Yervant Gianikian & Angela Ricci Lucchi have been celebrated pioneers of working with archival film material since the 1970s. Committed to making ruptures in history visible, they don't consider their practice a form of archeology. Rather, they approach the material as an object of the present. They contributed to Documenta 14 in Kassel with Journey to Russia (1989-2017), which can now be seen in TENT Rotterdam as part of IFFR.
Gianikian (who is Armenian) and Ricci Lucchi travelled to Leningrad/St. Petersburg in the late 1980s, at the time of Perestroika. Part of their quest was to meet the last living representatives of the Russian avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s, to record their memories without political overlays, before they disappeared forever. In addition to the films, many watercolour illustrations were made by Ricci Lucchi, accompanied by notes of their impressions. In the years that followed, the possibilities for working further with the material they had gathered were limited by practical considerations such as translation of interviews. During the past 10 years they returned to the subject, now treating their own notes and archive as another source – a new step in their work.
Journey to Russia comprises six screens (with 88 minutes of video material from different sources) and a 10-metre long watercolour roll.
Thu 25 Jan to Sat 3 Feb, 11:00-18:00, TENT, €5 (tickets at TENT)/free admission with festival badge