Death can dance II

Root Event

werkleitz Biennale 2006 Happy Believers
Death can dance II
8. 9. 2006

Death Can Dance 2 opens to different ritual sentiments and environments that are filmed and reflected on the edge between reality and fiction. The programme begins with the theatrical Vajtojca by Albanian artist Adrian Paci, who stages his own death in an entrancing situation of mourning, from which he ultimately walks away. Paci is here inspired by the Italian film maker Pasolini and his notion of the ‘poetics of the real’, in which the double-articulation of reality in the film setting is reflected in the film language.
Following this, Pasolini’s La Ricotta is shown, where he Passion of Jesus, the crucifixion, is staged as a production (film in the film) and turned into a narrative image of the social conservatism of Catholicism in Italy in the late 1960s. At one point the director of ‘The Passion of Jesus’, Orson Welles playing Pasolini, is asked ‘What do you think of death?’ by a journalist and comments: ‘As Marxist I do not consider this phenomenon.’
As a brief excursus on spiritual loss and longing in 2006, we show Muttnik by the New Zealand ? based artist Sriwhana Spong, whose father is from Bali. Spong takes us through the filmic exploration of her own remakes of Balinese Hindu altars that have undergone a spiritual defeat, are only present in the parents backyard as a transient and singular event, filmed as a childhood memory.
Finally with Les maîtres fous fous we land in Ghana, 1969, during the annual major ceremonies of the Hauka, the spirits of power, in Accra. The colonial theme appears again in a film of the French filmmaker Jean Rouch, in which we see entranced participants of the Hauka de-articulating the influence of the British by acting ‘possessed’ by different colonial figures. Les maîtres fous filmed by Rouch are a powerful image of collective retrieval of evil in a modern Ghana and perhaps a mystification.

(Introduction by Solvej Helweg Ovesen & Melvin Moti)