Jul 21 2024


7:00 pm


$Give What You Can

Screening: aCinema Summer Screening Series *IN PERSON*

In person at Woodland Pattern

Join us for the first-ever aCinema Summer Screening Series, featuring a weekend of six programs curated by Takahiro Suzuki and Janelle VanderKelen! We are thrilled to welcome them back to the gallery for this special, condensed presentation, which comprises aCinema’s Season 8. 

Screenings will take place at 7 pm on Friday; 3 pm, 5 pm, and 7 pm on Saturday; and 5 pm and 7 pm on Sunday.

The first two screenings will feature 17 works selected from the aDifferent Program open call held this spring, which received nearly 200 submissions from around the globe. The weekend will then move into four additional curated screenings including works by Asako Ujita, Ayla Dmyterko, Gelare Khoshgozaran, Panu Johansson, Victoria Verseau, and more!

A specially designed commemorative program produced by Woodland Pattern will be available for purchase.


FRI @ 7 PM SAT @ 3 PM SAT @ 5 PM SAT @ 7 PM SUN @ 5 PM SUN @ 7 PM

Sunday, July 21st | 7 PM:

Drawing from Calcareous Milk Teeth (TRT approx 60 min)

Craigmillar Forest, Juulia Kala, 6 min 08 sec 

SYNOPSIS: A performance, a prayer and a poem for a forest / with a forest / within a forest. Craigmillar Forest is part of a series of films based on a collaboration between local ecosystems, performer and sound designer david yates, filmmaker Juulia Kala, performer choreographer Monica De Ioanni, performers Sky Su, Pamela Szykula, Daniela Polic and musician Sorcha Carlin. 

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY: Juulia Kala (b. 1994 in Helsinki, Finland) is a filmmaker and artist living in Edinburgh, and working both in the UK and Finland. Juulia explores the fluid relationship of imagination, liminality and everyday life in her films. She is inspired by landscapes, site-specific folklore and mythologies, childhood and environmental themes. Her work ranges from fiction to experimental films and mixed media work. 

Forest Coal Pit, Siôn Marshall-Waters, 14 min 38 sec 

SYNOPSIS: Two elderly brothers live together on a small farm in Forest Coal Pit, south Wales. This super  8mm portrait explores the mundanity, vibrancy and intimacy of their relationship and hyperlocal world. As they feed their livestock, tend to their garden, the brothers discuss elephants in China,  lobster fisherman, ghosts and each other. 

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY: Siôn Marshall-Waters is a Welsh filmmaker based in Bristol, England. Having studied an MA in visual anthropology at the University of Manchester (2016), his work is grounded in experimental and ethnographic documentary. He has exhibited at film festivals including BFI  London Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Courtisane and Alchemy Film and Moving Image. He is a member of the artist film collective BEEF (Bristol Experimental and  Expanded Film). 

Kõverdama, Karl Kaisel, 4 min 16 sec 

SYNOPSIS: Karl grew up in Estonia in a peatland forest called Kõverdama. At the moment Kõverdama is being prepared to be cut down by a mining company with the goal to expand the peat extraction for the production of gardening soils. In the film, these incomplete representations of Kõverdama float in the digital space. They tell stories of the place that used to be, is and will be. Ghosts of trees are hanging above the destroyed landscapes, flowers growing in punctured spaces, memories creeping in the broken world. It's clear that a forest cannot be reduced to numbers and pictures, a few species or resources. The destruction results in this haunting presence. By contrasting the living, the nonliving and digital, a web is formed. It’s made up of connections without an edge or a centre, interconnections that exist as part of an ecological system. With this web, the destruction is brought to question – what is done to this land, to these relationships? The story of Kõverdama is a story of humans, non-humans, living and nonliving. 

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY: Karl Kaisel is an artist and designer from Estonia (Art & Science, MA University of Applied Arts  Vienna). As a designer he sees value in aesthetics as a tool to access the viewers’ attention and as an artist he is interested in the relationships that humans and nonhumans have; the artificial dichotomy and tension that is dividing the world into natural and unnatural. He grew up in a peatland forest, which is the defining aspect of his creative work. Through this connection he sees the world as an intertwined relationship expanding through every aspect of life. 

