KuFF 2018

Kumu Art Film Festival 2018

The Kumu Art Film Festival (KuFF) is the first and only cultural event in Estonia to focus on the relationship between film and the visual arts. During the four days of KuFF, documentary, staged and experimental art and artist films will be screened in the Kumu auditorium. The film-makers are all connected with the visual arts in one way or another, and they reveal this relationship in their films. This means focusing on the pictorial language of film and its dislocation, documenting the internal life of the art world, combining film and video art strategies and much more.

The Kumu Art Film Festival KuFF is being held for the third year in a row and forms a part of the Kumu Art Museum’s research and exhibition project focussing on the 1990s. Other events in the project besides KuFF are the exhibition “The X-Files [Registry of the Nineties]” (02.11.2018–14.04.2019, curators Eha Komissarov and Anders Härm) in the contemporary art gallery of Kumu, and

the conference “Lost and Found Spaces: Displacements in Eastern European Art and Society in the 1990s” (01.–03.11.2018) in the Kumu auditorium. The aim of KuFF is, among other things, to examine the limits and possible definitions of the art film, as well as the relations between film and visual art. The programme of the third KuFF is centred around the new aspects in these relations introduced in the 1990s. As a part of its dialogue with the exhibition “The X Files”, KuFF is presenting Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian video art from that period.

One of the subtopics of the film festival is the comparison of 1990s film and video art from Estonia and Europe with the developments in North America. The theme of the KuFF workshop this year is PXL2000, the “Pixelvision” camera, which is relatively unknown in Europe but acquired an iconic status in North America.

All screenings are free of charge.
All films are in the original language and/or have English subtitles.
All screenings will take place in the auditorium of the Kumu Art Museum.


Wednesday, 31.10
Preparatory programme

Still from Alfredo Jaar’s film “Logo for America” (1987)

Dir Paula Rodríguez Sickert,
Chile 2017, 77 min
In English and Spanish with English subtitles

The film observes the creative and personal process of Alfredo Jaar (b. 1956), the most renowned international Chilean contemporary artist. According to Jaar, art is the last space left in society through which one can speak honestly and profoundly about social conflicts, in a world ruled by consumption and spectacle. The film uses the artist’s work exhibited in Finland, Venice, Buenos Aires, Santiago and New York. The soundtrack of the documentary is by his son Nicolas Jaar, one of the most influential musicians of current world electronica.

Still from Michael Almereyda’s film “Aliens” (1993)

This year the festival workshop is dedicated to introducing the legendary North American experimental camera PXL2000.

PXL2000 – also known as Pixelvision – is a 90s camcorder which records black and white video footage on an audio cassette. Initially marketed as a children’s toy camcorder, Pixelvision was taken up by film-makers in North America and found its way into both experimental cinematography and feature films.

The workshop is meant for video enthusiasts, artists and film and art students. We expect the participants to have their own laptops (with USB port and the ability to read SD cards) with editing software, and to have a basic knowledge of video editing. The workshop will be guided by the Pixelvision enthusiast and developer Thomas Kinsman from Australia and by Piibe Kolka. It will be held in English.

As the technical operation of the PXL2000 camera is quite simple, the workshop will focus on experimentation with pixel visuals. Over five sessions, we will watch and discuss experimental examples by different artists and look into the history of Pixelvision. The participants will try filming under different lighting conditions and learn to capture material from tapes. On Saturday short pieces will be produced as individual or group work and on Sunday afternoon the workshop will end with a screening of workshop results and short films by Pixelvision pioneers.

The cost of the five day workshop is 35 euros, which includes all materials, the use of a camera and the facilities at Kumu and small coffee breaks. The number of participants is limited to 12 people; your enrollment is guaranteed upon the payment of the fee. For registration and additional information contact:
Aleksandra Koel aleksandrakoel@hotmail.com

Workshop program:
Wednesday, October 31st: 18.00–21.00
Thursday, November 1st: 17.00–21.00
Friday, November 2nd: 18.00–21.00
Saturday, November 3rd: 10.00–21.00
Sunday, November 4th: 10.00–12.00 finishing of the projects; 16.00 screening

Thursday, 01.11

Still from the film “Marble Ass” (1995)

Dir Želimir Žilnik,
Yugoslavia, 1995, 90 min
In Serbian with English subtitles

“Marble ass” is set in 1990s Serbia, where two transvestite prostitutes, who have lots of soldier customers, have made their profession into a “pacifist mission”. The prostitutes meet John, a young soldier returning from the war and trying to calm himself through acts of violence. Želimir Žilnik plays with the area between documentary and feature film. He has a unique approach to gender and sexuality in the context of a strong macho culture, and “Marble ass” was the first queer-film in Serbia. The film was awarded the best feature film Teddy award at the Berlinale in 1995.

Friday, 02.11

Still from Gints Gabrāns’s video “Of course, you’re right” (1993)

From the archives of the Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art

This special programme of Latvian video art from the 1990s brings together some of the most important tendencies in that decade’s art, including an interest in multicultural and post-Soviet city space, experiments with video and painting, and references to art history.

