White Epilepsy

with Philippe Grandrieux
Saturday, May 14, 2016 - 2:00pm


Philippe Grandrieux’s work is dark and unsettling, addressing grand themes through deceptively meager stories. Spectators and critics are divided, but those who are willing to forego narrative and abandon themselves to the drama of cinematic material like light, bodies, grain, montage, rhythm, and sound are hailing Grandrieux’s films as a reinvention of cinema. Join us for the Chicago premieres of three recent works, along with a special live performance featuring Callahan McGovern, a student at the Boston Conservatory. Grandrieux will be present at all four events.

White Epilepsy is the first movement in a triptych whose common thread is anxiety. In the middle of a forest, two naked bodies, those of a man and a woman, perform a very slow and carnal choreography driven by subterranean forces that bind them together, which Grandrieux calls “a dreamed origin of humanity, an initial coupling.” The figures are “more naked than naked; their nakedness exposes the body to its greatest weakness—in other words, to its most absolute sovereignty.” The film is a dream (or a nightmare) that sheds all vestiges of narrative to enter a state of total immersion.

(Philippe Grandrieux, France, 2012, 68 min., DCP)

White Epilepsy Solo Performance by Callahan McGovern
Sun, May 15, 2-5pm
Bartlett Arts Rehearsal Space, 5640 S. University Ave.

Grandrieux's recent work consists of both a performance and a film. Join us on Sunday for a continuous solo performance of White Epilepsy by Callahan McGovern, a student at the Boston conservatory. The performance is supported by the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.

Philippe Grandrieux is an artist who works in feature film, experimental television, video art, documentary, and museum and gallery installation. His films have screened at the Locarno Film Festival, the Venice Film Festival, the Festival du nouveau cinéma of Montréal, and the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Film retrospectives, installations, and performances have taken place around the world, including at the Centre Pompidou Metz, Lincoln Center, and the Whitney Museum of American Art. He is currently a fellow at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study in Cambridge, MA.

The Philippe Grandrieux residency was curated by Dominique Bluher, Lecturer and Director of MA Studies in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies.

In partnership with the Department of Cinema and Media Studies; the France Chicago Center; the Department of Theater and Performance Studies; the Arts, Science & Culture Initiative; Critical Inquiry; and the Center for the Study of Gender and Sexuality’s Counter Cinema/Counter Media Project.