NEW CENTURIES ARE RARE + AN EXCAVATION + AN ASIAN GHOST STORY
New Centuries are Rare
coyote / Sweden / 2023 / 12 min / World Premiere
A collective video work that activates the many stories embedded in the mining area where the Norberg techno festival is held every summer.
‘New Centuries are Rare’ establishes a timeline from the 1900s miner strikes to the establishment of the electronic music festival in Norberg a hundred years later, when the rave scene moved into the old industrial buildings. With shots stretching from the political struggles of miners in the unions of the time to the post-industrialisation of today, Danish-Swedish artist collective coyote have created a video work shrouded in the fumes of both mining and smoke machines, illustrated by clips from the early rave parties that laid the foundations of alternative club culture in the 1990s as a place not only for hedonistic escapism, but for political activity in theory and practice. Psychological, chemical and technological rhythms resonate across the archaic topography of the place over a hundred years.
Maeve Brennan / United Kingdom, Denmark / 2022 / 20 min / International Premiere
Three crates of 2500-year-old Greek vases are excavated for the second time by two history experts, who uncover the many new layers of meaning that have emerged in the meantime.
In 2014, 45 boxes full of stolen antiquities were discovered in a warehouse at Geneva airport. The artefacts belonged to the now dethroned art dealer Robin Symes and contained tens of thousands of archaeological objects worth a total of over seven million pounds. Three of the boxes were sent for examination by two experts in Aarhus. Maeve Brennan’s video work documents the work of the two experts in mapping the remains of the ancient Greek vases, which were excavated for a second time – but this time from the vast illegal market in rare art objects. The vases, which are over 2500 years old, were originally used in funeral rituals and depict scenes from the kingdom of the dead. With forensic precision and professional accuracy, Brennan closely depicts how two historical narratives – and two vastly different periods in human history – merge in a present in which the priceless artifacts are revealed to hold new layers of meaning.
An Asian Ghost Story
Bo Wang / Netherlands, Hong Kong / 2023 / 37 min / World Premiere
A cinematic and conceptually inventive film that explores the haunting memories of Asia’s late 20th-century modernization through the large-scale export of wigs during the Cold War. Yet, in every wig resides a ghost from the imperial past.
Wigs were vital for the rise of the Asian economy in the post-war era. In the heyday of the 1960s, it was the number four export in Hong Kong’s export-orientated industrialization. Between Mao’s China – the largest source of hair supplies, and the insatiable Western market, Hong Kong functioned as the gateway. In 1965, U.S. Treasury Department imposed an embargo on “Asiatic hair”, to cut off foreign currency to Communist China in the hair trade. The highly racialized category of “Asiatic hair” was later revised as “communist hair”, to enable the wig industry to develop in U.S. allies including mainly South Korea and Japan, which led to a significant reconfiguration of light industry in East Asia. Departing from the moment of the communist hair ban, through stories of movement, diaspora and migration, this project examines the role of Hong Kong as a transient space that mediates and sanitizes the connection between different worlds, and the relationship between U.S. Imperialism and East Asia order in the Cold War era.