Real Crimes




Thursday: 2 of March 7 pm

A screening & discussion!

A filmmaker eats a poem, fire eats a forest, flies eat a body and people eat one another in a flurry of frightened desires. These four short films, each strikingly different in their formal approaches, consider benefit born out of destruction.

Chalton Gallery is excited to present a screening of works made in Mexico, Canada and the USA by Chris Kraus and Sylvére Lotringer, Cressida Kocienski, Isidore Bethel and Lucy Pawlak. The screening will be followed by a short discussion with Pawlak and Kocienski.

- The Poem Itself - Isidore Bethel (9 min)
The filmmaker asks a poet to write verses about something dear to her. He shares her poem with three people and then destroys the only copy. The three readers and author reflect on what remains of the text.

- How To Shoot a Crime - Chris Kraus and Sylvère Lotringer (27 min, 1987)
A Crime A Death A City: How to Shoot A Crime aggressively conflates the anonymous public mourning enacted by 
police crime scene videos with the 'crime' of gentrification then taking place at the Fulton Street Seaport and the 80s taste for pop sadomasochism. The film was largely composed of archival footage, and video interviews made by Sylvere Lotringer with dominatrixes Terence Sellars and Mlle. Victoire. The NY artist-access production/post-production studio Film Video Arts banned all work on it at the facility “on moral grounds."

- We Eat The Earth / The Earth Eats Us - Lucy Pawlak (15 min, 2016)
At the fringes of Mexico City, disembodied and isolated individuals stalk quarries and rubbish dumps, the front and back ends of cycles of consumption. Oblivious to their apocalyptic surroundings, they believe themselves to be in residential or commercial interiors. The characters collaborate on constructing pyramids of frightened desire and fervent consumption. They plug the holes and stop up doubts with a plague of fantasies.
This film weaves a narrative network of melodramatic episodes describing the romantic relations between six characters. Each episode evolved from choreographic collaborations with a dancer in response to narration.

- Unorganised North Algoma - Cressida Kocienski (22 min, 2014)
Organised around the “event” of forest fire — but visualising fire only as trace — Unorganised North Algoma traces the complexities of the production of the Canadian landscape by white settler populations. The film juxtaposes audio-only interviews with local residents affiliated with forest-dependent industries and images of burned sites, aerial views, fire training exercises, and an inactive mill in a remote company town. It provides subtle insights into issues affecting communities with sparse and waning populations and addresses the monetisation of every geological, biological, and social aspect of the region. Fire has a cyclical temporality that is also a pre-colonial temporality — it does not represent ruin. The voices in this landscape are let down by perceptions of time — things take too long or move too quickly as modes of gridding and expansion accelerate and intensify, despite a shrinking state.