Filmed off the coast of New Bedford, Massachusetts, at one time the whaling capital of the world as well as Melville’s inspiration for Moby Dick, it is today the country’s largest fishing port with over 500 ships sailing from its harbour every month. Leviathan follows one such vessel, a hulking groundfish trawler, into the surrounding murky black waters on a week-long fishing expedition. Instead of romanticising or partaking in the longstanding tradition of turning fisher folk into images, filmmakers Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel present a vivid, almost kaleidoscopic representation of the work, the sea, the machinery, and the players, both human and marine.
This screening is part of the public programme of Amar Kanwar: The Sovereign Forest.
Director of the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University, Lucien Castaing-Taylor (United Kingdom/United States) is an anthropologist and artist whose work seeks to conjugate art's negative capability with an ethnographic attachment to the flux of life. His work is in the permanent collection of Museum of Modern Art, New York, United States, and the British Museum, London, United Kingdom, has been exhibited at major museums in Europe and United States, and has formed the subject of symposia at the Smithsonian Institution, the Musée du quai Branly, and the British Museum. His films and videos have screened at Berlin, Locarno, New York, Toronto and other film festivals.
Véréna Paravel is a filmmaker and anthropologist. Her work which explores evanescent forms of intimacy, mediation, and space in a variety of media, is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, United States. Paravel’s film, Foreign Parts (with J.P. Sniadecki, 2010), won seven international awards, including the Leopard for Best First Feature and the Best First Feature Jury award at the Festival del Film Locarno (2010) and the Punto de Vista Award for Best Film (2011). A New York Times Critics’ Pick, it was also an official selection of the New York Film Festival (2010) and the Viennale (2010).
Hila Peleg (Israel/Germany) is a curator and filmmaker based in Berlin, Germany. Peleg was co-curator of Manifesta 7 European Biennial of Contemporary Art (Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, 2008), and curator of the film programme at the 10th Shanghai Art Biennale (2014). Her films, A Crime Against Art (2007) and Sign Space (2016), were screened in many festivals worldwide. Peleg is the Founder and Artistic Director of the biannual programme Berlin Documentary Forum at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, editor of the book, Documentary Across Disciplines (MIT Press, 2016) and one of the curators of Documenta 14, which will take place in Athens and Kassel in 2017.
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