Trance and moving image – Research Lab KABK (28 Feb h 19.30)

With a touch on a wide range of practices as photography, fine arts, graphic and interactive media design the programme of the students of the Royal Academy of Art (The Hague) will focus on visualising their personal experiences of trance and how they can convey those to the viewer, seeking to confront the variety of sensible spaces that the state of trance deals with. The session will start with a dance performance followed by the films of the students and a 16mm film by Nathaniel Dorsky; the audience will be then invited to go outside the cinema where an unfolding performance around a scroll-painting will take place.


The session is an exceptional opportunity to watch Pneuma by Nathaniel Dorsky, a ground-breaking 16mm film from the experimental scene of New York of the 1970s. The images in this film come from an extensive collection of out-dated raw stock that has been processed without being exposed, and sometimes rephotographed in closer format. Each pattern of grain takes on its own emotional life, an evocation of different aspects of our own being. A world is revealed that is alive with the organic deterioration of film itself, the essence of cinema in its before-image, preconceptual purity.

Pneuma, film by Nathaniel Dorsky, 1983, 28 min, 16mm, color, silentpneuma-nathaniel-dorsky

Unleash the dream weapon, Ink on kozo paper, 1m x 10m, installation and performance by Cyrill Rafael Vasilyev

“The contemplation of secret is like the burning of fire, which is itself the contemplation, and its sparks are signs, and the fumes are like prayer.” (Abu Ibrahim Ismaʿil ibn Yahya al-Muzani)

The performance will show an undoing of time in a loop of self-reflexive self-reiteration, rolled out on a scroll of Japanese paper on one of the walls of the film museum.


Patterns of light, dance performance by Silvana Gordon, Hannah Reede, Sophie Schwartz, sound by Ellen van den Assem, 5 min

Everything is flowing past our eyes and nothing is still. Things come and go just as fast as each other, slowly losing reality and succumbing to the vibrations that fill the space, grasping our minds and movements with patterns of light following our every move.


Trail, film by Kin Mun Chong, 3 min 03

“Is it heavenly and euphoric as foretold by religious texts? A communal experience that brings us closer to the divine? The experience of trance is described as sensorial to some, pseudoscience to the others. Growing up in a Buddhist family, I was raised to believe that I could achieve a state of trance through meditation. After years of reasoning, I begin to question the superstitious aspects of it. But it remains a choice that I would make. And somewhere in the back of my head, I believe that you have to let go certain attachments to walk this trail.”


In Transport, film and piano performance by Sophie Daalman, 3 min 25

“This movie is about the fear I have for trains; trains as a metaphor for life, as an ongoing thing. I see people living their life, and I see life living the people. A train usually brings you from point A to point B, but it can also just take you away forever.”


Trance, motion, extasis, silence, film by Ariane Toussaint, sound by Stefano Sgarbi, 3 min 50

When we think of moving image, the image has a meaning always placed within its context. On the contrary the film Trance, motion, extasis, silence is seeking to grasp the essence of an image, of a memory, of a landscape, and answer the question if it is possible to reach that essence, like a moment in time where time has no duration but is only time itself.


I have walked sixty four thoughts over leaves, film by Jamy Osinga

“The activity of merely walking. With no destination in mind, there is no worrying about what I will do next. It is the pure act of walking that enables me to just exist within my steps. By doing nothing else than following the steady rhythm of my footsteps and being aware of the nature around me without it being distracting I am allowing my thoughts to subconsciously settle into place.”


No (One), animation film by Katarína Gališinová, 1 min 25

Imagine that one day you would wake up into a reality of someone else. And not just someone – anyone, but someone considered to be no one. Trapped in a limbo where the time has its own pace, the walls around you are indefinite and the outside world seems to be passing by while you can only stand still. This is not a nightmare but a reality of a certain minority being largely overlooked in our society. And this film is an attempt to step into the shoes of one of them.”


Anxiety, film directed by Salves van der Gronde, produced by Nael Quraishi, camera by Marc Sitanala and with Tudor Ulrich, Lucio Hermanus, Sjoerd van der Gronde and Polat Guiorguiev, 3 min 05

What happens when you are lost in your own mind and thoughts trying to find a way out in a state of disorientation? The line between reality and imaginary begins fade into another subjective world.


NEEM WINBANK, animation film by Tess de Graaf, 2 min 22

Being in trance always seems loving or in any case, based on a free will. It is something you choose. But is this really true? Could being in trance also work as a kind of protection mechanism? NEEM WINBANK is short film about a factory worker who tries to break free from trance.


This years contribution of the Research Lab is guided by our teachers Jan Frederik Groot and Anna Abrahams.

The following film works are the outcome of a research connected to the topic of Trance, by a selection of students of the 2nd & 3rd & 4th year of  Photography, Fine Arts, Graphics Design and Interactive Media of the Royal Academy of Art The Hague.

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