Artists' Film International 2019

21.06.2019 - 22.09.2019

Phoebe Boswell, Carolina Caycedo, Theresa Traore Dahlberg, Atefa Hesari, Mwangi Hutter, Lars Laumann, Tomasz Machciński, Jacopo Miliani, Senem Gökçe Oğultekin, Raju Rage, Fannie Sosa, Marko Tirnanić, Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Nguyen Hai Yen.

Tromsø Kunstforening is pleased to invite our visitors to the eleventh edition of Artists’ Film International. AFI is a collaborative project featuring film, video, and animation from around the world. Established by the Whitechapel Gallery in 2008, Artists’ Film International includes 18 global partner organisations. The programme brings together recent moving image works which are presented over the course of a year in each venue.

Tromsø Kunstforening is pleased to invite our visitors to the eleventh edition of Artists’ Film International. AFI is a collaborative project featuring film, video, and animation from around the world. Established by the Whitechapel Gallery in 2008, Artists’ Film International includes 18 global partner organisations. The programme brings together recent moving image works which are presented over the course of a year in each venue.
Established by the Whitechapel Gallery in 2008, Artists' Film International includes 18 global partner organisations. The programme brings together recent moving image works which are presented over the course of a year in each venue.

Participating Artists:
Phoebe Boswell, Carolina Caycedo, Theresa Traore Dahlberg, Atefa Hesari, Mwangi Hutter, Lars Laumann, Tomasz Machciński, Jacopo Miliani, Senem Gökçe Oğultekin, Raju Rage, Fannie Sosa, Marko Tirnanić, Evelyn Taocheng Wang, Nguyen Hai Yen

Phoebe Boswell
Title: The words I do not have yet, 2017
Medium: Video animation
Duration: 11:16 minutes
Selected by Whitechapel Gallery, UK


A salute to women in history who have used their bodies in protest when they haven’t been permitted to use their voices, this film reflects upon the collective strength and subversive potential of women standing together and using their voices in collaboration.

Phoebe Boswell (b. 1982, Kenya), born in Nairobi to a Kikuyu mother and British Kenyan father, brought up in the Arabian Gulf, and now living and working in London, makes work anchored to a restless state of diasporic consciousness. Combining draftswomanship and digital technology, she creates immersive installations and bodies of work which layer drawing, animation, sound, video, and interactivity in an effort to find new languages robust yet open and multifaceted enough to house, centre, and amplify voices and histories which, like her own, are often systemically marginalised or sidelined as 'other'.


Carolina Caycedo
Title: Apariciones / Apparitions, 2018
Single channel HD video
Duration: 9:11 minutes
Commissioned by the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens With: Marina Magalhaes (Choreography), Isis Avalos, Samad Guerra, Celeste Tavares, Bianca Medina, Jose Aviles, Natali Miciche Direction, Editing, Sound: Carolina Caycedo Cinematography: David de Rozas
Selected by Ballroom Marfa, USA


Carolina Caycedo’s Apariciones / Apparitions depicts ghost-like dancers inhabiting the historic Los Angeles landmark, The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. The brown, black, and queer bodies haunt The Huntington’s iconic and traditional spaces – such as the sweeping sculpture-lined North Vista lawn, the Ahmanson rare-book and manuscripts reading room, or the Portrait Gallery that houses Gainsborough's The Blue Boy – in sensuous movements informed by the rituals of Afro-Brazilian deity, Oxum, an Orisha (or goddess) representing water, sexual pleasure, fertility, and love. The bodies of the dancers, or phantoms, become sources of knowledge, and their gaze holds the viewer accountable, something that is too often missing from history and art; inhabiting historically white spaces in ways that they have never been inhabited before.

Carolina Caycedo (1978, UK) was born in London to Colombian parents. She transcends institutional spaces to work in the social realm, where she participates in movements of territorial resistance, solidarity economies, and housing as a human right. Carolina’s artistic practice has a collective dimension to it in which performances, drawings, photographs and videos are not just an end result, but rather part of the artist’s process of research and acting. Through work that investigates relationships of movement, assimilation and resistance, representation and control, she addresses contexts, groups and communities that are affected by developmental projects, like the constructions of dams, the privatisation of water, and its consequences on riverside communities.


