#05 Filmmakers in their garden

Cultivating: bringing forth and letting grow 

If the farmer cultivates, so does the artist. And rather than opposing work on the land to intellectual and creative thought – as does a certain Western tradition –, we should view them as extensions of each other, the two ends of the same universe which some filmmakers have chosen to keep close, very close together. They thus doubtless conceive their being-in-the-world in an alternative way, cherish the connections between the forces that shape landscape and creative work. By devoting their life to both garden and cinema, they are not exercising two metiers but busying themselves with living, being alive.
It is no coincidence that, in the works of these filmmakers – Rose Lowder, Sophie Roger, Robert Huot or Hilal Baydarov – we find the same thread of interdisciplinarity that is common to working in the fields and gardening, as well as poetry, performance and repetition, which all construct another temporality for the gaze, a sensory world closely linked to the world around.
In choosing the countryside as a place of life and cinema, these filmmakers transform their everyday setting into the studio where they can practice their art, the garden of their thoughts, their preoccupations, their joy or their difficulty in living, and the wellspring of their relationship to the other and their understanding of the world. It seem that their gaze, when it tarries on trees, flowers and animals, probes the depths of their being and, in this way, they create something akin to a self-portrait. 

Catherine Bizern

Read Land Cinema, Life Certificates by Becca Voelcker


#1 Screening Joaquim Pinto

Joaquim Pinto seems to reveal, penetrate and thus enable us to see and feel the force-field of a love in a way rarely found in cinema. Then comes the miracle of a sort of contamination, a contagious process, akin to art’s derisory revenge on epidemics, inoculating our gaze with the most intense and reconciliatory of relationships to the other, to nature, to the very substance of a world perpetuating its survival. (Julien Gester)

#2 Screening Robert Huot

presented by Arnaud Lefebvre, gallery owner (Galerie Arnaud Lefebvre)
After being so involved in the art world both as a gallery artist and an activist, this something entirely new for me. After producing some of the most extreme, dematerialized, distilled and almost invisible art in the late Sixties, in January 1970 I began a film diary. [...] Slowly the impact of my choices began to effect my art in a concrete way. The diary films became more and more a celebration of “nature.” As my awareness of my/our impact on the environment grew, I felt compelled to make my art and life reflect that awareness. (Robert Huot)

#3 Screening Rose Lowder

in collaboration with the Centre Pompidou museum
followed by a discussion with Rose Lowder and Vincent Sorrel (filmmaker and Maître de conférences in artistic creation at the University Grenoble Alpes) and facilitated by Philippe-Alain Michaud (curateur at the Musée National d'Art Moderne-Centre Pompidou)
Rose Lowder’s filmmaking is closely linked to the way she handles her Bolex, the amateur camera which in her hands becomes an “instrument of visual research”. The camera is ecological as hands are all it needs to collect images at the rhythm of hand-cranked or frame-by-frame shots. Intertwining images in a movement that she likens to weaving more than editing, Rose Lowder records photograms of flowers that she recomposes as bouquets of images for the screen. (Vincent Sorrel)

#4 Screening Sophie Roger

in presence of Sophie Roger
For many years, Sophie Roger has been creating a free and distinctive body of work, far from the Parisian limelight and commerce. Be it drawings or films, her work is rooted in the territory most familiar to her, a corner of the Pays-de-Caux just north of her birthplace. She lives and works here in the countryside, not far from the cliff. From this personal territory, her work constantly questions the elsewhere, the relationship with the other, whoever they may be: friends, neighbours, distant peoples, inhabitants of the past, the sick of today. (Cyril Neyrat)

#5 Screening Hilal Baydarov

Fascinated by the mystery of gestures, Baydarov films the bodies of his loved ones like a sort of sublime choreography of the day-to-day. He thus presents the intimacy in which he tackles the harrowing sentiment of having abandoned his house, his family and the land on which he grew up. Baydarov thus delivers his version of a return to the roots, the frozen time of a summer in the village. (Elena López Riera, Visions du réel)

#6 Screening Jonas Mekas

Jonas Mekas has always filmed his everyday environment: we associate his works with New York, his beloved adopted city, with the apartments he lived in or those of his friends. But he spent much of his time in his 4-km long garden, just near his residence: Central Park.

#7 Screening Margaret Tait

In intimate films attuned to the secret life of things, people, and landscapes, Margaret Tait sought to reveal the other side of existence – the side we only notice when our own presence in the world comes to the foreground. An independent mind and eye, she focused on what she saw before her, be it the streets of Edinburgh, the crashing sea on Orkney or a pair of old boots in a barn, shedding an singular light on the manifold dimensions of things. (Wien FilmMuseum)