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Remontages: Eisenstein and The Anthropology of Rhythm | Book launch, screening, talk

17 January 2018

Photographic test of the tipazh (film extra) for Bezhin Meadow by Sergei Eisenstein. Courtesy: RGALI, Moscow

With Clemens von Wedemeyer, Till Gathmann, Marie Rebecchi, Elena Vogman

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018, at 6 pm
Sala Graziella Lonardi Buontempo MAXXI Museum, via Guido Reni 4a, Rome
Free entrance

Opening the archive of Sergei Eisenstein, we face a vertiginous complexity which challenges our established categories and habits of vision. A number of documents – their formal and technical details – put our historical and political imagination to the test. The book Sergei Eisenstein and the Anthropology of Rhythm by Marie Rebecchi, Elena Vogman and Till Gathmann, (NERO, 2017) presents a remontage of documents from the director’s archives in Moscow, opening their potential relations to the present. This as yet unacknowledged body of work features in particular Eisenstein’s Mexican project (Que viva Mexico!, 1931–1932), the destroyed film Bezhin Meadow (1935–37) and Fergana Canal (1939), which came to a halt before filming even begun. Organic and mechanical, regular and irregular rhythms, forms and gestures become, as we observe it in Eisenstein’s footage, instruments of anthropology. The anthropology of rhythm constitutes an attempt to find a “melody in the material.”

Together with the artist Clemens von Wedemeyer we will discuss the work of archival remontage, drawing particular attention towards the role of film extras as elements of both, the cinematographic as well as the political history. Fragments from Wedemeyer’s work on the politics of casting, including the footage of Cinecittà productions (The Cast, 2013) and the work of Teatro Valle Occupato will be discussed in relation to Eisenstein’s use of the non-professional actor (“tipazh”).

The book was published on the occasion of the exhibition Sergei Eisenstein and the Anthropology of Rhythm, curated by Marie Rebecchi and Elena Vogman in collaboration with Till Gathmann at Nomas Foundation, in Rome.

The discussion will be held in English.

The event was made possible by the Goethe-Institut.