Theresa Traore Dahlberg
Title: The Ambassador’s Wife, 2017
Medium: HD video, 16:9
Duration: 20 minutes
Subtitles: French / English
Courtesy: The artist and SVT
Selected by Bonniers Konsthall, Sweden

Theresa Traore Dahlberg has attracted attention for her films which in poetic and subtle ways depict themes like power structures, colonialism, gender inequality and feminism.
Text by Yuvinka Medina


The film The Ambassador’s Wife (2017) follows the French ambassador’s wife in her comfortable everyday life in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. As the camera slowly sweeps across the embassy’s impressive garden, where workers are busy maintaining its splendour, it is implied that the ambassador’s wife dreamt of becoming a celebrated opera singer. As part of her daily routine, she rehearses her repertoire, well aware that she will never perform for a significant audience as her residence allowance prohibits her from working, making a singer career no longer possible. The film conveys the feeling of the ambassador’s wife being trapped in her privileged life and that singing is a way to endure and to hold on to her dreams. This beautiful and subtle portrait manages to expose the dullness of a sumptuous being and the film’s sparse and precise monologue succeeds to reflect on the role of women.
In her films Theresa Traore Dahlberg has the ability to tell multifaceted stories about people from different backgrounds. Often using humour but always with great respect for her protagonists. Her films are characterised by understated expressions, yet they manage to raise important universal topics.

Theresa Traore Dahlberg (b. 1983) grew up on the Swedish Island of Öland and in Burkina Faso. In 2017 she received a master’s degree in Fine Arts at The Royal Institute of Art in Sweden. Before that she studied film production at The New School in New York and at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts.  Traore Dahlberg has in 2018 been exhibited at Zeller van Almsick, Austria and Uppsala Art Museum, Sweden. Her films Taxi Sister (2011) and Ouaga Girls (2017) have been screened at festivals all over the world and The Ambassador’s wife was screened at Toronto Film Festival 2018. The same film awarded Traore Dahlberg the Tempo Documentary Short Award. Most recently she is the winner of the Beckers Art Award 2019.


Atefa Hesari
Title: Safed Sar, 2019
Medium: Video
Duration: 11 minutes
Selected by Centre for Contemporary Arts Afghanistan (CCAA), Kabul

I am a woman, I desire your daily routine. The desire that gives me hope and takes me to the sky, just by knotting a patch to Alam (ensign).
My colourful world is very complicated. The world that drowns me inside it. I can merely protest, maybe only around me or maybe just within me. 
Woman and her world, their situation and reactions toward the apprehensions of society are the sources of my inspiration, the matters that continuously occupies my mind and thoughts.
I chose the film format, installation and image for my art collection. Currently, I am working on developing this theme. All performers in the film are the locals of Chehel Dukhtaran (forty girls) and I shot the film there. Throughout history, the Chehel Dukhtaran incident has not only happened in Afghanistan but also other countries which to me they are all symbol of women resistance.

Atefa Hesari (b.1995, Afghanistan). In 2006 she returns to Afghanistan, her homeland, where she finishes high school. During her childhood, she was impulsively involved in arts. For instance, when she was playing with toys, she used to imagine characters for them and herself. After a while, Atefa found out that she can express herself with the arts. In 2018 she took Kankor examination and chose arts as her professional career, started studying it in an academic manner. In 2018 she played a role in a theatre play The “Scheems of Qaseem” based on Scoundrel Scapin by Moliere and “Where is My Favorite Planet” based on The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exuprey. She started working in Studio of Contemporary Arts in 2019 and learned a thing or two about modern arts. Atefa has started her first art collection “Safed Sar” a part which is exhibited in the 2019 modern Arts collections.


Mwangi Hutter
Title: Eastleigh Crossing, 2009
Medium: HD film, colour, sound
Duration: 7:48 minutes
Selected by Video-Forum of Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.), Germany

Since 2005, Ingrid Mwangi (b.1975, Kenya) and Robert Hutter (b.1970, Germany) started signing their works as the collective individual Mwangi Hutter, thereby resolving both their identities as artists. Mwangi Hutter’s work blends exploration of cultural heritage with questions of gender roles. Being a former student of video pioneer Ulrike Rosenbach, Ingrid Mwangi concerned herself with the reflection of cliched gender roles in early works. Wildlife (1999), presents the artist as a caged animal, thereby exaggerating an image of the exotic otherness of the feminine. Eastleigh Crossing, 2009, is somewhat reminiscent of that earlier work. Filmed in the flooded streets of Nairobi, in a part of the town mainly inhabited by Somalian refugees, Ingrid Mwangi is seen trudging through muddy water. In what Mwangi Hutter calls a „Guerilla Action“, she breaks with the conventions of social conduct and confronts the public with irrational behaviour. The crowd of spectators tries its best to move out of the way and the viewer of the video is reminded of the privileged perspective he/she assumes in keeping a safe distance from a screaming, water-soaked mess.


