Research Labs 2021

Every year during the time of the Research Lab presentations, Eye is a hub for students of academies and universities who flock to present their own work and view that of others.

Eye’s Research Labs provide scope for a new generation of curators and artists to hone their skills. Students from different art academies and universities are asked to put together a programme featuring their own work and films from Eye’s collection. Research Labs do not follow a strict format and often result in a cultural crossover between film and other art forms.

The best curated programme and the best work will be awarded by a jury of seven students from the academies participating in the Research Labs: Amfo Akonnor (Royal Academy of Art ), Christian Smeijsters (Leiden University), Talisa Harjono (Gerrit Rietveld Academie), Achiel Buyse (Univeristy of Amsterdam), Tao Yang (Sandberg Institute), Michaela Davidová (Master Institute of Visual Cultures), Adele Gregoire (Piet Zwart Institute).


Gerrit Rietveld Academie: Resilient Bodies

The topic of Resilient Bodies has been taken as a starting point to develop a variety of experimental films and one performance in the context of this year’s Research Lab.

In a resilient way, bodies have become more and more precious through COVID-19, where quarantines and measures for physical distancing dictate our behaviour and places the body in a more remote position. In the diversity of works shown in the program of VAV-moving image, each student found their own emphasis relating to this topic.

This domain is explored within a wide range by the following students: Milli Rose Dobree, Morgane Billuart, Luca Heydt, Zep Nieuwenhuijs, Sidsel Mehlsen, Josefina Gilardi, Lucia Vivés, Ilona Jacoba Westrik, Anna Tamm, Katya Vogel, Jiyan Düyü, Emma Claire Sardoni, Talisa Harjono, Tobias Niemeyer.

Guided by Martin Grootenboer, Margriet Kruyver, Anja Masling, Mariken Overdijk.

With many thanks to the team of VAV – moving image teachers and technical staff.


Airplane toilet by Millie Rose Dobree, 2’07”

A flight from Amsterdam to London lasts one hour, but due to the different time zones, someone arrives at the same time they took off. The untraceability of this hour makes it hard to place oneself in time. If this hour didn’t really exist, did they? Portraying a suggestion of a character making a ‘dam-trip’ flight from reality, the video clip encloses us in a liminal space in which we are made to feel their desire to get away.

This Must Be The Place by Morgane Billuart, 4’19”

This Must Be the Place is a video essay recalling memories of arriving in new places. Everywhere the protagonist travels, they identify and recognise patterns and elements. The traveller lands in a distant city far from home and begins a journey of reminiscence which remains blurry, unclear and ungraspable. An experience of digital déjà vu, as if every picture, every location and every word previously seen or read feels strangely familiar. Now that we all share a global network of consciousness, experiences, objects and events, how can we identify and recall the initial source of our memories?

How Do You Talk About Depression? by Luca Heydt, 7’06”

How Do You Talk About Depression? explores the different ways we approach conversations about depression, and how the experience can feel for those concerned. Through four perspectives, the video dives into different vocabularies around depression – political, geographical, corporate, personal and bodily.

Have you ever talked about your depression to someone? Has anyone ever told you about theirs? Depression is an illness that constantly surrounds us all, yet great stigma is still attached to talking about it openly. Stuck at home during the coronavirus pandemic, I found myself drifting into depression. It started to take a toll on my creative process and I was unable to work on new projects or finish old ones. I decided to change this by making it the topic of my work. The video work on display here is the result of four months of research and working process.

A Bunch Of Legs With Feet by Zep Nieuwenhuijs, 4’02”

Feeling unwelcome and endangered by the outside world is something we can all relate to at the moment—spending most of the time inside our homes, either alone, together with roommates or loved ones and often surrounded by neighbors. You have to make it work and try to be considerate of each other instead of getting annoyed by their presence. A Bunch of Legs With Feet, filmed in true lockdown fashion at home, using furniture and desk lamps to create a cinematographically compelling motion picture is a film about two lovers who don’t know any other way of living than under such conditions. Where one of them falls short, the other one exceeds. They’ve even started to enjoy their neighbors’ constant noises.

