Second Saturday Series @ AUX
Saturday June 8, 2013
Vox Populi is excited to welcome the collaborative duo Danny Snelson and Mashinka Firunts to AUX for an evening of scholarly research, speculative film editing, poetry, performance, translation, and exploration. Through a series of live lectures, performances, and film screenings they will be presenting an interpretation of a lost Esther Shub/Sergei Eisenstein propagandistic re-redit of Fritz Lang’s Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler entitled “Gilded Rot Recut.”
Working under Esther Shub, a young Eisenstein began learning methodologies and approaches to montage that would become the cornerstone of his cinematic aesthetic. During this time period the Soviet government commissioned reworkings of Western films for a Soviet audience. These re-edits were meant to align with anti-bourgeois values and warn against the ways of the West. In 1924, Shub and Eisenstein were tasked with the re-edit of The Gambler, part of Lang’s Dr. Mabuse series. The newly montaged version was completed over 5 days, but unfortunately has been lost to time. However some of the original intertitles for this Soviet remake survived, sitting for over 70 years in the RGALI Archives. The intertitles were recently unearthed and published in the Russian film journal “Notes on Film History” but otherwise left with little scholarship or research around them. Firunts has translated them to English and the Snelson worked to modify the language for a contemporary audience. Together with this new text they have used the remaining footage from Lang to speculatively piece together a new edit of the film.
While inter-titles were typically subservient to the image (adding action and information when visuals did not hold up) here the image is subservient to this new narrative superimposed on the Dr. Mabuse imagery. This evokes important questions about the narrative bulk of imagery and how easily images are removed and reinstalled into new contexts. Through the addition of live performance and modern language/poetry/lecture, this evening aims to also reevaluate the unavoidable nostalgia of the archive and propose a reading of media history through a contemporary media moment.
In an era of fan vids, Youtube montages, and crowdsourced video editing, we are looking back at a moment when a government was actively commissioning the manipulation and appropriation of cinema/moving pictures. Additionally for Firunts, as a former communist subject, this brings up questions how to not play into a Soviet past and reevaluate an inherited cultural history in a globalized present.
We are excited to present this diverse evening of programming and collaboration between a 1922 film, a 1924 text and two contemporary scholars and artists. Please join us at 8pm for the programming.
Second Saturday is a monthly performance series that highlights emerging practices in performance and media based arts. Please join us at AUX every second Saturday of the month for performance, film, video, and sound works by national and international emerging and established artists.