SIDE PROGRAMME 2015
KEYNOTE | Ass. Prof. Christian Suhr | Filmmaker, Visual Anthropologist | University of Aarhus
CAMERA AS CULTURAL CRITIQUE: BEYOND PARTICIPATION, COLLABORATION AND DIALOGUE
“All the arts are based on the presence of man, only photography derives an advantage from his absence.” – André Bazin, 1965
Chris Suhr is the director of award winning documentaries such as Descending with Angels” (Tuesday, 8.30 p.m., big screening room) and coordinator of the Mind & Eye Visual Anthropology program at the University of Aarhus. In his keynote he discusses ethnographic film as an extra-human mode of cultural critique. He seeks to highlight the culture-critical value of the camera as a mechanical researcher that at once allows us to hear and see through another perspective than our own, and yet, in the same time is itself both socially blind and deaf. Devoid of social etiquette, the camera always seems to capture a little too little and a little too much. Profound insights in ethnographic films are to be found in the misfittings between what we should, ought, and are socially taught to perceive and the peculiar non-social perception of the camera. Ethnographic filmmaking is about studying the worlds of humans while leaning oneself upon and allowing oneself to be inspired, infused, and even directed by the particular non-human and monologic forms of seeing and hearing that only a camera can produce.