MIKHAIL KARIKISVoices, Communities, Ecologies

Cinema
Fri, 28 Oct 2022
22:30 – 23:30

in collaboration with Passos Manuel

Cinema Passos Manuel
Rua de Passos Manuel 137, Porto (ao Coliseu) 
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Free admission

Sismógrafo, in collaboration with Passos Manuel, presents a program around Mikhail Karikis's filmography. One day before the opening of his exhibition Somos o tempo [We are the Weather] at Sismógrafo, it will take place Voices, Communities, Ecologies - a body of five films.

Sounds from Beneath (2012), 7’

For his first collaboration with a community, Mikhail Karikis worked with a group of old miners in England, twenty years after they lost their jobs, and their village was abandoned. The video is set on the disused coal mine where the group of miners used to work until 1986 when the then British government closed it down. Over a six-month period, Karikis invited the miners to recall and sing the sounds they used to hear when they worked in the mine, and he created a composition with those sounds. In the video (co-created with Uriel Orlow), the desolate colliery transforms into an amphitheatre resonating sounds of subterranean explosions, alarms and other mechanical sounds, as well as a miners’ lament, all sung by the miners. The writer and curator Katerina Gregos wrote: “documenting a community of workers who serviced an industry of extractivism, Karikis’s work is at once political and poetic, cutting through conventions of documentary realism and exploring the solidarity of sharing a common purpose in work and song. It functions as a salvaging of memory, a tribute and a collective lament.”

 

SeaWomen (2013), 16’

This work is a video and sound installation adapted for cinema screening. It focuses on a disappearing community of elderly female sea workers living on the North Pacific island of Jeju – a volcanic South Korean island between Japan and China. The work was created during Karikis’s stay on the island when he encountered a group of female divers between 70 and 80 years old. The women dive to depths of up to twenty metres with no oxygen supply to find pearls and catch seafood using a traditional breathing technique that is passed from one generation to the next. This ancient profession became the dominant economic force on the island by the 1970s, establishing a matriarchal system. Karikis’s observational film witnesses the old women’s insistence on traditional sustainable ecofeminist work operating outside the trend of industrialised fishing. It captures the reversal of traditional gender roles, the women’s sense of community and collective economics, their sound subculture, their professional identity, purpose and fun in later life. Since the making of this work, the culture of this community has been designated a UNESCO intangible cultural heritage status and Karikis’s sound recordings have featured on David Attenborough’s documentary on the Aquatic Mammal Hypothesis for the BBC. 

 

Children of Unquiet (2014), 16’

This film explores themes of post-industrialisation, sustainability, and futurity. Karikis worked with forty-five children between the ages of 5 and 12, who live in a volcanically active region known as the Devil’s Valley in Tuscany where the world’s first sustainable energy power plant was built in 1910s. Until the 1980s, five thousand workers and their families lived in industrial villages constructed there, but they were abandoned due to unemployment caused by the automation of the geothermal power plant. This film orchestrates an imaginary children’s take-over of a deserted industrial village and its surrounding areas. In three chapters we witness the children creating a choral portrait of the area, reading about love as a vehicle of change, and taking over the area with joyful play. 

 

Ain’t Got No Fear (2016), 10’

This project was created with a group of young teenage boys growing up in a militarised industrial marshland in south-east England. In response to the isolation of their village and the lack of space for teenagers, in 2015, youth were organising raves in a secluded local wood in the area until they were raided by the police. Karikis worked with the young people for a year to explore ways in which industrial sites can be re-imagined with an energy that is defined by friendship, love and play, and a form of spatial justice driven by the thrill of subverting authority and evading adult surveillance. Ain’t Got No Fear is reminiscent of a music video clip. Sampling the crashing noises of the local power plant Karikis and the young people co-wrote a rap song in which the youth sing about their childhoods and future. The film glimpses into teenage experiences on the edges of urbanity. It follows youths to their secret underground hideaways and captures their noisy reclaiming of their local site wearing demon-like masks in a playful and critical response to feelings of demonisation by adults and the police. 

 

No Ordinary Protest (2018), 8’

For this film Karikis collaborated with seven-year-old students from an East London primary school and adopted the science-fiction novel The Iron Woman, by Ted Hughes, as an eco-feminist parable in which listening and noise-making become tools to bring about change. In Karikis’s film, a group of young children receive a mysterious message about an enigmatic noise and an ecological emergency caused by adults. They debate and discover a shared sense of responsibility towards the environment and animals. The children’s singing begins to vibrate matter and they transform into masked agitators testing their powers through communal noise-making. 

 

Mikhail Karikis (Thessaloniki, GR, 1975) lives between London and Lisbon. His work in the fields of moving image, sound, performance, and other media has been shown in the contemporary art biennials, museums and film festivals. Selected, in 2019 and 2016, to the Film London Jarman Award, UK, Karikis exhibits internationally, including: Lisboa Soa, PT (2022); 2nd Riga Biennial, LV (2020); Kochi-Muziris Biennale, IN (2016); British Art Show 8, UK (2015-2017); Steirischer Herbst, AT (2015); 5th Thessaloniki Biennale, GR (2015); 19th Biennale of Sydney, AU (2014); Mediacity Seoul/SeMA Biennale, Seoul, KR (2014); Videonale 14, Kunstmuseum Bonn, DE (2013); 2nd Aichi Triennale, JP (2013); Manifesta 9, BE (2012); Danish Pavilion, 54th Venice Biennale, IT (2011). His solo exhibitions have been presented at Carpintarias de São Lázaro, PT (2022); Tate Liverpool, UK (2020); Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, IT (2019); Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, UK (2019-2020); De la Warr Pavilion, UK (2019-2020); MORI Art Museum, Tokyo, JP (2019); Whitechapel Gallery, London, UK (2018-2019) and Turku Art Museum, FI (2018) among others. Karikis has released three solo music albums, performs as a musician and is runs the PhD programme at MIMA School of the Arts and Creative Industries.

Cinema
Fri, 28 Oct 2022
22:30 – 23:30

in collaboration with Passos Manuel

Cinema Passos Manuel
Rua de Passos Manuel 137, Porto (ao Coliseu) 
view on map

Free admission