Esteban Rivera x Marthe Thorshaug
curated by Tatiana Lozano
at Cinemateket i Bergen
Georgernes Verft 12 (tickets here!)
Entrée Cinema together with Cinemateket i Bergen presents a screening with a total of four works by Colombian artist Esteban Rivera and Norwegian artist Marthe Thorshaug. The five short films presented are a combination of documentary and fiction related to ideologies on human nature, architecture, cosmology, wild nature; narratives that enter in dialogue when looking at the work of the two artists.
This duo presentation at Cinmateket is a warmup to new upcoming commissions by Rivera and Thorshaug to be premiered in 2023. There will be a Q+A (in English) after the screening, with both artists, moderated by Tatiana Lozano, curator for Entrée Cinema. We will be discussing their practice, the challenges for art film making and pivotal common and uncommon points in their work.
Steno – a film trilogy
Die Versteinerten (7m 40 min)
Firmamentum Continuitas (11 min)
Wisdom Teeth (11 min)
The film trilogy Steno by Esteban Rivera deals with the relationship between death and the idea of preservation as a cultural value. It is a dialogue between science and religion; therefore, it plays with the tension between opposite ideologies. The characters in the films bring us into buildings which main function and intention is to preserve ideas; architectonical monuments, libraries and museums are all secular spaces whose purpose is the preservation of objects, ideas and discourses.
In Die Versteinerten (2015) David Stodolsky, a member of the Cryonics Institute, guides us through the Building-Monument, built over the previous house of Walter Gropius in Dessau, Germany. Renovated by Bruno Fioretti Marquez Architects in 2008, the construction reproduces the original volume of Gropius’ house. In the film that follows an interview with David Stodolsky the house works as a metaphor of what is fossilized. The idea of Modernism remains in this case in a fossil state and survives in time as a trace of what once was.
Firmamentum Continuitas (2016) is a film about Gennady Baranov, an ex-cosmonaut that used to have undercover interviews with the pope Paul VI. During the space race the Vatican was concerned about the space infringement trespassing in the territories they ruled for centuries. For this reason, they decided to pact the limits of the sky by defining in light-years how big the universe is and thus where the metaphorical catholic heaven could be located.
Wisdom Teeth (2017) is based on the research done by the danish scientist Nicolas Steno (1638-1686) on geology. The film trilogy is named after him and honors his dialectical thoughts about religion and science. Wisdom Teeth was filmed in Piedemont, Italy, where the first edition of his work is stored today. His investigation centers around the Glossopetrae – a fossilized shark tooth commonly found on the Italian landscapes. The research studies led Steno to propose laws about the formation of the terrestrial layers and to conciliate these new ideas with his religious believes.
Human Wild (48 min)
– What animal are you?
The film Human Wild (2020) examines what differs us humans from the other animals. The film focuses on subtle everyday situations where our original animal instincts kick in.
In Human Wild we follow a pack of humans encountering other animal packs. Six people are gathered in a course-like scenario to explore their original animal instincts. They have to figure out their rank, what instincts hold their pack together, and they discover new things about themselves. But when the humans meet a wolf pack and fear sets in, what happens then? Human Wild is an art film crossing genres as documentary, nature film and thriller.
Marthe Thorshaug has through her productions, developed her own cinematic language by deliberately mixing styles from different genres. The result is unpredictable films, where the boundary between what is real and what is fiction, is blurred.
About the filmmakers
Esteban Rivera is born in Colombia and currently works in Berlin. He received a master’s degree in Art and Media from the Universität der Künste, Berlin (Arts University in Berlin) under Prof. Anna Anders and Prof. Ai Weiwei. He received a master’s degree in Arts from the National University of Colombia, where he also studied Graphic Design. His work was selected for Kasseler Dokfest 2017 and was nominated to the Golden Key. His work has been exhibited in EEUU, Mexico, Indonesia, Colombia and Germany.
Marthe Thorshaug studied at the National Academy of Fine Arts in Oslo. Her films have been screened at numerous art institutions, museums and film festivals around the world, among others The Phillips Collection (Washington DC, US), Whitechapel Gallery (London, UK), Momentum Biennale (Moss, NO). Thorshaug runs her own film production company Nerhagen Productions. Nerhagen is the name of the little farm where she grew up, and where she lives and works today.