Lars Laumann
Title: Season Of Migration To The North, 2015
Duration: 21:58 minutes
Selected by Tromsø Kunstforening, Norway

The film is a refugee story, told from the perspective of a young, gay Sudanese asylum-seeker, doubly ostracised through homophobia and Islamophobia.

Lars Laumann (born 1975) is one of Norway's most renowned artists internationally. After many years abroad, he is now again based in his birthplace Brønnøysund. His films and installations break down boundaries between documentary and staged, borrowed and created, fiction and fact. Through filming, editing and compiling found material and lived experiences, Laumann creates virtuoso film collages with an extensive personal gallery. Laumann is attracted to the outskirts of popular culture and explores people who live outside the norm, on the margins of the margins. Ambiguity and uncertainty characterise his films. With a global look on popular cultural, icons as well as contemporary political conditions, he illustrates the more complex forces in our culture. Lars has been featured at prestigious institutions like MoMA and New Museum in New York, as well as Kunsthalle Basel and Tate Modern. In Norway he has been presented at the National Museum, Astrup Fearnley and the Artists' House, and in 2017 he was nominated for Lorck Schive's art prize.


Tomasz Machciński
Title: My song, 2011- 2016
Medium: Video SD 
Duration: 9:49 minutes
Selected by Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw, Poland

Tomasz Machciński, the creator of an opus magnum being developed for over half a century, that consists to this day of over twenty two thousand fictional or appropriated identities, captured on photographical self-portraits. His art exposed the performative side of identities in a pioneering manner, and constitutes a spot on commentary to the overproduction of visual self-representations. He is both a director and an actor, a make-up man and costume designer, and finally an artist – photographer and archiver of his own endeavours. Tapping into the potential of the digital photo camera, the artist has also recorded performances for camera that feature improvised vocal pieces titled "My Songs". The medium of Machciński’s art is his disease-marked, non-normative body. The artist, alternately exposing and concealing the defects of his physicality, freely gives it new meaning and takes control over the viewer’s gaze. He comments on his own strategy: “I don’t use hairpieces, tricks, but instead I use everything that happens with my organism, such as: regrowth of hair, loss of teeth, illnesses, ageing, etc.” Machciński, who acted on the outside even of the local art world, and without any contact with artistic bohemia, created a work that was absolutely ahead of its time. 

Tomasz Machciński (b.1942, Górki) resides and works in Kalisz, a self-taught artist, by profession a precision mechanic. Since 1966 he has created over 22’000 photographic self-portraits, in which he impersonates characters from history, literature, politics, culture, as well as fictional beast and people he imagines. Machciński’s photographic archive has been purchases for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw. In 2018, the Tomasz Machciński Foundation was established. The artist's recent exhibitions: "Why We Have Wars? The Art of Modern-day Outsiders" at MoMa Warsaw, 2016, “Tomasz Machciński. The Thousand Faces” at Tak Gallery, Poznań, 2016, “I’m No Longer a Dog" at the Museum of Silesia in Katowice, 2017, „Will There Be War Tomorrow?”, organised by MoMA Warsaw, Gdynia (2018). The winner of Art Absolumet Competition (Outsider Art Fair, Paris, 2018).


Jacopo Miliani
Title: Deserto, 2017
Technics: Video HD
Duration: 6:09 minutes
Voice: Angela de la Serna
Dancers: Antonio de Rosa, Mattia Russo
Photography: Carlos Ferndez Pello
Produced in collaboration with E.M.M.A and Matadero
Selected by GAMeC, Italy

The video Deserto reflects on the possibility of speaking about multiple and queer identities through the invention of a new language. Through only the movement of two hands and a voice over, the desert is evoked as the place where the sand never takes a precise shape. The desert is also a symbolic reference to two specific films: Teorema (1968) by Pier Paolo Pasolini and The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (1994) by Stephan Elliot.

The protagonists of these movies are ‘the Guest’ (a mysterious stranger with an fluid sexuality) and Bernadette (a transgender character), respectively, and both played by the same actor Terence Stamp. These films are the starting point for the text created by the artist and narrated by a voiceover in Deserto, where real and fictional identities disappear, dismantling the existence of any fixed role.

