As I Was Moving Ahead

As I Was Moving Ahead
Date: 3.8—11.8.23
Institution: Filmfestival Locarno
Location: Locarno, CH

Moving Images And Images Moving By Our Side 

How paracinema can guide us through contemporary media 

We are living in pictures. Our joys, sorrows and desires mirrored in life-size kaleidoscopes. For, with the rise of the Internet and communication tools, we now have access to an infinite pool of abstract images—“flicks” in the Cloud. This is why we curated As I Was Moving Ahead, both as an art exhibition and a platform for presenting innovative thoughts on the future of cinema in its multifaceted forms. We felt it was necessary to address what has become of the medium in the everchanging mediascape of our time. 

Sixty years ago, avant-garde filmmakers asked a similar ques-tion: how can we make a film without money or resources? Their answer was to strip cinema bare: no camera, no film, no infrastructure. Once you rid mainstream cinema of economics, you are left with emotions and stories. These works got to the heart of cinema: not just moving images but images moving us—emotionally, spatially. Poems made of points and lines, where we are the ones filling the blanks. 

In the 1990’s, movie scholars named these practices “para-cinema”. That is, movies (cinema) produced outside of, or parallel (para) to mainstream theatre. Thus, we invited different people from various backgrounds to experiment with this very notion to produce original artworks. Asked to create with (para)cinema in mind, their pieces will radically challenge the spectators’ expectations of “film” and reflect on how the 21st century has given rise to new means of storytelling. 

Cinema has reshaped our brains and eyes. We now see reality as a grand theatre, through which we are drifting ahead. As we impulsively take out our phones to snap menial events, is it not because we seek for some kind of meaning? “Para-cinema” was once an opaque word for obscure art, but today it has more than ever become relevant for describing the very essence of cinema, which has finally attained its full potential: images moving by our side. 

Anthony Bekirov & Justine Stella Knuchel