Emiliano Battista (1973) is a Belgian-Brazilian translator, bookmaker, and author. He has written about a wide range of figures in contemporary art, as well as about the relationship between art and theory, and the way that relationship unfolds in the proliferation of printed matter in the art world. He has collaborated on several bookmaking projects including Sophie Whettnall (at) Work (2019) and Segunda Vez (2018), with Dora García about the work of Oscar Masotta, and Aglaia Konrad from A to K (Koenig, 2016). He has translated Jacques Rancière’s La leçon d’Althusser [Althusser’s Lesson] (2011) and La fable Cinématographique [Film Fables] (2006) and was the editor and translator of Dissenting Words: Interviews with Jacques Rancière (2017), a collection of interviews spanning the length of Rancière’s trajectory, from the critique of Althusserian Marxism and the work on proletarian thinking in the nineteenth century to his reflections on politics and aesthetics. In 2015, he conceived, in partnership with the platform the Tomorrow, a project for the 56th edition of the Venice Art Biennale entitled Figures of Capital, a programme of screenings, talks and interventions whose guests included Jacques Rancière, Alexander Kluge, John Akomfrah and others. He is currently a researcher at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel.
So this film about a charged political moment remains strangely, and deliberately, disconnected from the politics of that moment. What interests Loznitsa isn’t the politics of the protests, or their political ramifications; what he focuses on and brings to the screen is the dramatic arc of protests as such.
At the foot of the stairs, a woman pulls a mirror out of her stuffed bunny purse and decides to apply a bit more make-up. It’s all quite banal. Why is it, then, that the viewer feels a tug at his heartstrings?
Watching spacecraft float near a wormhole next to Saturnus in a packed Grand Eldorado on a Saturday evening is why we go to the movies. Watching that same spacecraft explode in outer space, seeing huge dust storms shroud the land and witnessing the last people on earth (almost) expire is why we’d maybe better stay at home.
Still, upon sauntering through the large and wide-ranging selection of pictures large and small, framed and unframed, hung high and low, or spread out on tables, I started to perceive Wolfgang Tillman’s show, 2017, as equally marking this moment in time, when high resolution camera phones have become completely ubiquitous.
The Guardian recently charted Kanye’s packed 12 months of megalomania: it really is a thin line between acting crazy and becoming crazy. You write: “The danger with Famous is that it risks being the very thing it wants to comment on.” I would argue: the force of Famous is that it risks being the very thing it wants to comment on.