On Volya: Filling in the Frescoes, Ayla Dmyterko, 9 min 55 sec

SYNOPSIS: On Volya: Filling in the Frescoes (2023) is a postscript to Kyiv Frescoes (1966) by filmmaker Sergei Parajanov (1924-1990). His film was conceived of as part of an “industry-wide effort to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory” in the Second World War. Kyiv Frescoes heralded Parajanov’s “surrealist and balletic style that would become the directors signature,” as seen in his later masterpiece Colour of Pomegranates (1969). Kyiv Frescoes was deemed pacifist, provoking an anti-war message, and was furthermore critiqued as semi autobiographical, resulting in its suppression by Goskino, the central state film committee in Moscow. During Glasnost or the Soviet Thaw (1986–1991), a period that saw intentional efforts  towards institutional transparency and freedom of information, 15 minutes of remaining rushes were re-discovered in a film canister labelled “Diploma Film.” On Volya imagines the unearthing of a second.  

Central to this moving image work is a meditation on the proto-slavic term: воля (volya), a lexical lacuna that describes the will and desire to exist beyond societal constructs; to be wildly emancipated. A slippery term, volya is described by Russian mystic writer Nadezhda Teffi (1872-1952) in her recently translated text Other Worlds: Peasants, Pilgrims, Spirits, Saints. Teffi chronicles Liberté as a person who finishes work early, takes their hat off and is free to read the newspaper; to sit and think in the café. They are free because they have abided by the rules of society. In contrast, Teffi describes Volya as a person who takes their hat off and runs into the field, blinded by the sun as they enter into an unbroken horizon. In On Volya’s opening scene, a figure appears to float through a forest; a guise that requires being high on the toes, with knees bent and stuck together; the hips and torso unnaturally controlled. It is anything but freeing. In the following shot, the figure escapes this muscle memory in a literal attempt to volya as she runs into the remains of the ancient Caledonian Forest. The film begins in an acknowledgement that volya itself, to flee into an unbroken horizon, the densest of forests, leaves one in solitude.  

On Volya considers reverence and regeneration across social, political, and spiritual planes. It punctures idyllic façades of an eternally abundant nature, revealing how this ethos perpetuates the accelerated decline of our ecosystems today. If volya is indulged in sparingly, it is an essential space for rest, articulation, slowing down, and regaining the energy that can bolster reflective action. The film’s supernal crescendo depicts one such space by ascending the horizon and entering into a blue sky. It is the blue of Chernobyl’s velvety glow; Natalka Husar’s tubes of toxic Glasnost-market cobalt; Derek Jarman’s last words; Chantal Akerman’s From the  East; Kandinsky’s symphonic ecstasy, iconostasis gates’ enamel. It is the elation of altitude, the raging sea, morpho’s span, lover’s eyes.  

Blue is a loss of consciousness,  

a sense of self,  

it is falling  

– but which way is up?  

Revisiting Parajanov’s Kyiv Frescoes at this particular time is especially poignant as it sheds light on cyclical attempts to erase Ukrainian culture, occurring again today in the Russo Ukrainian war. Working through a series of artistic interventions in On Volya, what is missing is filled in with what is geographically available. The finale is a golden affair that draws parallels between the Fontaine Druzhba Narodov (Friendship of Nations Fountain) in Moscow, Russia and the Doulton Fountain in front of the People’s Palace in Glasgow, Scotland. On Volya: Filling in the Frescoes alters these symbols of soft power through an action led by ritual;  simultaneously cleansing the self of assimilation and insular identity formation. Breaking the fourth wall, I invite you to do the same.  

Note: All quoted descriptions are original words by the Dovzhenko Studios. This is where the negative of Kyiv Frescoes is housed today, in the Dovzhenko National Centre in Kyiv. The Centre is Ukraine’s largest film archive, which is at great risk as a consequence of the current Russian invasion.  

