Experimental Support Structures for Moving Images – Experimenta. The International Festival for Moving Image Art in India 2009, Bangalore

Wolf, Nicole. 2010. Experimental Support Structures for Moving Images – Experimenta. The International Festival for Moving Image Art in India 2009, Bangalore. Afterall, online edition, [Article]

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Abstract or Description

Experimenta, the first and only festival of experimental cinema in India, came back after a one year break with a programme focused on the historical and contemporary relations between visual arts and film practices. After being initially based in Mumbai and appearing in Delhi in 2004, the festival now forms part of the vibrant cultural scene in Bangalore. Experimenta 2009 stressed and embedded itself within the upcoming experimental film and video scene in Asia with curated programs from South Korea and Thailand. It further showcased films from North America and Europe, though included only two selections from India itself. Rather then this representing a lack of interest or practice of experimental moving image work in India, this looking beyond India can be linked to the curatorial choices of Shai Heredia, curator and founder of Experimenta and Filter India (an independent platform for film art), who through the festival programming, as well as through her research project Excavating Indian Experimental Film, has gradually created a platform for examining the many different traces of experimental film and video within the history and present of Indian cinema. Heredia has also brought a series of international trajectories to an Indian audience in order to foster a dialogue between diverse histories of experimental moving image work. Earlier editions of Experimenta thus revisited Dhundiraj Govind Phalke's early cinema works taking up mythological contents; experimental documentary short films about family-planning, made within the government's Films Division in the 1960s and 70s that fall outside Film Division's more formulaic educational and propagandist style; or Indian New Wave cinema's play with fictional narratives. The festival has set those partly forgotten works next to contemporary practices in India that challenge documentary realism through the use of fiction, abstraction or found footage. One also saw programmes representing Structuralist film-making and Expanded Cinema in Britain and Germany, and contemporary video art works from different international contexts.

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Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Visual Cultures


March 2010Published

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Date Deposited:

04 Apr 2016 13:38

Last Modified:

07 Jul 2017 15:23



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