avec un haut niveau d’exigence et d’autonomie, pour développer des questionnements spécifiques In our time.

“Classic screenings coexist with installations, all with 90% of the films presented in French, European or world previews.”

This edition highlights in particular Apichatpong Weerasethakul, a Thai filmmaker who navigates between “traditional” films presented in the classic cinema circuits and video works destined for projections in museum spaces.

Apichatpong Weerasethakul has been a long-time friend of the Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, ever since we presented, some twenty years ago, the first videos he made at the end of his studies. So we have a strong bond with him. This year we present the first retrospective in France of his short and medium-length films. Therefore, we are concentrating more on his cinematic forms, even if his short films flirt with plastic video or what can be related to experimental cinema. In his feature films, he unfolds the question of the necessity of humanism. His brief forms, presented a few years ago at the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, or at the Institut d’art contemporain de Villeurbanne in 2021, rather offer laboratory spaces, which in particular question the relationship between him with time and space. . These questions are not present in the retrospective that we present. We wanted the filmmaker to decide the order of the films for each session, which sheds new light on his work.

Karl Van Welden,
Karl Van Welden,

Karl Van Welden, “Images for Mars II”

What is the object of the carte blanche that you offer to Dara Birnbaum, a pioneer of video art who, since the 1970s, exposed the manipulations carried out by television formats?

In addition to critical issues, his point in common with Apichatpong Weerasethakul lies in the humanistic dimension of his work. That is why this carte blanche is important to us.

Its programming also honors young artists. Do your productions use particularly hybrid and innovative forms?

It is important for us to highlight the young generation, along with established artists such as Laure Prouvost, who represented France at the Venice Biennale. In fact, young artists offer even more hybrid works, for example the film Musarion by Vincent Hannwacker, Dominik Bais, Marie Jaksch, Mara Pollak and Julian Rabus adapts the homonymous literary work by the German writer Christoph Martin Wieland and brings the love story to our times, mixing elements from the original text, opera, theater, video art and narrative film. This work proposes an installation work, a device that redeploys in space the questions stated in the fictional form.

The Paris/Berlin International Meetings, from May 2 to 8 at the Louvre auditorium, at the Beaux-Arts de Paris, at the Center Pompidou, at the Galerie rue Française, at the Center Wallonie-Bruxelles and at the Goethe-Institut Paris, as well as at art-action.org/live

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