Routes & Umber: Artist shorts

presented by Piet Zwart MFA
FIlm - Wed 7 February 2024
WORM Rotterdam
Start → 20:30
End → 22:30

**Piet Zwart Institute’s MFA programme curates a series of artist films exploring weird placemaking, teenage road trips, unearthed histories and ecologies. ‘Routes and Umber’ refers to the way we navigate soil and earth; the multiple meanings of ‘umber’ traverse minerals, colour or moths.**Each film uses fragmented or experimental forms to interrupt and play with moving image as a material. With films shot in Los Angeles, Greece, France and Alberta, each short responds to the different ways landscape affects us and has been affected by toxicity, wildlife or the legacy of travelogues. The screening includes works by artists generously donated including by Stanya Kahn, Laure Provoust, and Blaise Kirschner & David Panos. Students will be selling artist made calendars and print works alongside the screening in support of their practices.


No Go Backs (2020)
Stanya Kahn

A visceral 33-minute short film, shot on super 16mm with an original sound-score and no words, No Go Backs follows two sets of teenagers who leave the city for the wild, just haphazardly prepared. Featuring the artist’s son (Lenny Dodge-Kahn) and his life-long best friend (Elijah Parks) and their friends (Serafina and Marisol Prietto,) No Go Backs is a quietly dystopian fiction grounded in real-world relations and the understated but persistent presence of contemporary catastrophes. In the haunted precarity of a collapsed world, the kids travel in dreamlike states of distraction, malaise, and resilience. They cut an arduous path along sites of California’s historic water wars, following the aqueduct north toward its source, through the monumental landscapes of the Eastern Sierra Nevada.

We Will Go Far (2015) and Lick in the Past (2016)
Laure Prouvost

Laure Prouvost structures her work as independent stories that weave and intersect from piece to piece. We Will Go Far centres on teenagers living in the countryside experiencing their first amorous adventures— dreaming of escaping and striking out on their own—and for whom a scooter provides the path to freedom and independence. Unpredictable imagery, fragments of texts and sounds disrupt expectations and trigger new sensations.

Lick In The Past premiered as part of Prouvost’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles A Way To Leak, Lick, Leek at Fahrenheit/FLAX Foundation. The outcome of an earlier residency at Fahrenheit, Lick In The Past was cast with adolescent Angelinos and filmed around Los Angeles.The film tracks these characters in playful, wistful conversation in and around their car. They speak of their fantasies of comfort and connection and invoke dreamlike scenarios. Lick In The Past is a partner film to Prouvost’s We Will Go Far (2015) and themes of youth, freedom and desire are mirrored between the two. Pastoral images of farm animals and French countryside are sound tracked by a seductive French narrative, and contrast with the urban escapism of L.A. road trips. The film is accompanied by an original hip-hop track composed by L.A. based producer WYNN.

Ultimate Substance, 2012
Blaise Kirschner & David Panos

Drawing on references from archaeology, philosophy, mathematics and ritual, Ultimate Substance departs from the hypothesis that the introduction of coinage in Mediterranean civilisations from 600BC effected a profound cognitive shift towards abstraction and was key to the emergence of western philosophic, scientific and dramatic traditions. Filmed in and around the Attic mining region of Lavreotiki and the Numismatic Museum in Athens, Ultimate Substance attends to the material base on which ancient Athenian slaveholder democracy was founded. The vast underground mining complexes can be seen as an inverse image of the Acropolis, and as an entry point to history from below.