Sunday, November 4 at 6pm at the Cinema 2 of Centre Georges Pompidou.
Screening of Melvin Moti's,The Prisoner’s Cinema, 2008.
Sound, Colour – 35mm film
The screening will be followed by a conversation between artists Melvin Moti and Rossella Biscotti.
(held in English).
“The Prisoner’s Cinema” is a phenomenon that is described in neuro and optical science as visual hallucinations taking place in response to prolonged visual deprivation. The experiments conducted by a scientist have helped describing this phenomenon substantially. Prisoners confined in a dark cell have repeatedly reported this phenomenon, hence the name. It is however not strictly related to darkness; truck drivers have reported it after being stuck in a snowstorm. Whenever a person is completely cut off from visual information, as a result of looking at a ‘blank screen’, visual hallucinations will appear. They take the form of geometric light shapes, which are seemingly ‘projected’ about a hand stretch away from the subject. This experience can be related to cinema; however, it is impossible to record it. It thus remains a hyperpersonal light projection.
Melvin Moti is interested in the relation between hallucinations and formalism. Those ‘form constants’, geometric patterns which are recurrently observed during hallucinations, are forms of which the interpretation is not culturally biased. It will appear in different ages, in different cultures without altering in its meaning. As they always remain unchanged, these are forms without a history or future.
The Prisoner’s Cinema shows light shining through a rose window. As we look into an abstract light projection, slowly geometric shapes take form. And the voice of a scientist having been deprived of his senses during several days, describes his hallucinations. The film is also about the origins of cinema, one’s capacity to create images, the unconscious, and the history of abstraction.
This film was produced by the FRAC Champagne Ardennes.
Melvin Moti was born in 1977. He lives and works in Rotterdam.