Written, Directed, & Produced by Ayla Dmyterko  

Edited by Clara Puton  

Composition by Miel  

Director of 16mm Photography Alex Hetherington  

Dancer Kirstin Halliday  

Supported by Creative Scotland & Pangée 

16mm processing by Kodak Film Labs London & Digital Orchard  

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY: Ayla Dmyterko (b.1988) is a Ukrainian-Canadian artist based in Glasgow and working internationally. She was born in Saskatchewan on treaty 4 territory, the traditional lands of the nêhiyawak (Cree), Anihšināpēk (Saulteaux), Dakota, Lakota, and Nakoda, as well as the homeland of the Métis.

Reactivating and re-embodying histories of possession and dispossession, she locates vestiges of freedom in archival silence and expanded fields. This reverberates across a range of media including painting, moving image, writing, sculpture, textiles and texts. Mirroring mercurial translations of extant material culture and the apophenic nature of contemporary cultural memory, her works are para-fictional puzzles of synchronicity that reflect diasporic imaginaries,  syncretic slippage and post-internet haze. Led by solastalgia, she seeks remedy to environmental anxiety by re-establishing a culture-nature synthesis through animist returns.  Confounding auto-theoretical impulses, she choreographs a score for her studio imbued equally with articulations of the ritualistic, pre-patriarchal, tacit, vernacular and folkloric. This leads her work to disintegrate canonical interpretations of art history and forms of artistic labour.  Materially, she is interested in presence over perfection with an emphasis on process,  circulation, and redistribution. Oscillating between reverence and regeneration, she is invested in ways to ethically extend histories, movements and ideas that have come before. Circling eternally recurring ways that images are used to inform desire and belief, she takes agency in artist as medium. 

I Would Rather Be a Stone, Ana Hušman, 23 min 48 sec

SYNOPSIS: Through the voice of Little Jela, the film tells the story of the events that marked a generation and shaped the future of the landscape of Lika, a neglected and sparsely populated region of Croatia. The living conditions impacted on the personal lives of the people who lived there, their solitude, relationships, opportunities, apprehensions and hopes. Little Jela embodies several members of my own family which is predominantly composed of women – mothers,  grandmothers, sisters and aunts. 

[Director's statement] 

The film was shot on location in Lika, a neglected and sparsely populated region of Croatia. It was heavily affected during World War II. The population was poor and the land was barren. Potatoes were the main food. Children went to school, worked the fields and minded the livestock. Most of the generation born in the 1940s moved to the cities or abroad. One of the micro-locations is Kosinj Valley, where the construction of a reservoir, a hydroelectric power plant, and three dams on the Lika River will completely submerge two villages that are still populated. To create the lake, 75 thousand tons of cement will be injected into the landscape. Through observing the landscape and models of cohabitation between living and non-living entities, I examine the ways in which memories are built, how narratives are created and how they disappear, how new elements are implemented, both in memory and in the landscape. I  explore lichen and their immobility, time and perseverance, quarries as sources, processes of fragmentation, dismantling and transformation as open possibilities applicable to film techniques. I perceive the time of the forest, the quarries, and lichen, as a slow shift, an invisible movement in the landscape, like the movement of living beings and microorganisms. Using cinematic layering, triple exposures, family archives and combinations of photographs and videos, I overlap textures of events, characteristics and sedimentations of memories. I explore the ways in which political, economic, ecological and cultural circumstances impact the openness of the narrative, of the people, and of other beings. 

ARTIST BIOGRAPHY: Ana Hušman’s practice disassembles the structures and textures of cinematic elements through film, installation, books, sound, image and text. Hušman experiments with the possibilities of animation, documentary and fictional cinematic methods, and the possibilities of recorded voice and its articulation. Her working process questions and plays with the positions of the amateur and the professional subject of performativity, the medium itself, and the structures that dictate  and produce patterns of behaviour. She teaches at the Department of Animation and New  Media at the Academy of Fine Arts in Zagreb, and is a co-founder of the documentary film organisation RESTART where she has been holding film education programs for children and young people for many years. Since 2003, she is a member of Pangolin, an artist-run organisation working in film, visual arts and research practices, where she produces films,  books and other works. Her works have been shown at film festivals and exhibitions worldwide.



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