Mosekonen by Sidsel Lehn Mehlsen, 2’40”

Mosekonen is an imaginary creature who is known as a popular explanation for fog arising over meadows and bogs on balmy summer nights.

Devices by Josefina Gilardi, 4’09’’

We are surrounded by objects that have electromagnetic fields. Objects carry frequencies that the human ear can’t register. This film experiments with recording, amplifying and composing those undisclosed frequencies with the help of a telephone pick up coil microphone.

The Old Man and the Sea by Lucia Vives, 3’50’’
Inspired by failure and human nature, The Old Man and the Sea is a Beyblade-induced poem-karaoke. Each chapter elaborates on a different context with its impossibilities in which to be defeated.

The chapters are triggered by the three different languages I speak fluently and, therefore, the different ways language defines how I exist; Spanish with my family, Portuguese in my life in Lisbon, and English in my life in Amsterdam. Every Beyblade battle becomes a dead-end road where the only possibility is to keep spinning.

HET OORCONCERT by Ilona Jacoba Westrik, 2’00’’
After 5 years of giving internal massages through the ear, I’m facing new measures restricting me to continue my practice. But I’m not giving up! HET OORCONCERT imagines a doorway to reaching the ear in a socially distant era—through the letterbox.

After the screening you can enjoy this work as an installation/performance outside of Eye.

Photos from the installation/performance on June 12:

I Come Home in the Morning Light by Anna Tamm, 4:59

I Come Home in the Morning Light is a work of autofiction, inspired by the artist’s diary and personal photo archive. The film follows the day and night shifts of a working woman yearning to have control over her body, time and money only to realise her doing so is a threat to the status quo.

A Re-membering by Katya Vogel, 1’34”

“When I think about hands through time.”

Diving into the Eye Film museums archives, parting through the waters of time, I visit colonial Indonesia, coming face to face with those who have shaped us, who are seldom given the recognition they deserve.

Catapult by Jiyan Düyü, 4’44”

Jiyan Düyü researches the tension between violence and landscape. In her most recent work Catapult, two boys clash while playing. Through glimpses of conflict, trust is being questioned.

Fake Babies by Emma Claire Sardoni, 3’42”
What’s on tonight? Our favorite TV show Fake Babies! Who is pregnant and who is not? Who is lying and who simply isn’t sure? In this episode with only 3 couples remaining, we’re going to find out if Lisa’s pregnancy is real or fake. The tension is in the air, the stakes are high, the bellies are plump. Are we talking about how society views pregnant women or are we talking about lesbian women having babies in a straight society? Is it about a paranoid ditch that exists between our minds and our bodies or is it only fucked up nightmare stuff? Let’s find out tonight with the grand reveal!

Me Buren by Talisa Kiyiya, 7’47”

“Granted there is a wall, what’s going on behind it?” -Jean Tardieu

Who are our neighbours? What is the importance of them? And how long will they remain? Me Buren is an intimate documentary about a ‘street-sharing’ community in the North of Amsterdam that is fading into extinction through rapid gentrification and long promised renovations that make space for wealthier newcomers. The film offers a glimpse behind closed doors and reveals the relationships between several neighbours.

Slaapwandeling by Tobias Niemeyer, 3’38”
In this short animation, a child wakes up as her toy monkey escapes. We follow her through landscapes of snow and wind on the quest to find her mischievous monkey. On her journey she encounters several mystical beings and witnesses her inner and outer world become one.

Sandberg Institute: Landscapes

As you are enjoying the scenery on a bridge
Upstairs on a tower people are watching you

Thousands of “you” standing on the bridge looking at the same sky but enjoying variously, people from
countless upstairs watching “you” as one landscape.

Tao Yang, Pam Virada, Jae Pil Eun, Kyulim Kim andEmirhakin will present five individual projects in Eye Research Labs to talk about what is the meaning of “Landscapes” indifferent eyes and your.


Tao Yang: <Outside the long corridor >, 2021, Video, 8’41”

The video shooted on the train from Amsterdam to Utrecht in the first winter after Tao came to the Netherlands, as background, he narrated a memory about the first time he took a train to visit his parents who lived 1400 kilometers away. Fromthese two experiences 18 years apart, he poetically presents an atmosphere he felt on the train, outside the train, in the memory, outside the memory.

