Film: Ana Vaz

Olhe bem as montanhas / Look closely at the mountains (2018, 30’)

Occidente (2014, 15’)

Experimental filmmaker Ana Vaz’s works are often a collage of images, sounds and voices. Her ‘film poems’ as she calls them, suture together images, places and stories ripped apart by histories of repression and violence. Her body of work is concerned with critically exploring our contemporary ecological moment, that of the so-called Anthropocene, as well as the slow, long-ranging violence of empire building, particularly in the Americas.

In Olhe bem as montanhas / Look closely at the mountains (2018), two seemingly unrelated spaces, that of Nord-Pas-de-Calais in France and Minas Gerais in Brazil, are brought together by a shared history of resource extraction. Mountains become metaphors for resistance, and over time, wastelands are transformed into protected zones of biodiversity, blurring the lines between technological and natural landscapes. Her imploration to’ look closely’ also translates to the filmic experience, where the details of each shot reveal clues to larger narrative threads.

In Occidente (2014), Vaz incorporates various filmic media including expired 16mm film and digital imagery, to create a poetic meditation on the circulation and construction of images and on Portugal’s colonial legacy. Through bringing together diverse and seemingly incongruous images, the film explores the power of the gaze and of ‘looking back’, churning up living histories of the maritime trade of bodies, commodities and objects.

Ana Vaz

Ana Vaz (b. 1986) is an artist and filmmaker. She is a graduate of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia and Le Fresnoy-Studio National, France. She was a member of the SPEAP (Experimental Programme in Political Arts), a project conceived and directed by Bruno Latour at the Science Po in Paris. Recent presentations of her work include the Whitechapel Gallery, London, Tate Modern, London, TABAKALERA, San Sebastián, New York Film Festival, Toronto International Film Festival, and Cinéma du Réel, Paris – where she was awarded the festival’s Grand Prix for Há Terra! Her work has also featured in major group shows such as the Moscow Biennial of Young Art, Videobrasil and the Dhaka Art Summit. In 2015 she was the recipient of the Kazuko Trust Award presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in recognition of artistic excellence and innovation in her moving image work.

 

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