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Art Alert: Townhouse to screen films on power of photography

On 26 February, Cairo's Townhouse Gallery will hold its 'Optic Hygiene' screening, showing two short films that explore the power photographic images have on our perception of reality

Ahram Online , Sunday 23 Feb 2014
jetee main
Still from Chris Marker's 'La Jetée', screening on Wednesday in Townhouse
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On Wednesday, the Townhouse Gallery in downtown Cairo will host a screening of two short films that deal with the power of photographic images and the influence they exert on our perception of reality.

The evening, titled ‘Optic Hygiene’ will take place in the rooftop studio of the gallery, and will be accompanied by an intimate barbecue on the roof terrace.

The first film that will be shown is the 19-minute short film Rose Hobart (1932) by American artist and avant-garde filmmaker Joseph Cornell. The film is the result of Cornell's re-editing of a 1931 film titled East of Borneo into a surrealist collage, mixed with documentary footage depicting an eclipse. The film takes its name from East of Borneo’s star, Rose Hobart.

The second film is renowned French documentarian Chris Marker's La Jetée (The Jetty, 1962), a science fiction narrative that dealing with time travel in a post-apocalyptic world, and is comprised almost entirely of still photos. The film runs for 28 minutes and is considered by many critics as Marker's most influential work. La Jetée was also the inspiration behind director Terry Gilliam's 1995 film 12 Monkeys. 

Optical Hygiene is a prequel to a wider set of screenings titled 'The Featherweight Portable Cinema', debuting in Townhouse's neighbouring Rawabet Theatre on 1 March. It also complements the Barry Iverson exhibition 'The House of Rare Historic Photographs' which is currently on show at Townhouse's first floor gallery.

Wednesday, 26 February at 8pm
Rooftop Studios, 7 Nubar Street, 11th Floor, Mounira, Cairo


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