Pam Virada: <Clouds obscure then blow away II>, 2021, video, 7’45”

Drawing the connection to Hauntology where ghosts are born from the collective trauma, the work explores the representations of the Chinese diaspora through the storytelling of animism, spirits,and inexplicable matter beyond rationale existing alongside life. These stories reveal localized beliefs and culture in signs and metaphors through the macro and micro-narratives of vernacular experiences.

Jae Pil Eun: <Blue moon>, 2021, performance 12’00”

In the Project Blue moon, Jae invited Tao and did an opera- performance. In the performance, they will present a journey of research of East Asian opera Peking opera, Kabuki. The highly abstract form of narrative concentrated on sound and light.

Following the sound of drums and spotlights, Jae and Tao will move with different rhythms,saying helloand goodbye to each other.

Kyulim Kim: <In Transit>, 2021, Single channel HD video, 11’30”

The video work In Transit is an informed reflection of the site of Het Hem as an ammunition factory and starts with an imagined act of bringing an artwork on site. The act is embodied in a scene set at the building’s loading gates where the bullets were once sent out from, speculating on the relationship between contemporary spaces of supply chain logistics and art work transportation. The video was originally a two-channel video, shown from a two TV screen, hanging from the crane system of the Het Hem.

Emirhakin: <Who is going to die if I kill my self?>, 2021, Performance, Single Channel Video, 9’20”

By asking‘Who is going to die if I kill my self?’ Emirhakin questions the illusion of Self which is being constantly shaped my different power structures. With the performance he traces back the scratches of these structures on human integrity and challenges the fragility of truth. Reenacting his experience with compulsory military service in Turkey, the performance dissects the intricate relation of homosexuality, oppressive policies of hegemonic structures and religion. How many realities couldone create to survive?

Communication Design by Goytung @studio_buymytalent.

Master Institute of Visual Cultures: The future is…

The students of the Master Institute of Visual Cultures all took their own approach to the topic of ‘the future’ – wildly varying, and that’s not so strange.

The future is… Tangible. Well, let’s make it tangible. After all, the future is no longer something that will eventually happen, but rather something that we must handle, maybe even tackle. We have now arrived at a point where we consider that what we called progression in the past decades is not necessarily positive for everyone and definitely not inclusive. It is time to consider artistic agency. The future is… Now. Bound to the future is the experience of time. Inherent to thinking about the future is a reflective attitude towards the present and past. However, locating the future might still prove to be a difficult task – it seems abstract and far away. But if you let go of the idea of an unattainable, unimaginable and unclear future, you end up with another possibility: a story that can be told right now. The future is… Me. We are all more or less able to pinpoint the problems we face – but the question is, what is next? It’s time to look for a starting point. Let’s then take this body, this Self. That’s one thing for certain: any future experience, experience of the future will be tied to this one thing that we take with us – ourselves. Face the future, face yourself.


Where is the empty room? By Yang Yu

What should I do when I have to face the future?  

From my personal view, the future is unknown to me. I do not know what specific things will happen in the future, and I do not know where the future is. I think the future might be a destination that is constantly being sought.

The empty room is a metaphor for the future. The future is an unknown state and uncertain. In the past and now we discuss future things, we are exploring future changes and possibilities. It is like we have been looking for “where this empty room is”. 

When people talk about the future, they all use images from the present time. In previous eras, the imagining of the future gradually accumulated imagery. In fact, it also formed a history of human imagination. I want to show or compare the imagining of the future in different eras. And people’s imagined future is a collection of different aspects, it isn’t a single object. It is more like an infinite continuous space. As long as human beings are still in the universe and are able to continue to create and think, this room will not stop appearing in the future. 

As long as time is still flowing, we will always look for the future “empty room” on the way.

Permanent Backflip by Pauline Berger

I have been falling,

I am falling, 

I fall,

I will be falling, 

I will have been falling.

I tried to imagine the movement I would do when I was taking off, when I was in the air and also how I wanted to land.

