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Mike Hoolboom | Talk

At the International Kurzfilmtage Winterthur, we might meet Mike Hoolboom, main guest at this year festival. Kindly hosted by the House of Winterthur, Filmexplorer has recorded Jean Perret in dialogue with a charming artist whose talk is simply magnetic; a dialogue between two friends that touches important topics on the form of the creative filmmaking.

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Many of Mike Hoolboom’s images are found footage, but this material is not a tool for nostalgic contemplation. More than on memory, Hoolboom is focused on the living presence of the document. Under his treatment, the filmic matter takes life, becomes organic, and the emotional vibration of his images goes together with a critical appropriation of the images: the gesture of analysis often takes the form of a “simple” reframing, always with a perfect awareness of the logic of power of the camera.

Hoolboom is a multimedia artist, even when he makes “just” a film. For the text, the voice, the sound, the rhythm, the photography, the story, emerge each as a world that is explored and sensed in its own force. Like Igor Stravinsky did for each note, the Canadian artist seems to give each shot its own treatment. The result is a style of great intensity, where the narrative is a land mined with abysms, a journey punctuated by vertiginous accelerations of emotions. This is the art of digression, as opposed to the culture of consensus. Hoolboom: «I try to make a picture of what democracy could look like».

One can label his cinema as essayistic or transcendental, but Hoolboom is not a magician that uses the film to push you beyond the ordinary, or to reveal an unknown place to you. He places himself in the extraordinary, he himself experiences the unknown – and we feel that his films are not meant to convey something to us, but just to express his own ecstatic stance, to express the urgency of a lived life. In the age of information and communication, his films are just entities, which are exposed to be shared, they are the skin of his own experience – be this experience loaded with social criticism or with existential poetry. Therefore, there is a haptic relationship between the camera and the bodies, the faces, his own voice. Here, the violence of beauty and the violence of death conflate.

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Jean Perret: From the “Catalogue” of the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur 2018

[…] On sait Mike Hoolboom envoûté par les sons, les voix, qu’il enregistre et intègre dans le dispositifs de ses films. Monologues, parfois des dialogues, réfléchis, intimes, murmurés. Jeux de voix. Ils participent de leurs profondeurs aux accents récurrents humides, aquatiques. Recording audio – the air conditioning in hotels. The ice making machines, the wind – so many winds – hear too much, it stirs the wind inside of my body, and than I can’t sleep.

Le corps de souffrance que la maladie accable et que le suicide rappelle à sa fragilité première est tout autant le corps poétique du désir, de la sensualité et du sexe. La rencontre amoureuse est espérée même dans le tumulte d’une manifestation politique.

Le cinéma de Mike Hoolboom ? Une autofiction. Un moi-je, qui est un toi-tu, qui est notre jeu. Un jeu de cinéma d’une invention forcenée, imprimant dans l’âme et le corps de bonnes raisons de vivre coûte que coûte avec des films façonnés dans la nécessaire patience faite de mille urgences.

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Jean Perret: From « Mike Hoolboom – une mémoire inquiète », 2007

[…] L’œuvre de Mike Hoolboom est une métaphore de l’univers du cinéma dans lequel nous évoluons en somnambules effarés guidés vers des éclats de lumière. Indispensables, ils fertilisent la mémoire pour faire échec à l’oubli définitif des êtres et des choses. C’est une inquiétude existentielle, une lucidité espiègle aussi, qui instillent au travail de Mike Hoolboom son émouvante beauté. Il s’est attelé à une réinvention du cinéma qu’il développe dans le corps même du cinéma (et de ses avatars télévisuels). Son œuvre aux inflexions d’un palimpseste sans cesse en devenir est nécessairement marginale et iconoclaste. Elle donne sens à une vision du monde dans laquelle, il est toujours vrai, les images montrent le mort au travail. Mais Mike Hoolboom n’est pas morbide. C’est le sentiment roboratif de plaisirs insoupçonnés qu’il donne en partage.

 

Text: Giuseppe Di Salvatore | Audio/Video: Ruth Baettig

First published: December 02, 2018

Mike Hoolboom | Guest | Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur 2018

More Info on the Programme at the Internationale Kurzfilmtage Winterthur 2018 

Mike Hoolboom’s Website 

Mike Hoolboom on vimeo

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