screening of "ANIMUS ANIMALIS (A STORY ABOUT PEOPLE, ANIMALS AND THINGS)"
How should we call the epoch after the end of the world? Anthropocene? Capitalocene? Chthulucene? How will the relationship between human and non-human beings look like in this new reality?
In order to design our common future we have to give space to perspectives of other species that for hundred of years have been observing human activity and its consequences for the planet.
HER Docs Film Festival, the Department of Presence at the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw and Komuna/Warszawa present screenings of two films by Lithuanian directors: “Acid Forest” by Rugilė Barzdžiukaitė and “Animus Animalis (stories people, animals and things)” by Aistė Žegulytė. In their movies both authors give up human exceptionalism and individualism to ask questions about the possibility of being-with and feeling-with non-human beings. They undermine our seemingly stable system of knowledge and beliefs, challenge the popular vision of “nature” and question the idea of the museum as a space for collecting and cataloguing experiences.
"ANIMUS ANIMALIS (A STORY ABOUT PEOPLE, ANIMALS AND THINGS)" dir. Aistė Žegulytė
“Can we bring life back to something that is dead?” – asks the director Aistė Žegulytė in her film in which the main roles are played by stuffed animals. A taxidermist, a deer farmer and an employee of a zoological museum and a deer farmer work at the crossroads of life and death where the line between reality and what is artificial has become almost imperceptible. In the film taxidermy, as a craft, is a starting point for asking questions about how the idea of nature is constructed and the belief that humans can infinitely improve, modify and reorganize the world. “Animus Animalis (A Story About People, Animals and Things)” is reminiscent of Olga Tokarczuk’s novel “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead” – human as the master of the universe kills and brings back to life; animals, dead or alive, are treated as objects-to-be-owned, competing for being recognised by the viewers as closest to the ideal. Stuffed animals’ glassy eyes are staring uncomprehendingly from the screen when hunters hunt down living deer and artificial alligators, and taxidermists try to surpass nature. We follow the voyeuristic eye of the camera which confronts us with images that look like postcards from a distant world in which the difference between reality and imitation is erased, in which one kills to bring back to life. In Aiste Žegulytė’s film the idea of “still life” takes on new meaning.
After the screening, we invite you to take part in a discussion hosted by Robert Jurszo – a journalist and publicist, writing for OKO.press about nature protection, hunting, animal rights, smog and climate. The meeting will be attended by the artist Diana Lelonek, who in her artistic practice deals with human and environmental relations, and Kornelia Sobczak, a journalist and theorist associated with the Institute of Polish Culture at the University of Warsaw. (The discussion after the screening will be held in Polish.)
The Department’s film programme is developed in cooperation with the HER Docs Film Festival. We would like to thank the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Poland, Lithuanian Culture Institute, Lietuvos kino centras and Komuna/Warszawa for their support.
Due to pandemic restrictions the number of seats available in the screening room is strictly limited. We’ll only be able to let the first 70 people in for each of the screenings.
On top of that every participant of the event has to adhere to sanitary regulations:
-hand sanitization (hand sanitizer will be provided on site)
-covering mouth and nose during the whole event
- keeping at least 2 meters from other people (not applicable to guardians of children under 13 and assistants of persons with disabilities)
Those not following the regulations will not be allowed to participate in the event.