The moving-image works of American artist Stanya Kahn, seven of which are being screened at IFFR 2023 as part of the Focus programme, are marked by a consistent diversity of form and theme. Ranging from 16mm film, digital video, figurative animation, colour-field abstraction and narrative featurettes to experimental music videos, they demonstrate a filmmaker responding to an array of influences and materials with a striking blend of premeditation and spontaneity.
Responding to the environment and connecting to its life current is an impulse coursing through Kahn’s films, most notably in the decade-spanning, deeply personal docufiction Stand in the Stream (2017), which interweaves home movies and internet videos to explore cycles of engagement and disengagement from the world. The tendency to reach outward also finds an expression in Kahn’s various collaborations, whether with her family in No Go Backs (2020) or with other artists such as the painter Llyn Foulkes in Happy Song for You (2011).
With an emphasis on amateur archival footage and improvised compositions, Kahn’s work strives to achieve a free, direct quality, away from the idea of a clean image. At IFFR 2023, the interdisciplinary artist will be in conversation with curator Lisa Long, discussing her practice across various media, her approach to genres and the role of humour and trauma in her work.
– Srikanth Srinivasan
Programme IFFR 2023
Get to the heart of cinema with this year’s IFFR Talks programme: a series of Talks in which the creative minds behind independent filmmaking from across the globe explore the art of filmmaking.Read more about this programme