On the 20th anniversary of Gilles Deleuze’s passing, this day of screenings, readings and discussion is an extended investigation of the influential French philosopher’s relationship to cinema and pedagogy. Presented by filmmakers and artists Silvia Maglioni and Graeme Thomson, the event begins with their essay film Facs of Life (2009). The film draws on encounters with a number of the thinker’s former students, navigating between the terrains of documentary, fiction and essay to explore aspects of Deleuze’s philosophical legacy. The screening is followed by a panel discussion with guests on his continued influence, considering the reception, transmission and translation of knowledge, and the archive as a space of contamination – a living entity. The afternoon will also feature excerpts from Through the Letterbox, an ongoing project where Maglioni and Thomson refilm and subtitle the video archives of Deleuze’s seminars at Vincennes, originally shot by Marielle Burkhalter in the 1970s, reframing them in 16/9 letterbox format as though envisioning a cinematic “chance” for thought and for these images of a lost pedagogy.
Featuring William Brown, co-editor of Deleuze and Film, and Jean-Pierre Rehm, Director of the FIDMarseille-International Film Festival Marseille.
The work of Graeme Thomson (UK) and Silvia Maglioni (IT) uses numerous interconnected forms and media, including film, exhibition, sound and video installation, performances, radio broadcasts, experimental workshops and books. Their projects often make use of cinema to reactivate lost or forgotten archives and histories and to create experimental modes of collective engagement with contemporary thought and politics.. Their work has been widely presented at international film festivals, museums and art galleries. Silvia Maglioni & Graeme Thomson are currently artists in residence at Les Laboratories d’Aubervilliers where they are developing a new project, “common infra/ctions”.
Facs of Life (Graeme Thomson & Silvia Maglioni, HDV, 116 mns., 2009)
A documentary, work of fiction and essay film, Facs of Life maps several trajectories of life and thought, beginning from a series of encounters:with video footage of Gilles Deleuze’s courses at Vincennes (1975-76),with a number of students who attended the seminar and who appear in these images, with the woods where the university buildings once stood, and with students of the new university at St Denis; The eight plateaus that compose the film each fall under a key concept-word that defines the territory of each student’s relationship to Deleuze’s thought and the nature of the filmmakers’ encounter with them. Facs of Life has been screened at numerous film festivals including FID-MARSEILLE, BAFICI, JIHLAVA, Il Vento del Cinema as well as museums and art spaces including Tate Britain, Serralves, Anthology Film Archives, Ludwig Museum, Castello di Rivoli.
For Sat 31 October and Sun 1 November, Graeme Thomson & Silvia Maglioni install their work Leanings in the Reading Room.
Graeme Thomson & Silvia Maglioni
3-screen installation (HD monitors, DVD players)
Leanings combines rushes from Thomson and Maglioni’s Facs of Life, which the filmmakers describe as being “with and between Gilles Deleuze and his students”, and Through the Letterbox, an ongoing project of refilming and reframing the video archive of Deleuze at Vincennes (originally shot by Marielle Burkhalter in 1975-76). Each component of the installation presents a form of leaning, whether upon, over, towards or away from, and sometimes combing all of these inclinations. In “To the Desiring Machines” a lone figure leans precariously out towards the rush of oncoming traffic as he reads passages from Deleuze and Guattari’s Anti-Oedipus. In “Through the Letterbox”, Deleuze, amid myriad other matters, speaks of the micropolitics of borders and the leanings of mosquitos towards the outside edge of the swarm. In “The Digital Cahier (Points of Present, Sheets of Past)”, both the camera and composer Pascale Criton lean over her meticulously arranged notebooks from Deleuze’s seminar as she talks about how her leanings towards his thought have affected her music. Taken together, the three components of Leanings constitute a reflection on the multiple links between leaning and learning and open up a space of multi-directional transmission far from standard pedagogical models.