Talking about the future is like talking about a Fata Morgana.

Something projected by a strange optical trick , something that already exists, around us, behind. A mere reflection into a far away land unknown.

And once we approach it, it vanishes, just as our expectations dissolve when they turn into being our presence. Still, what we see, what we project, sets us into motion.

Permanent backflip is the small story of a young man in dialogue with his memory about attempting a backflip off a bridge.

About fear, the connection between the mind and the body and the ability to let go.

About being able to fall backwards into the unknown, trying to trust.

Insomnia by Xin Luo

Modern human life has a huge impact on humans’ general instinctive behavior based on day and night. The fixed-time work system makes different people have similar work and rest schedules. Insomnia has also become a common mental disorder in contemporary society. This is a trend that points to the future, that is, the impact of day and night on people’s lives is gradually reduced. The external living environment has undergone tremendous changes, but our biological mechanisms have not changed in thousands of years.

Insomnia is accompanied by endless restlessness at midnight. People’s bodies are separated from the high-speed operation of society during the day, however, the brain does not have an external switch like a machine can be easily adjusted. The ancient reptilian brain and limbic system do not listen to the command of the cerebral cortex, and the fragments of the picture that are insensitive to time and space have their own lives in the dark. This carnival can only end in a peaceful sleep that can only start in the early morning. Please Follow the nine branches divided from the same open, you can spontaneously choose the screen you are watching but cannot see them all at once.

My Neighbor’s Dog by Bahador Fatemi Moghadam Badi

Death is the primary and probably the most pressing danger, enemy or a sort of opposition which a person confronts through life. But there are many other kinds of enemies one could face. Our story is about Eddy, whose neighbor and her dog’s every night’s noises don’t allow him to have a proper sleep at night. This is what makes him want to get rid of the dog, to give himself rest and a good sleep. Therefore, he decides to destroy the enemy he is facing in his daily routine. But then he realizes that eliminating his enemy would not necessarily fix his sleeping issues.

INSIDE OUT by Berendine Veremans

            Attract, repel, seduce, distract,

            avoid, bribe, hide, freeze, fight, flee.

            Which way is forward?

            Inside Out offers an attempt to look at the darkness within, the longing to be held, the deep-rooted fears. Glimpses of the inner conflicts we all share are projected and dissolved into each other.

            These efforts towards reconcilliation with ones inner self are combined into the action and reaction of the male and female body.  Apart yet a part from each  other.

            Longing – Fear

            Pull – Push

            Beauty – Repulsion

            Inside – Out

            The more we push, the harder it pulls. The deeper the longing, the greater the fear. Luring beauty creates           repulsion. What’s ignored inside is reflected outside.

            If we dare to connect within, would we still want to run away?

Society needs to reconnect with the spirit of Nature, Father Time and Mother Earth by Vlad Mihalache

We became so engaged in modern technologies that slowly without realizing we transform more and more into the “Humanoids” presented in Dystopian science-fiction novels.

When we sleep, our body shuts off all the processes that engage our minds in critical and analytical purposes, giving us the space to recharge our batteries (a Peaceful place)

a place where Freedom is not just a concept but the nucleus of Life.

When we dream, we are accessing another dimension between the physical reality and the spiritual universe. Another dimension: where Past-Present-Future are all existing simultaneously.  Using this space of psychological exploration, I wanted to transmit the growing anxieties of today’s society that are part of our daily life. Toxic News feeding our Ignorance on Reality.

 My project aims to bring the viewer in a journey of self-discovery, through observing and progressively understanding the general idea about the future of our Selves in this World.

We become more and more disconnected from nature, losing our intuition, basic survival skills and essential human values. We are too busy with daily technologies, in fast growing competitive industries.

The Answer is to Look Inside.

Getting in touch with our Unique Spiritual Self feels essential in the process of Spiritual Evolution in this Modern Society.

We are slowly turning into avatars/characters from the virtual reality that has been created for us just as Entertainment. But we unconsciously dedicate all our Time & Energy in becoming this Virtual Icons. Progressively losing our Individual Identity.

