Attica

Attica

Manon de Boer

16mm installation/video, b/w, 4:3, mono, BE, 2008, 9'55"

In collaboration with several musicians, De Boer staged a performance for camera of Frederic Rzewski’s 1972 composition Attica as well as the related work, Coming Together, also composed in 1972. Rzewski, who was living in New York at the time, composed Attica in a circular structure of euphoric crescendo and denouement. The basic canon structure music, which invites improvised elements, is mirrored by the cumulating then diminishing articulation of a sentence: Attica – is – in – front – of – me . The words were reportedly spoken by Richard S. Clark, a participant of the uprising, upon his release from Attica prison on 8 February 1972, or more precisely, when asked the question of how it felt to leave the prison behind.

De Boer’s film, shot on black & white 16 mm stock, comprises of one, long, slow, circular pan that begins with the musicians and then leaves them to encompass the entire studio setting of the performance, eventually returning (roughly) to the opening frame. It is projected directly from a 16mm projector, which adds its own sound, and is scored by a simultaneously captured recording of the musical performance, played on a single speaker. The end of Coming Together, which is based on the letters of another inmate at the time of the riots, is played before the musicians shift to a full rendition of Attica. Jan Rzewski, the composer’s son who is a musician, articulates the sentence half speaking, half singing each word. In the middle of the composition, as the canonical musical structure progresses to the point where Rzewski articulates the entire phrase, the camera briefly rests on a view of the musicians that looks to be the same as the opening shot, but in fact mirrors this first view in the large window of the studio. Cinematic, musical, poetic and social structures reflect each other. (Monika Szewczyk)

Music Coming Together (fragment) & Attica (1972) by Frederic Rzewski
Musicians Laurent Blondiau, George van Dam, Emmanuel Louis, Jan Rzewski
Image Sébastien Koeppel
Sound recording Aline Blondiau
Final sound mixing Aline Blondiau & Gilles Bénardeau (Alea Jacta Production)
Editing: Stempel sprl
Produced by Fine Arts Unternehmen video + film, Berlin
Co-produced by Jan Mot

Attica

Has recently been on display at the following locations:

Ryerson Image Centre Toronto (CA), Jan 18 – Apr 9 Centre de Cultura Contemporània Barcelona (ES), Jan 15 Le Point du Jour centre d'art Cherbourg (FR), Sep 10 – Dec 4, 2016 Cinema Aventure Brussel (BE), Dec 18, 2015 — 19:30 Tate Modern London (GB), Oct 6, 2015 Whitechapel Gallery London (GB), Sep 17 – Nov 29, 2015 Fokus Festival Kopenhagen (DK), Feb 28, 2015 Videonale 15 Bonn (DE), Feb 27 – Apr 19, 2015 CPH:DOX Copenhagen (DK), Nov 6-16, 2014 Cinematek Brussel (BE), Oct 20, 2014 — 19:00 Festival International du Film de La Roche sur Yon (FR), Oct 19, 2014 Cinematek Brussel (BE), Oct 17, 2014 — 19:00 Cinematek Brussel (BE), Oct 16, 2014 — 21:00 Bonner Kunstverein Bonn (DE), Aug 23 – Oct 10, 2014 International Short Film Festival Hamburg (DE), Jun 5, 2014 — 19:45 Labo / MAAC Brussel (BE), May 3, 2014 — 19:00 Beursschouwburg Brussel (BE), Nov 21, 2013 — 20:30 21er Haus Vienna (AT), Jun 12, 2013 Centre d'Art Contemporain Geneva (CH), Jun 5 – Jul 21, 2013 Art Brussels - ING Brussel (BE), Apr 19-22, 2012 Peuple & Culture Marseille (FR), Feb 9, 2012 La Plate-Forme Dunkerque (FR), Sep 23 – Dec 4, 2011 Tramway contemporary arts centre Glasgow (GB), Jun 25, 2011 Sculpture Center New York (US), May 9 – Jul 25, 2011 Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (US), Jan 21 – May 1, 2011 Concertgebouw Brugge (BE), Sep 25-26, 2010 Media City Seoul (KR), Sep 7 – Nov 17, 2010 Bonniers konsthall Stockholm (SE), Mar 10-21, 2010 Les Ecrans Documentaires Arcueil (FR), Oct 30, 2009 — 20:00 Impakt Festival Utrecht (BE), Oct 16, 2009 — 15:00 Frieze Art Fair London (GB), Oct 15-18, 2009 Versus_V Oudenaarde (BE), Sep 24 – Oct 24, 2009 Alden Biesen Bilzen (BE), Jul 4 – Aug 30, 2009 NADA New Video Nights, Horton & Co New York (US), May 26, 2009 — 18:30 Smart Project Space Amsterdam (NL), May 17, 2009 MACBA Barcelona (ES), May 15 – Aug 31, 2009 Underdox Munchen (DE), Apr 4, 2009 Videonale 12 Bonn (DE), Mar 25 – Apr 27, 2009 Konsthall Lund (SE), Jan 31 – Mar 29, 2009 Filmer à Tout Prix, Botanique Brussels (BE), Nov 22, 2008 Urania, Viennale Vienna (AT), Oct 23-24, 2008 FRAC Nord-Pas de Calais, Tri Postal, Lille (FR), Oct 9-26, 2008 Nam June Paik Festival Seoul (KR), Oct 8, 2008 – Feb 5, 2009 Underdox Festival Munich (DE), Oct 4-5, 2008 actOral Festival international des arts et écritures contemporaines Marseille (FR), Sep 30 – Oct 11, 2008 Kunst-Werke Berlin (DE), Sep 28 – Nov 16, 2008 FID Marseille (FR), Jul 2-6, 2008 Biennale Berlin (DE), May 6, 2008 Courtisane, Vooruit & Sphinx Gent (BE), Apr 21-27, 2008 Frankfurter Kunstverein Frankfurt (DE), Feb 7 – Apr 27, 2008 Jan Mot Brussels (BE), Jan 17 – Mar 1, 2008