Jacopo Miliani (b.1979 Italaly) lives and works in Milan. The work of Jacopo Miliani is based on an interdisciplinary research involving different practices such as video, installation, performance, collage, photography; Solo exhibitions include: Galeria Rosa Santos, Valencia (2018), Marselleria, Milano (2017), Matadero, Madrid (2017), Kunsthalle Lissabon, Lisbon (2016), Nogueras Blanchard, Barcelona (2016), ICA studio, London (2015), Biblioteca Nacional, Buenos Aires (2014), GAM, Turin (2013), EX3, Florence (2012) and the exhibitions at Studio Dabbeni in Lugano (2015 e 2010) and FRUTTA gallery in Rome (2012 e 2014). He realized several performances including: Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2017), David Roberts Art Foundation, London (2016-2012), Fondazione Giuliani, Rome (2015), Museum of Dance, Stockholm (2014), CCSP, Sao Paulo (2014), ViaFarini/DOCVA, Milan (2014), MADRE, Naples (2011).


Senem Gökçe Oğultekin
Title: Dun (Home), 2017
Duration: 13:13
Selected by Istanbul Modern, Turkey

The video was shot among the ruins of the historical town of Ani (10-11th AD) next to the closed border with Armenia. The land on two sides of the border meet and dialogue through the bodily interaction of two dancers, one from Turkey and the other from Armenia. The video takes its starting point from the idea that when we give space to our sensuous bodily existence we are able to transcend cultural borders and refrain ourselves from dissecting and calculating worldviews. Then abstract identities such as gender, nationality, style and ideology disappear revealing concrete living beings in bodies that sweat, shiver and breath, adorned with a heart that loves, mourns and hopes.

Senem Gökçe Oğultekin is a performer, choreographer and moviemaker based in Germany. She studied dancing at the Folkwang University of Arts in Essen and worked with artists like Pina Bausch, Va Wölfl, Meg Stuart, Laurent Chétouane, Mara Tsironi among others. She has been performing at theatres such as Theatre de la Ville, Kaitheater, Pact Zollverein and has participated festivals like Biennale di Venezia, Tanzplatform Deutschland, Kunstenfestivaldesarts and Rencontres Choreographique de Saint Denis.


Raju Rage
Title: Techno Gender: ‘Pyramid Revealed By A Sandstorm’
Medium: Audio-video sonic collage
Duration: 7:17 minutes
Selected by Project 88, India

Techno Gender: ‘Pyramid Revealed By A Sandstorm’ by Raju Rage is an audio-video sonic collage focusing on the emotional impact of hormones on the body through self-injecting, surveillance and sensation. Bridging the gap between science, health, politics and art, it questions the role of hormones in the social determination of sex and gender, binary ideas of gender and sex; and the innate inequality created by separating people into sexes. Inspired by Preciado’s Testo Junkie, gender theory, online testimonials and grassroots health activism, the video explores what it means to be an object/ subject as a racialised and gendered body.

Raju Rage is an interdisciplinary artist proactive about using art, education and activism to forge creative survival. Based in London, they primarily use their non-conforming body as a vehicle of embodied knowledge; to bridge the gap between dis/connected bodies, theory and practice, text and the body and aesthetics and the political substance. They work in performance, sculpture, soundscapes and moving image, focusing on techniques of resistance and utilising everyday objects and everyday life experiences in communicating narratives around gender, race and culture.

They investigate history, memory and trauma, with an emphasis on colonial legacy, its continuation and impact on the body and contemporary diasporan identity.


Fannie Sosa
Title: I need This in My Life, 2016
Duration: 7:23 minutes
Courtesy of the Artist
Selected by Fundacion PRÓA, Argentina

“This video is a crystallisation of several threads that have been going around in my life for a while. The threads are: the healing and evolutionary power of khunt orgasmic experiences, the blatant disregard of Black dance and song and their technologies as healing devices in scientific and epistemological racism, the amount of research and resources that go into weaponing these same technologies against the very people that first conceive them, this experience that I had a couple of years ago when I literally felt bass fill my womb and make it vibrate into orgasmic release… A lot. Around this time my friend Sho Mo told me about this vibrator called “the womaniser”. When I first experienced it I realised that it made so much sense to conceive a vibrational device that is round and hollow, in the image of the cervix, instead of designs like the “bullet” that reinstate phallic and warfare language even in clitoral stimulation. I had been lending it to all my friends and my roommate at the time left me a note saying “I need this in my life” after she experienced it. At that moment I had a bit of a revelation: we need this round, vibrational, healing technologies in our life, and sort of was able to channel all of what I had been thinking and knowing into this video.”