Sigmund Freud, who developed the psychological discipline of psychoanalysis, believed that dreams were picture-puzzles, and though they may appear nonsensical and worthless on the surface, through the process of interpretation they can form a “poetical phrase of the greatest beauty and significance.”

Paul Thomas Anderson made a very honest and intriguing statement when talking about Film:

“I never remember plots of movies. I remember how they make me feel.

 I remember emotions and visual things that I’ve seen.”

Most Important.


Every Other Second by Linda Boelen

What can we say about the future? History offers us insights through hard-learned lessons, and we should be careful not to forget them. However, thoughts that are based solely on the past may turn out to be outdated. Sometimes a fresh perspective is needed, one that invites and celebrates the unknown. Humans are so quick to name almost everything they encounter, as though all of it is fixed. Many situations evolve and change, they are not stable. What makes people act in certain ways? Many factors are involved. There are endless things we don’t know about the other person but judgements are made in a split second. When we pin everything down with words to try to frame it, we may miss out on alternative outcomes cause we’re not open to see them, thereby undermining the experience. It dissolves in front of our eyes. What would happen if we considered the present moment as something that is too fresh to name? What becomes visible when definition is postponed, when we stay in the unknown for a little longer? What kind of future will we arrive at? Will we miss the ground under our feet? Will we rewrite our stories? Or will they remain unwritten in an unresolved mystery?

96 Human Waste Bags Left on the Moon by Michaela Davidová

‘The opposite of exploration is ignorance. To be ignorant means not curious enough, not passionate to learn, not hungry to discover what lies behind the horizon in the unfamiliar lands of nobody. How could the world exist without not knowing?

Places so far away suddenly become transparent, closer than our own skin. To explore means to travel in or through, to alter, to search, to make familiar, to start a conversation, to usurp, to get to know, to discover, to appreciate, to appropriate, to colonise, to get into the movement the things that will never stay the same. How can the world exist with the irreversible?

Manoeuvring through time and space to move out of our bodies, intestinal motility calls into motion. The landing.’

The film is divided into three parts, each of them responds to the proximity of a body. The story was initially inspired by a news article announcing there are currently 96 human waste bags left on the Moon, followed by the news about Perseverance Rover landing on Mars in February 2021. This information made me curious about the ambiguity of exploration and ignorance and the triptych developed into a study of the close and distant. Through listening to abjected bodily matter, the film invites us to land nearby our bodies with our more-than-humans.

The second part of the triptych translates belly sounds into a visual language and captures them on reversal film developed with a DIY urine developer. The third part is a collaboration with dancer Femke Adema.

MUTE by Xuan Hu

In the political context of China, the restriction of voice is an impenetrable dark cloud covering the entire society. “Keywords” are blocked, “special” speeches will be detained. Everyone lives like a thoughtless pipelined machine. Each part of the society is manipulated, just like Truman’s world, unable to distinguish between true and false. In the past, present and future, it never changes. The world is mute.

MUTE is set in 2025. An internet celebrity’s live-streaming on the Internet. The film has three meaningful layers:

The first one is the protagonist. She is a tool used by capital. In China, there is a popular way to make money now: companies send their products to Internet celebrities and let them photograph these products during their live-streaming so that the audience will have the desire to buy them. But these companies don’t care how, even if the celebrity is just repeating meaningless actions during the live streaming.

The second one is the audience. They are the product of restrictions. Their anger that cannot be expressed in real life all transferred to the online environment. Malicious, verbal abuse turns to  commenting to the celebrity. They never care about the content of the live streaming.

The third one is you. You’re the judge, the person who has the right to choose.

After turning off the camera, will tomorrow be a repeating day?

Noise by Linsey Kuijpers

Can I stop the noise?

I long for a world where I can be present in my own life.  A world without my phone, like back then, before the noise.

But now I take the buzzing everywhere I go. Seducing me to engage, pulling me in, suffocating me. How long can I spend without checking, refreshing? I feel like I’m drowning. But I’m addicted and I can’t let it go.

I hear the sound of an incoming message, I just can’t resist. You pull me in, envelop me in your cacophony of noise. Screaming into a sea of data.

I can’t focus anymore. I can’t relax. I need to answer. I need to check.

