Baal (1982, 64 Min.) by Alan Clarke
Elephant (1989, 39 Min.) by Alan Clarke
Talk: Alberto Toscano, Simon Thompson
Artworks, especially those that comprise documentary material, can offer a particularly challenging appeal to our thoughts about reality. While their indexical link to the reality they address grants images and sounds a specific credibility, the position of the artist, her aesthetic, thematic and political choices and self-reflexive stance, may generate a critical assessment of the very constitution of reality. At such a point, art meets philosophy. In order to reflect on the relationship between the factual world and its subjective appropriation, questioning hegemonic claims to objectivity and problematising the inherent contradictions of society are inherently philosophical issues. ‘Problematising reality – Encounters between art, cinema and philosophy’ is a series of projections and discussions that takes place in various cultural spaces in the city of Lisbon, in a partnership between IFILNOVA (CineLab) / FCSH / UNL, Goethe-Institut and Maumaus / Lumiar Cité and in collaboration with Apordoc / Doc’s Kingdom. These encounters between artists and researchers of international renown focus on the very moments where art, cinema and philosophy enter into a productive dialogue.
The second programme takes place at the Goethe-Institut Auditorium and brings together the philosopher Alberto Toscano and the artist Simon Thompson, along with the screening of Baal (1982) and Elephant (1989), both by the British filmmaker Alan Clarke (1935-1990). Although most of his work has been produced within the television context, Alan Clarke uses cinema’s grammar to focus on neglected communities, confined between class distinction and the power of patriarchal institutions, creating a unique body of work that made him one of the most prestigious British filmmakers, whose influence has been claimed by the new generation of actors, screenwriters and filmmakers, including Harmony Korine and Gus Van Sant. Starring David Bowie in the role of an alcoholic and worldly poet who despises the norms of bourgeois society, Baal is the adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s homonymous theater play, conceived as a response to the expressionism of Der Einsame (The Lonely Man) by Hans Johst, a dramatist later compliant with Nazi ideology. Conversely, in Elephant, loosely inspired by police reports drawn up during the Northern Ireland conflict, Alan Clarke uses a set of his famous ‘walking shots’, the absence of dialogues and narrative concerns, displaying a minimalist device that offers an exemplary rhythmic quality of sound and image.
Alberto Toscano lives and works in London as Reader in Critical Theory and Co-Director of the Centre for Philosophy and Critical Thought at Goldsmiths, University of London. He is the author of Cartographies of the Absolute (with Jeff Kinkle, 2015) and Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea (2010). He edited The Italian Difference: Between Nihilism and Biopolitics (with Lorenzo Chiesa, 2009) and has translated several works by Alain Badiou, as well as Antonio Negri, Furio Jesi and Franco Fortini. He is currently working on two book projects, the first on tragedy as a political form, the second on philosophy, capitalism and ‘real abstraction’. He is also preparing a multi-volume edited collection, Handbook of Marxism (with Bev Skeggs and Sara Farris). He has sat on the editorial board of the journal Historical Materialism: Research in Critical Marxist Theory since 2004, and is series editor of The Italian List for Seagull Books.
Simon Thompson is a British artist living and working in Brussels.
Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, 100 - 1º esq.
1150-227 Lisboa, Portugal
Tel: + 351 21 352 11 55
De-opacification and the Right to Opacity
Avenida António Augusto de Aguiar, 148 - 3º D
Rua Tomás del Negro, 8A
1750-105 Lisboa, Portugal
Wednesday to Sunday, 3pm to 7pm
and by appointment
Tel: + 351 21 755 15 70 | 21 352 11 55
Ao descer a escada
Há um degrau p’ra me sentar.
Não há outro degrau
Não estou lá em baixo
Nem lá em cima estou.
Estou é na escada
Onde sempre estou.
Ao subir a escada
Não estou em cima, nem em baixo.
Não estou na creche,
Nem mesmo no sopé, acho.
Ideias estranhas começam a girar
Na minha cabeça
Fora do lugar!
09.11.2019 - 02.02.2020
25.01 | 17h00 Talk with Tonio Kröner, Simon
Thompson, Jürgen Bock
Upcoming at Lumiar Cité:
29.09. - 09.12.2018
In cooperation with Lumiar Cité:
Thu Thiêm: an archaeological
project for future remembrance
08.06. - 08.09.2019
Johann Jacobs Museum
Maumaus / Lumiar Cité
is funded by Ministério da Cultura / Direção-Geral das Artes. With the support of Câmara Municipal de Lisboa and Junta de Freguesia do Lumiar