FLUX: ART+FILM explores the fertile ground between art and cinema, with radical and innovative films and videos by artists who challenge or transform our experience of what cinema can be.
This year’s FLUX line-up foregrounds local artists working in the borderlands of speculative fiction and experimental documentary. At the centre of the program are two ambitious feature films reckoning with the decline of global superpowers. With Hello Dankness, Sydney-born duo Soda Jerk mine the flotsam of cinema history and meme culture in a political fable of contemporary America, satirising the bizarro spectacle of the Trump years.
Looking back to the previous century, Polish-Australian artist Kuba Dorabialski’s Connection of the Sticks – presented here in its long-awaited theatrical premiere – asks what traces remain of Eastern European socialism. Invoking the existentialism of Tarkovsky with the best of golden-age Polish cinematography, Dorabialski summons a mystical Soviet past from the perspective of a migrant living in present-day Sydney.
Australian premieres of new work by stalwarts of the art cinema circuit round out this year’s FLUX. Acclaimed Chicago-based filmmaker Deborah Stratman’s recent projects have investigated sinkholes, surveillance, comets, raptors and levitation. Her latest film turns to rocks, celebrating the evolution of the mineral kingdom in images of radiant beauty.
From the virtuosic to the defiantly lo-fi: Hong Sang-soo disassembles cinema’s elemental structures in a film that lays bare his working methodology. in water offers a minimalist counterpoint to the technical bravura of Stratman’s spiralling visuals, Soda Jerk’s miraculous rotoscoping and Dorabialski’s gorgeous widescreen compositions.
Ruby Arrowsmith-Todd, FLUX curator
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