Artists: Arta Egle-Biseniece, Krupis Baravika, Gints Gabrāns, Ieva Jurjāne, Dainis Kļava

Still from the film “Nadja” (1994)

Dir Michael Almereyda,
USA, 1994, 93 min
In English

Produced by David Lynch, “Nadja” is an unusual vampire tale set in the 1990s New York City underworld. A Transylvanian immigrant must travel to strange and unknown Brooklyn to deal with self-searches and to solve vital issues for vampires, who exist on the border of death and life. Somewhat emotionless dialogue is interwoven with black and white 35mm film and PXL2000 experimental visuals, creating dreamlike effects. “Nadja” is part of the KuFF Pixelvision programme.

Saturday, 03.11

Still from Ene-Liis Semper’s video “FF/REW” (1998)

From the archives of the Centre for Contemporary Arts Estonia
Ca 90 min 

This special programme of Estonian video art from the 1990s brings together some of the most important tendencies in the decade’s art, including acute social criticism, subcultural representations and personal narratives.

Kai Kaljo „Pathetique”, 1999, 2 min 25 sec
Jaak Kilmi „The Human Camera”, 1999, 19 min 30 sec
Kiwa „Graffiti Patrul”, 1998, 2 min 41 sec
Kiwa „Euro-Antivision”, 1999, 8 min 50 sec
Raoul Kurvitz  „Lõige I“ , 1999, 3 min
Raoul Kurvitz  „Lõige II“ , 1999, 1 min 55 sec
Marko Raat „Esteetilistel põhjustel”, 1999, 28’
Ene-Liis Semper „FF/REW”, 1998, 7 min
Jaan Toomik  „Tantsides koju”, 1995, 2 min 50 sec
Mare Tralla „Feltboots”, 2000, 3 min 12 sec

Still from the film “(Untitled)” (2009)

Dir Jonathan Parker,
USA, 2009, 96 min

Starring: Adam Goldberg, Marley Shelton, Eion Bailey, Lucy Punch, Vinnie Jones
In English

A fashionable contemporary art gallerist in the Chelsea area of New York City, falls for a brooding new music composer in this comic take on the state of contemporary art. Adam Goldberg plays the composer, whose work calls for paper crumpling, glass breaking and bucket kicking. Marley Shelton plays the gorgeous Chelsea gallerist, whose latest show features an artist, played by Vinnie Jones, who employs taxidermy and household objects. Further complicating the affair is the composer’s brother, played by Eion Bailey, whose highly commercial art work – the financial backbone of the gallery – is sold to corporate clients discreetly out of the gallery’s back room.

Sunday, 04.11


Still from the film “Poor Folks. Kabakovs” (2018)

Dir Anton Želnov,
Russia, 2018, 101 min
In Russian with English subtitles

The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow has produced a documentary film on the life and work of Ilya and Emilia Kabakov, the star duo of Russian contemporary art. A captivating interview, filmed at the Kabakovs’ home on Long Island, and archival materials reveal the content and context of Moscow Conceptualism, its relation to everyday experiences in the Soviet Union and its path to international acclaim.

Still from Deimantas Narkevičius’ film „His-Story“ (1998)

From the archives of the National Gallery of Art, Vilnius
Ca 60 min

This programme shows a variety of early Lithuanian video art, focusing on different ways of exploring and using the medium of video: from creating abstract visual spaces and meditative experiences to social criticism and documentations of everyday life.

Artists: Evaldas Jansas, Marius Kavaliauskas, Aistė Lapinskaitė, Artūras Makštutis, Deimantas Narkevičius, Eglė Rakauskaitė, Laura Stasiulytė, Gintaras Šeputis, Paulius Zavadskis

Ca 90 min

The second screening of the Pixelvision programme is a combination of early short films by Sadie Benning and Joe Gibbons from the 1990s and KuFF workshop results. Sadie Benning was the first artist to start using the PXL2000 camera widely. Her diary-form short films discuss the gender identity of a teenager and the absurd society surrounding her. Joe Gibbons is the main character in his films, in which he tries to find a way to communicate with silent dialogue partners, including a dog and a Barbie doll. Both artists discovered Pixelvision as a way to make personal films all by themselves. In addition, you can see the results of the KuFF Pixelvision workshop and compare how the perceptions of pixel visuals have changed during the last 30 years.

Still from the film „Orlando“ 1992

Dir Sally Potter,
United Kingdom, 1992, 93 min
In English

Orlando is loosely based on Virginia Woolf’s novel from 1928. The story of the androgynous title character (Tilda Swinton) begins during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I and unfolds over the course of centuries. In different places Orlando takes on different roles and undergoes changes in gender. The film has been praised for its approach to sexual politics, and for its visual treatment of the settings of Woolf’s novel.

Additional information:
Mare Pedanik
+372 602 6022