Are you still here?

Where do I stop, and you begin? I am everywhere and nowhere at the same time. The noise surrounds and howls for attention, I am just so tired, my battery is drained.

Can I stop the noise?

Noise visually explores the struggle of living in a time where we are constantly distracted. Our digital lives are merging with reality. We take our phones with us, everywhere we go.  We are online all the time, connected but disconnected.

Can you stop the noise?

The Eternal Present by Rashin Teimouri

Before the clouds stop moving

Before it gets dark everywhere

Before my footprints disappear

Before the whiteness loses its purity

Before I understand the meaning of time

I want to stay in the moment

Here and now

The idea for the future is an abstract notion of time.

Time is the important way of thinking about this concept that the movie addresses  and asks:

“Is the future now? “

Alan Watts, a British philosopher who was a source of inspiration says that:

“What you do is what the whole universe is doing at the place you call here and now. Because of our common sense, we think of time as a one-way motion from the past, through the present, and on into the future. And that carries along with it another impression which is to say, that life moves from the past into the future in such a way that what happens now and what will happen is always the result of what has happened in the past and in other words we seem to be driven along.”

So everything in the universe happens in the present moment and this moment is precious for us.

Leiden University: Gepaste Afstand

“A kiss is the beginning of cannibalism.”

Questions on what the “proper distances” are within cinema’s various relations – between the filmmaker and its subjects/actors or between the people and places represented on the screen and the audience, to name just two – are often at the heart of debates on “controversial” or “shocking” films. Some of the most beautiful, painful and thought-provoking moments in cinematic history are often the ones in which it is no longer clear-cut where this “appropriate distance” lies. We are strangely lost when we are pushed too close to something we feel we should stay away from, or when we are pulled back too far from something that we feel should be intimate. These kinds of cinematic experiences are uncomfortable because they force us to confront distances and boundaries. They ask us where we draw lines and why.

The three films in this program – from artists and filmmakers Frans Zwartjes, Moniek Toebosch and Aryan Kaganof (Ian Kerkhof) – are all excellent examples of experimental works that explore The Netherlands as a paradoxical space full of inner tension. With its liberal legislation, Holland is a country where a lot is allowed, but (self)censorship and limits are enforced in camouflaged ways. All shot in unconventional fashion, these films thwart the comfortable position the moviegoer is usually granted in order to investigate the film-viewer’s internalized notion of what constitutes “een gepaste afstand”.

Note: The program will not only consist of the screening of films; additional sensory and cerebral input will be provided as well. Not only the eye will feast.


Living (1971) by Frans Zwartjes, 14:48 minutes   

Solokonsert voor fotograaf en recensent (1977) by Moniek Toebosch, 11:05 minutes   

The Dead Man 2: Return of the Dead Man (1994) by Aryan Kaganof, 25:30 minutes

Piet Zwart Institute : Everything breaks / I am sick of taking walks

Desire, domination, drama, applause, cameras, flashing, moaning, laughing. Overwhelmingly vast, and incredibly small. Projected through language and given to the body. A Planck star is not stable. In my mind the sky has gone very quiet. Open Dash AirCrisp Compact Air Fryer Instruction Manual for full details.  

Use a mistake in a sentence as a verb or a noun. I still don’t know what to do with it. in A minor, in C sharp, or E major; step step close. Potato, apple, lemon, walnut, kale leaf, tomato, garlic, clementine, in nature’s armpit. Tick Tock! We Are Everywhere And Nowhere All At The Same Time. I don’t have a love language; I have a headache. What in a body is beyond the computational, beyond representation and logic? Never again shall you see such light and air and color. Your hope died under Northern skies and it shows. Whispers In Hagley Woods. I don’t wanna dream of you, it doesn’t seem fair. They wandered, and encountered specters haunting the depths of history…IF WE PLAY, DOES THAT MEAN IT’S NOT REAL(ITY)?

