Film Focus

Ritual Unions

Curated by Counter Encounters

Unfolding over the opening weekend of Ritual in Transfigured Time, research and curatorial collective Counter Encounters (Onyeka Igwe, Laura Huertas Millán, Rachael Rakes) present a set of programmes interacting in multiple modes with the works on view and the overall prompt for the exhibition. The four programmes include several film and video works from various eras, contexts, and in various styles. In addition, there will be a lecture-screening-discussion with Brazilian, Paris-based artist Ana Pi, whose performances and films are often deep engagements and dialogues with Deren’s work, but created in an entirely distinctive language, politics, and form.

Many of the film works can be seen as interpretations or complements of Deren’s engagements with movement, documentation, embodiment, spirituality, and explorations of the body in space. Some influences in the programmes are the exhibition’s titular film and the unfinished project The Divine Horseman on the dance-possession of voodoo in Haiti, and her collaborations and influences such as from choreographer Katherine Dunham. Also departing from Deren specifically, the works in the programme convey the radical necessity of partying and collective joy – whether in public, at home, in safe spaces, or in quotidian street life – and thereby propose how bodies can intervene in public spaces and engage with the natural world.