Born in Flames


These coming weeks Ellen de Bruijne Projects will present numerous events around the theme of resistance, resulting in a vivid exhibition that will grow by the day. Starting point is the 1983 cult movie Born in Flames by Lizzie Borden, a documentary style film dealing with problems of all kinds. In a future United States socialist democracy sexism, racism and classism are daily routine. Diverse groups of women feel urged to gather and revolt against not only the government, but cultural society as a whole to stop matters for once and for all.

The event based exhibition brings various artists together, from in and outside the gallery, connected by their shared fascination for resistance in every imaginable way. Ellen de Bruijne Projects will present lectures, performances and screenings. Updates on events, dates and times will come soon!

On Tuesday the 5th of June we will kick off with the screening of Born in Flames accompanied by a lecture by Kaisa Lassinaro, whose new book Born in Flames will be launched in the gallery at that evening. You are all welcome at 19.30 at Ellen de Bruijne Projects.

Born in Flames – Kaisa Lassinaro

Born in Flames, the publication, is an illustrated transcript of Lizzie Borden’s 1983 film ‘Born in Flames’, edited and designed by Kaisa Lassinaro. It includes an interview with Borden conducted in L.A. by Lassinaro, as well as the lyrics of Undercover Nation by The Bloods and Born in Flames by Red Crayola, kindly supplied by Adele Bertei and Mayo Thompson.

Friday June 22 Cinemanita at Ellen de Bruijne Projects

Time: 20:00 (doors open at 19:30)
Admission – free

A l'ombre de la canaille bleue (1986)
(In the Shadow of the Blue Rascal)
Directed by Pierre Clémenti
84 minutes

“Cult actor from the 60s who aroused admiration by his choices and his intense acting, Pierre Clémenti left behind him a remarkable body of film work. As a genuine artist, rejecting both a mainstream career and stardom that he could have entered owing to his charismatic looks, he preferred to get very involved in working with demanding filmmakers like Buñuel (Belle de jour), Bertolucci (The Conformist), Pasolini (Pig pen), Dušan Makavejev (Sweet Movie) and Phillipe Garrel as well as directing outstanding fringe films”.

The cinema of actor Pierre Clémenti has hardly ever been publicly screened. His films are radical creations of cinematic poetry, overflowing with surreal imagery, injected with his diary-like voice-over narration. They are exotic journeys pure and simple. They are not films about adventure, they are adventures themselves. They are cascades of impressionistic, hallucinogenic images interlaced with narration and psychedelic rock music, created over years of filming within the Parisian underground art scene, with actors, musicians, friends and lovers serving as subjects, performers and technicians.

In the Shadow of the Blue Rascal was a film Clémenti eventually completed after serving a 14-month jail term for trumped-up drug charges, which was actually a delayed punishment for his political radicalism during the May 68 revolts in Paris. Therefore it took him 6 years to finally complete this film… but it is his crowning achievement. For many years this wild, visionary film was thought to be lost, but it amazingly re-surfaced in a French archive recently.

In the Shadow of the Blue Rascal is a sort of dark and gritty sci-fi thriller set in a police state, about a man struggling to survive in a nocturnal world of drugs, sex, violence, police surveillance, and death. Its an avant-garde film shot in a subterranean Paris, and accompanied by a post-industrial soundtrack. Although it’s a fiction film, it’s also an amazing time-capsule document of the French underground movements in the 70s. It was based on a script by the Tunisian poet Achmi Gachem (who also plays in the film). This will be a very rare screening of this astounding, visionary free-form poetic masterpiece.

Also shown this evening: Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s short piece that was included in the compilation film Germany in Autumn (20 minutes).