Fannie Sosa is an acclaimed scholar and multi-Award winner. She is an internationally applauded interdisciplinary artist, scholar and activist cued up to receive their doctorate degree in Gender and social science at Lille III University in 2019. Their Afrodiasporic & Indigenous descendants has informed their many years of research, performances and teachings. Sosa’s work focuses in developing pleasurable methodologies using vibrational & sonic therapy, movement practices to liberate the chore and transformational social justice centered publications. Sosa’s thought leadership has been featured in Dazed Magazine (UK, 2015), iD (UK,2014), Noisey (CO, 2015), Paper Magazine (USA, 2016), Style Like U (DE,2018), Berlin art link (DE, 2016), Schön Magazine (SP, 2018), Afropunk (USA, 2018), The Fader (USA, 2015) & GalDem (UK, 2016) among many. Their texts have published in The 3D Additivist Cookbook (DE, 2016), “How to sleep faster” x Arcadia Missa (UK, 2016), and “Afropean Mimicry and Mockery in Theatre, Performance, and visual arts” Commissioned by Mousonturm (DE, 2018).


Marko Tirnanić
Title: Aversion to Activity/Eight of March, 2019
Duration: 4:50 minutes
Commissioned work for the Artists ‘Film International 2019
Selected by Belgrade Cultural Centre, Serbia

At a celebration in which a group of women decided to be alone, without men, we see moments of enjoyment in which women entertain, play, drink, feel free, without any repressive control mechanism. But this world is often in contrast to what is out of the box party, and it comes down to controlling the behaviour. Is the idea of gender in fact still under the strong influence of the dominant, masculine gender?
The resistance to this stereotyped way of thinking is passive and presented in the image of a woman whose movements and behaviour speak of the complete lack of interaction with the immediate environment. Her movements have no function, it is difficult to load any action in them, they do not have either male or female characteristics. While the text talks about associating the subject with the collective / environment, the picture shows the opposite, pointing to the importance of constant resistance.

Marko Tirnanić (1985. Serbia) graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade, where he earned his master’s degree in painting. He actively exhibits his work in Serbia and abroad – Thailand, Croatia, Austria and Netherlands. He was invited by the Austrian Ministry of Culture and KulturKontakt to participate in a residential program fo artists, where he realised one collective and one solo exhibition. His works are mainly in domain of video and installations in the public spaces (for example in front of the Serbian parliament building but also in more intimate spaces for a smaller group of people). In his work Marko explores the relations of power, the relationship between individual and state, between the dominating and the dominated. His interest goes deep into research of monitored movements, control and freedom. He always seeks to include the audience in his work and develop a relation between the observer and the piece.


Evelyn Taocheng Wang
Title: The Interview, 2017`
Medium Video HD
Duration10.40 mins
Selected by KWM artcenter, Beijing

The film is based on a script in which Wang projects her romantic fantasies, cross-cultural and cross gender associations onto the historical context of the museum and of Haarlem. The Interview is a remake of an interview for the Volkskrant Beeldende Kunst Prijs (Volkskrant Visual Art Award) which Wang won in 2016. This work was created in response to the limiting format of the mass media. The original interview did not afford Wang the time to address subjects such as ideas about body culture. To enable her to elaborate on this, Wang created a longer remake of the interview. In it, she talks in the museum depots of the Frans Hals Museum about her artistic practice in Europe and about the differences between Western and Eastern art, while occasionally accompanied by a nearly naked man with ‘ideal proportions’. The work highlights the issues faced in today’s society in accepting new understandings both of cross cultural and body identity within art from the past and from the present.


Nguyen Hai Yen
Title: Summer siesta: 6th hour counting from dawn, 2017
Duration: 13:24 minutes
Credit: The film was produced within the project "Realities" by Jamie Maxtone-Graham and Hanoi DocLab 
Selected by DOCLAB, Hanoi

In the midsummer of a tropical country, persons are taking their siesta, persons dream of time, nothing but the tranquility of time. 

Nguyen Hai Yen (b.1976, Vietnam). Her dreamscape containing liquid memories and faces are her films' materials. She sees herself as Borges' Funes the Memorious, after being thrown by a half-tamed horse and becoming physically paralysed, decided to reduce each of his past days to some seventy-thousand memories.