The programme will consist of works by Tessel Schmidt, Sacha Dufils, Muxingye Chen, Jelle Havermans, Yu-Ching Chiang, Elysa-James Kooijman, Georgiana Barcan, Ariela Bergman, Rafael Romero Peña, Dachen Bao, Martin Osowski, Kamali van Bochove, Shannon Liang, Sylvie van Wijk, Adèle Grégoire, Luca Tichelman.

Royal Academy of Art: FLUX

Starting point and inspiration of this year’s research lab of the KABK was the improvised world of early Mad Max movies. A world that implies an attitude of Nomad Thinking: traveling light, improvising, moveable, flexible, using what you find.

The Mad Max series was not the only source for inspiration. One could think as well about the epoxy taped world of science fiction writer William Gibson who describes a city as a bricolage of junk held together by rough epoxy joints, taped to the rafters of Technotopia, jury rigged and jerry-built from scraps that even Nighttown didn’t want. And we did not forget to pay attention to the original inventors of these worlds of flux: the 1960s London architects collective Archigram who completely overturned the preexisting concept of how design operates. A practice of deconstruction gains all its force by challenging the very values of harmony, unity and stability. The Lab’s theme gravitates around the research question how an artist can achieve a state of independence using strategies of adaptation and Nomad Thinking; applying tactics to ignore institutions but instead work around these fossilized structures. During the Lab we tried to avoid dwelling too long on high minded debates on Art and Culture. Instead we hope to prepare a new generation of artists for the dark forecasts that predict an unstable future. The Lab functions as a toolkit to survive the rough crossing that lies ahead of us.

University of Amsterdam: A Cinematic Voyage through Gender Expressions

In her seminal book Gender Trouble (1990), philosopher Judith Butler introduced the concept of performativity to describe the socially-constructed formation of gender. According to her, we are all performing our gender, regardless of whether or not our “performance” is gender-conforming or not. Taking this concept of “performativity” as our starting point, this program is intended as a broad showcase of a diverse range of fiction and non-fiction films—from the silent era to today, and from Italy to Brazil—that feature gender performance at the level of narrative (textual) and/or on the level of narration (acting). Taken together, our selections are far from exhaustive, but highlight how the politics of representation are not static and reflect different political, social, and cultural contexts.

Best of Research Labs

From its modest beginnings in 2012, Eye’s Researchlabs has blossomed into an annual one-day festival. Best of ResearchLabs now celebrates the ninth anniversary with a show by the anarchist band LUza CULT, the screening of this year’s winning film and new works by three previous ResearchLab award winners.

For one day, a jury consisting of students from the participating art schools considers work made by students of the audio-visual departments. There will be one-hour presentations from each art school from 10:30 am to 9.00 pm.

The winning film is screened in one of Eye’s cinemas, followed by a short and scintillating show by the anarchist two-man band LUza CULT, while three previous winners present new work and talk about their experiences.

Rosella Nisio: The Silent Ray, 2019, 18’

The Italian visual artist and filmmaker Rosella Nisio twice won a ResearchLab (2018, 2019) while a student at the Piet Zwart Institute. Nissio went on to make two new short films with an Emerging Talent Stipendium awarded by the Mondriaan Fund. In The Silent Ray – well received at film festivals – a man tries to capture the threads of his memory. He was caught up in Mussolini’s colonial war against Ethiopia in 1935-36. the lines between past and present become blurred.

Roman Ermolev: Goya, 2020, 10’

Roman Ermolev won de ResearchLab Award for Best Film (Le Macaour) as a Rietveld Academy student in 2017. The photographer and filmmaker, who received a 3 Package Deal Award from the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts (AFK), is working on a film on art and fate, peripherally inspired by the assault on artist Rob Scholte (24 November 1994). Goya is an experimental film based on the music album of the same name by jazz baritone saxophonist and composer Giuseppe Doronzo.

Yannan Pan: The Daily Life of a Doll, 2020, 5′

Pan won the ResearchLab Award in 2020 while a student at the Master Institute of Visual Cultures, St. Joost School of Fine Arts (AKV) in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. She has made a film about her experiences during the COVID 19 pandemic, when she was largely confined to her 9 square metre room. Pan put a doll in her room that mimicked her daily activities. A computer screen, Instagram and Tinder accounts connect the doll with the outside world.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s