Thursday June 28 at 8pm Maria Pask: lecture on and screening of Starhawk! the musical

Starhawk! the musical, is a musical realized with art academy students around the themes of spiritual and political activism. Interested in alternative concepts of life style and community organization, Pask chooses to focus on the personality of Starhawk. Starhawk is a real person in her fifties, an ecotopian and feminist activist based in San Francisco. The musical, in fact, evolves through a series of workshops Pask develops with students who have applied to participate by answering the ads she spread around the academy in search of the cast (“WANTED! Enthusiastic student to work on developing a musical score for an art project.”). In four acts – ‘Beginning,’ ‘Direction,’ ‘Teaching,’ and ‘Witness’ – and a number of scenes the students are free to reinterpret and improvise the script according to their own interests, knowledge, experiences, fantasies, and artistic convictions. This involves stage design and composing music – all this is done by the students themselves and under a considerate supervision by Pask. There is no distinction between the rehearsals and performances themselves: the camera is the audience that is permanently present, registering all stages of the development.

Friday June 29 Cinemanita at Ellen de Bruijne Projects

Time: 15:00 (doors open at 14:30)
Admission – free

The Children Of Marx And Coca Cola La Chinoise Directed by Jean-Luc Godard
96 minutes
In French with English subtitles

One of the lesser seen Godard films but one of the most notorious. This film was made in 1967 and Godard was shifting (again). His earlier movies were strongly narrative, and the films after this one would plunge into investigations on politics and aesthetics. But here, at the transition point, we have elements of both. La chinoise centers on a group of idealist Parisian youths who have taken up the cause of the Chinese Red Army and who aim to overthrow the French government. Godard had his sights firmly on the pulse of the French youth, and one of the reasons why this film is is so infamous is that it charts the inner workings of the rebellion movements growing in France, and also accurately documents a “terrorist” ideology. The film predicts the explosive events that would happen only six months later- May 1968, along with the armed struggles that would emerge in the 70s.

One of the most unique and lucid films that Godard ever conceived, it’s a documentary as much as it is a piece of deranged pop theater. The visuals are striking, often composed only of reds whites and blues, which was typical for Godard in this period…the colors of the American and French flag. The soundtrack is amazing… mixing classical and pop music containing Maoist revolutionary lyrics. The film is challenging, revealing, colorful, experimental, confronting and insightful. A Mao-rock, cine-Marx spectacle. Starring Anne Wiazemsky and Jean-Pierre Leaud.


Also screened this evening:
Piece Touchée (1989)
Directed by Martin Arnold
15 minutes

Martin Arnold is an Austrian experimental filmmaker renowned for his reworkings of Hollywood footage. Arnold´s original material for this film is a piece of “found-footage” from the 50’s. The original sequence was 18 seconds long and here it is stretched out to 15 minutes. Frame by frame, it reveals hidden connections existing beneath the surface of Hollywood cinema.

But pièce touchée is more than just a matter of forms. The reflections, distortions and delays it displays challenge Hollywood´s stable system of space and time. Director Arnold worked one and a half years on this piece. He used an optical printer that he made himself and photographed over 150,000 single images, and then wrote down the sequences of the frames in a two hundred page score. Pièce touchée weeds out the gender-political implications that underlies Hollywood films and conventions. It is the return of the repressed, expressed as a trauma. Its a fine example of aesthetic terrorism, or as the director puts it, “Maybe this is my revenge on film history”.

Saturday June 30 Presentation of the new Werker Magazine

Werker 8 – T-shirt Summary

Werker Magazine is a contextual publication about photography and labour that inquires the possibility of formulating a contemporary representation of work. In which forms does work appear in post-fordist society? What representations of labour are being produced nowadays? Is it possible to activate collective practices of self-representation? For what purpose? For which audience?

The Worker Photographers from the ’20s were the first amateur photographers to use the camera politically. They were pioneer in what we could call a ‘civil and collective use’ of photography. Far from having a rhetorical approach to Worker Photography, we are interested in their radical practice of photography based on self-representation, self-publishing and image critique.

Werker Magazine will present a new issue specially developed for the occasion. Come and get your T-shirt!

This project is a collaboration between Marc Roig Blesa and Rogier Delfos.

Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS
Rozengracht 207A
1016 LZ Amsterdam
The Netherlands