The 14th year of PAF—Festival of Film Animation and Contemporary Art ceremonially ended on Sunday, December 6. We offer you a flashback to the most interesting moments of the 14th festival.
The rich PAF programme offered 70 screenings, lectures, presentations, sound and image performances, concerts, workshops and exhibitions, divided into five sections. The festival connected historical forms of animation and illustration with current experiments with sound, light and space, which was unique in the Czech context.
The opening ceremony of the festival began with the presentation of the Award from Vladimír Havlík; awarded to an artist over 35, and this year it was won by a performer from Ostrava, Jiří Surůvka.
Jiří Surůvka receives the Award from Vladimír Havlík (photo: Tereza Darmovzalová)
Last year’s laureate, the artist Vladimír Havlík from Olomouc, prepared a unique performance for the opening ceremony—an adaptation of the Lecture on Nothing by John Cage, an influential figure of American conceptual art of the 20th century. After that, Havlík performed with his music-performative ensemble Ostrý zub.
Spectacular Other Visions
The 9th year of the one and only competition of the Czech moving image Other Visions had a relocation of the competition exhibition to the large space of Atrium. For the first time in its history, the competition changed the typical installation conditions and offered diverse installation situations.
The winner of Other Visions 2015 is the conceptual artist Janek Rous with his five channel videoinstallation The Sound from the Desert. Special recognition was given to Petra Lelláková and Vladimíra Večeřová for their video Marmotour and the Audience Award went to Aleš Čermák and Michal Cáb for their video The Earth Trembles.
"This year’s Other Visions confirmed that Czech art of the moving image has found a more than adequate platform in the PAF —Festival of Film Animation and Contemporary Art. It happened thanks to the balanced competition selection, the form of presentation and the accompanying programme, where the current possibilities for distribution, archiving and theoretical reflection of a medium situated somewhere between cinema, gallery and museum were discussed,” summarized this year’s Other Visions in his text for Revue NFA the film scientist Jan Křipač.
Clash of image, music and light
A number of international guests performed within the series of unique AV performances, which were part of the Animation Beyond Animation section. The Norwegian musician TCF (Lars Holdhus) introduced, in a world premiere, his new four-channel sound-image composition created especially for the space of the baroque Corpus Christi Chapel, which offered an experience on the border of film screening and sound art installation.
Project TCF performance in Corpus Christi Chapel (photo: Tereza Darmovzalová)
The Japanese artist Takashi Makino performed with his project Space Noise 3D, in which he combined digital and film projection with a noise music component. The audience in the room saw the final image through special 3D plastic film. Another world premiere was the performance of American musician Lotic with Czech artist Michal Pustějovský in the Theatre of Music. Lotic introduced his vision of deconstructed club music in the environment of live animation from several light sources by Pustějovský. The British film-maker Greg Pope together with the Czech group Salvia (Katřina Koutná, Veronika Vlková) performed live in the Czech premiere of the Stone Horizon performance, where Pope’s live manipulated filmstrips of the Icelandic country pervaded the organic electro-acoustic music component. The audience highly appreciated the performance of Vessel & Pedro Maia, where the British musician Vessel changed the filled Theatre of Music to a club environment that was framed by Maia’s frenetic live projection.
Vessel & Pedro Maia in the Theatre of Music (photo: Helena Fikerová)
One of the festival highlights was Sunday’s PLAIN performance. The project by Slovak musician Jonatán Pastirčák (PJONI) and visual artist Ján Šicko was introduced in a Czech premiere, and it was a live combination of Šicko’s space work with light and Pastirčák’s futuristic music component..
AV performance PLAIN (foto: Tereza Darmovzalová)
In the Corpus Christi Chapel as the festival ended, the audience was impressed by the melancholic rapper Blue Daisy, a discovery from the British alternative scene of recent years.
"The British musician Kwesi Darko, performing under the name Blue Daisy, ended the festival with an atmospheric mix of hip-hop and rock. Daisy was accompanied by drums and the rapper also showed his piano skills in a few songs. The insistent lyrics, and particularly Daisy’s charisma, did not leave anyone cold, and in the end the crowd had three encores for its applause,” Kateřina Pohlová described the atmosphere at the end of PAF for the FMZINE magazine.
Final concert of PAF 2015—Blue Daisy in Corpus Christi Chapel (photo: Tereza Darmovzalová)
Moving image and art
The PAF Art section, which explores the overlaps of animation and contemporary art, introduced a series of several original exhibition projects. The New York fashion designer Alexander Campaz prepared an exhibition which was an extension of his cooperation with PAF this year. The minimalistic installation Infinity +1 refers to the series of eleven unique T-shirt models which Campaz prepared and handmade exclusively for PAF 2015. They will also be distributed by PAF during the following year. In cooperation with the festival photographers, a series of photos came into existence, where the light environment directly reacts to specific T-shirt shades.
In Konvikt’s attic the audience experienced a trio of formally different exhibition projects—the American digital artist Jonathan Monaghan in the installation Escape Pod, which will be introduced at the festival of independent films Sundance in American Utah in 2016, introduced an animated story about a golden deer.
Jonathan Monaghan—Escape Pod (view into the installation) (photo: Petr Bílek)
Marq Delong and Anna Slama, in cooperation with Lumír Nykl, prepared the precise installation SANDBOX FRONTEX LITANY. The audience had the opportunity to see the exhibition of the authorial preloaders PAFScreenSaver—Animation Beyond Animation on the computer screens in the press centre. This installation, which was accessible worldwide through the exhibition space ScreenSaverGallery, offered exclusively to PAF visitors the opportunity to vote for the next exhibition in this gallery of digital art.
Snapshot from PAF 2015; in the background the virtual gallery PAFScreenSaver (photo: Petr Bílek)
The section Aport Animation offered classical animated films, presentations of new PC games and PC games currently in production (Dark Train, Other Inside and Rememoried) and a rich programme for a children’s audience. The latest film of the director Tomm Moore, Song of the Sea (2013), was also introduced. Moore presented himself at the PAF 2008 with his film which was being made at that time, The Secret of Kells. The feature film The Boy and the World (2013) by the director Alê Abreu and the film The Garden by Břetislav Pojar were also part of the programme. The latest film from the director Jan Bultheel Cafard (2015) was screened in its Central-European premiere. The workshop for children, Little Animators, with the animator Pavla Baštanová from Prague UMPRUM, introduced visitors to the technique of stop motion animation..
The programme also introduced two publications from PAF Edition that are currently being released onto the book market. The Box of Svatopluk Pitra, which was officially introduced at PAF 2015 in the section Wild ’60s, is a unique file of artefacts and materials from the life and work of graphic designer, illustrator and designer of animated films Svatopluk Pitra. The box contains a DVD with the film Tucet mých tatínků (1959) (Dozen of My Daddies) to which Pitra contributed as a designer, and an interview with Pitra’s classmate, graphic designer and illustrator Vratislav Hlavatý, as well as a number of other printed artefacts. Another publication was #mm net art by the editor Marie Meixnerová, which is the first concise Czech anthology of internet art..
The Box of Svatopluk Pitra (photo: Anymade Studio)
PAF is not over
Since 2008 the activities of PAF have been year-round. Over the following year PAF will organize a number of exhibitions, screenings and presentations. The cooperation between partner festivals, cultural institutions and galleries in the Czech Republic and abroad will also continue. The second year of the fair of authorial and art publications LITR will take place in the autumn of 2016. New publications from the PAF Edition are also being prepared for the next year.