Sara Eliassen: Mediating Uncertainties

Kulturhuset, Vaskerelven 8 20.11.2021 15.15


Live presentation
20 NOVEMBER 15:15
Kulturhuset, Vaskerelven 8, second floor
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Sara Eliassen presents a new chapter in a hybrid live essay film. The chapter has a variety of titles: Screened Visions/National Visions, Mediating Uncertainties, Images- and Talking Back to Them, or acting back to them, re-acting to them, affected by them, re-affecting them. Back and forth, as a feedback loop. Do I Accept that the Future is Looped? The title is uncertain. And in many ways, the presentation will be about uncertainties; how to mediate them in an era dominated by a post-truth discourse, or perhaps rather, in an era of the production of doubt. 

If following on from Marshall McLuhan’s observations that form became content in the 20th century, how can image and screen materials be used to question and to counter dominant versions of mediated histories and digitised data predicting our futures? What modes of aesthetic resistance could be mobilised, by screen workers in an attention economy where desires and fears are already articulated for us? This might require strategies that operate beyond simply producing an alternate narrative or making counter moves. It might be better to consider a multiplicity of narratives, connections, methods and techniques in order to rethink how knowledges and histories are being produced.

This new chapter will be presented as a staged lecture, consisting of media materials and text fragments from Eliassen’s ongoing PhD project. It will connect the dots between various mediated events, archive materials, experiments and strands of research: a series of Norwegian films produced in the 1920s and 1930s; a transition appropriated from Leni Riefenstahl’s Olympia (1938); the reawakening of an Oslo subway station closed since 1985; the disappearance of forty three students from the state of Guerrero in Mexico in 2014 and ‘la verdad histórica’ that followed. Film collectives and manifests; a cameraman filming a major oil leak in the North Sea in the late 1970s, and a few years later an oil spill outside of Ciudad Del Carmen in the Gulf of Mexico. Dots with no immediate connections, but luckily there is montage.

Sara Eliassen

Sara Eliassen is an artist and filmmaker and currently a PhD candidate in artistic research at the Academy of Fine Art, Oslo National Academy of the Arts. Her current projects explore propaganda histories and how ideologies are being normalised through contemporary images, technologies and moving image culture. Eliassen’s films were screened at several international film festivals, such as Venice Film Festival, International Film Festival Rotterdam and Sundance. Her practice also involves projects in the public space: Under the Park (2021), The Feedback Loop (2018) with The Munch Museum in Oslo and the artist-initiated Not Worth It (2007). Eliassen also programmes films, lectures and conversations, and often invites other artists’ work and practices into, or in relation to, her projects. Eliassen was a studio fellow at The Whitney Museum of American Art’s Independent Study Program in 2010/2011.

Photo: Sara Eliassen.

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