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The table in Turbulence Jamais Vu. Photo by Leo Bankersen

IDFA 2023 - DocLab and the shadow worlds

Does something get better when it is sanded? Art as the grindstone of the mind? The age-old concept of dialectics, the clash of opposites from which something new emerges? This 17th edition of IDFA's DocLab, the programme full of digital art, interactive work and virtual worlds, is themed 'Phenomenal Friction'. Technology is mostly focused on efficiency and convenience, but DocLab invites us to... 

Theaterplatz Weimar with Günther Ücker's Steinmal, where the AfD holds fascist rallies on Mondays.

Journal Kunstfest Weimar #3: When remembering becomes a problem.

Water is very good at covering things up. Sixty kilometres south of Weimar is a huge reservoir, about which the locals know little more than that the hydroelectric plant supplies power to houses and the steelworks, a few kilometres away. At least one village has also disappeared, and artist cum experimental radio maker Sandra Rücker found out that her... 

Yves Degryse by Koen Broos

Yves Degryse (Berlin) on the return of the legendary show 'Zvizdal' at #Theaterfestival Boulevard: "This really took me by my jacket"

Yves Degryse is one of the people behind the extraordinary Flemish company Berlin. Between 2011 and 2015, Berlin worked on the performance Zvizdal, largely shot in the 'forbidden zone' around the exploded Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine. I saw the performance in 2016 in Den Bosch, during Festival Boulevard, and was 'blown away'. This year, it returns to Boulevard 

Still from the documentary White Balls on Walls by Sarah Vos

White Balls on Walls: fascinating image of a museum in panic

There is quite a stir among mostly people of certain (white) colour and age about a documentary now playing in movie houses. In White Balls on Walls, maker Sarah Vos shows how the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam has to get used to a new era in which old self-evidences are shaking to their foundations. The uproar revolves mainly around the artworks created by established... 

How I almost fell off my bike because of a VR documentary #IDFA Doclab

IDFA DocLab has returned home to the Brakke Grond, and how! More than thirty-five works explore the boundaries of documentary in content and form. DocLab is the digital playground where anything is technically and conceptually possible now. So I watched a work with scent, danced in the 80s and got so relaxed I almost... 

Master Talk with IDFA guest Laura Poitras: why her work can be an inspiration to today's activists.

Following the screening of her Venice Golden Lion-winning All the Beauty and the Bloodshed, committed and critical documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras had a good chat with IDFA's artistic director Orwa Nyrabia at Carré. About her discovery of the documentary world, her outrage at American politics and how she also learned to see hope.

For God's sake, keep an open mind! Rolf Orthel on Making is Most Beautiful

Making is most beautiful, Rolf Orthel's latest film, is an ode to making and its makers. Why does the process of making fascinate? What is creativity or artistry? We meet at bodega Keijzer in Amsterdam, where the waiter knows his coffee preference. We talk about film, parents, getting older, primary school, forests, taking detours to see new things. If... 

Altamira 2042 makes you realise how powerless we are against the madness of progress. #whereisdomphillips #whereisbrunopereira #hf22

How do you play a rainforest? I was once told that the rainforest makes deafening noise especially at night. On 7 June, I got to hear the same thing in the installation Altamira 2042, thanks to the Holland Festival. In that performance, Brazilian artist cum documentary filmmaker Gabriela Carneiro da Cunha managed to make the sound of the tropics tangible. In a... 

Visually strong documentary on Colombia at Concordia 

Monday 21 February at 19:30, Concordia is screening a one-off film 'Colombia in My Arms', about Colombia after the peace deal between the government and the FARC guerrillas. Will the fragile peace survive the distrust and resentment built up by decades of war? With elections approaching, some politicians hope to profit from stoking tensions even further. Before and after... 

Museum of Austerity shows the bitter face of austerity cuts

Whenever a technology is presented that I am not yet familiar with, I like to explore. A museum with holographic glasses? Do it! However, it turned out to be the content that will stay with me for a long time. The Museum of Austerity by Sarah Wares and John Pring is no easy read. But essential for understanding the impact of austerity on disabled people... 

Symbiosis, or how I wanted to become a butterfly - Symbiosis VR by Polymorph at the IDFA DocLab

DocLab has been the most exciting part of IDFA for 15 years. This is the place for experimentation in form, technology and content; pushing and stretching the boundaries of the medium. I like to plunge in, sometimes with skin and hair. The VR installation Symbiosis gives that opportunity quite literally. You get to enter a post-apocalyptic world, where people are forced to make connections... 

Renzo Martens on White Cube: 'From now on, the Stedelijk should devote its entire acquisitions budget to art by plantation workers.'

A sleek, snow-white art temple in the middle of the Congolese interior. What does that mean? Renzo Martens talks about his new documentary White Cube, and the art project that allows plantation workers to buy back their land. Premiering at IDFA and in Lusanga, Congo.

Traveling While Black grabs you by the throat

Traveling While Black touches you deeply and that is exactly the intention. The 20-minute or so Virtual reality film immerses you in the history of institutional racism in the US and especially what it does to people. The location is Ben's Chili Bowl in Washington DC*. We sit at a table in a classic diner with people... 

Comfort from a bygone era. A short film about the Gouda multi-media project 'Why are things going well in your life'?

In 2016, photographer and visual artist Jaap van den Berg initiated a special project in Gouda. In the historical centre on the Market Square, he asked various people from all walks of life the question: Why are things going well in your life? People who answered the question were then photographed by Van den Berg. 140 portraits were chosen 

'You missed nothing about your father'

In Verstoten Vaders, Elena Lindemans impressively highlights a huge, tucked-away social problem: of many tens of thousands of children who have to let go of one of their parents after a divorce. Elena: 'While making 'Wife Beats Husband' - a film about men who are victims of domestic violence - I came into contact with fathers who are abandoning their children - almost... 

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