Peggy Ahwesh: Little Attacks on the Edge

    Screenings on 21 + 22 November 2023

    SoundImageCulture in collaboration with the Visite Film Festival, Het Bos, KASK and CINEMATEK, invites Peggy Ahwesh for a programme of exhibitions, screenings, performances and discussions in Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels, from 15.11 to 23.11.

    Since the 1980s, Peggy Ahwesh’s films have been a cinema of small, sabotaging gestures that clash with an artistic canon that is a little too firmly established. Using Super 8 and PixelVision, found footage and machinima, even drones and thermal cameras, Peggy Ahwesh works with a heterogeneous, boisterous moving image, free from any heroisation of its creator or fetishisation of the medium. This practice, which is quick to confound the technologies she uses, to the point of “making them do things against their very nature”, is seen by the artist as an attempt to parasitise the dominant visual regimes that fragment our perception of reality. Organised as part of the Restored festival, this double screening of Our Story, in the presence of Peggy Ahwesh, will be an opportunity to examine two of the director’s newly restored works – The Deadman and From Romance to Ritual – through the prism of her more recent filmography.


    Tuesday 21 November 2023 — 19:00 — Cinematek

    Lies & Excess + Witch’s Cradle + The Deadman

    A fake silent film inspired by a short story by Georges Bataille, The Deadman plays on the borderline between the scabrous and the pornographic. Its freewheeling heroine wakes up next to a corpse before setting off a drunken orgy in a bar. Open, unfinished, re-sutured films, Lies & Excess – also inspired by Bataille – presents the ruin of two women in Atlantic City, while Witch’s Cradle sees Maya Deren figuring strange occult rituals in Peggy Guggenheim’s Art of This Century gallery.

    In the presence of Peggy Ahwesh.

    Lies & Excess (color ⁄ 15′)
    Peggy Ahwesh, United States of America, 1998

    Witch’s Cradle (B&W ⁄ 12′)
    Maya Deren, United States of America, 1943

    The Deadman (B&W ⁄ 36′)
    Peggy Ahwesh, Keith Sanborn, United States of America, 1989

    Wednesday 22 November 2023 — 19:00 — Cinematek

    Kansas Atlas + Curve the Night Sky + The Summer Triangle + From Romance to Ritual + Bethlehem

    « [My] filmic style is of the ethnographic film without the expert observer and of the home movie without the father. »

    Five films, four politicised approaches to the landscape. With Kansas Atlas, Ahwesh uses drones to film a territory “dominated by people like the Koch brothers” and the Christian far right; Border Control tackles the eight prototypes of Trump’s wall erected on the Mexican border. From Romance to Ritual explores the intimate experience of women, the better to denounce the patriarchal reappropriation of history and its myths. Filmed during the pandemic, Curve the Night Sky and The Summer Triangle introduce and conclude this screening.

    Followed by a conversation (in English) with Peggy Ahwesh.

    Curve the Night Sky (color ⁄ 5′)
    Peggy Ahwesh, United States of America, 2021

    Kansas Atlas (color ⁄ 15′)
    Peggy Ahwesh, United States of America, 2019

    Border Control (color ⁄ 4′)
    Peggy Ahwesh, United States of America, 2019

    From Romance to Ritual (color ⁄ 20′)
    Peggy Ahwesh, United States of America, 1985

    The Summer Triangle (color ⁄ 5′)
    Peggy Ahwesh, United States of America, 2023