Artists’ films in dialogue: A Idade da Pedraand and La Region Centrale

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Birkbeck Cinema

43 Gordon Square



United Kingdom

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Artists’ films in dialogue: A Idade da Pedra (Ana Vaz, 2013) and La Région Centrale (Michael Snow, 1971) BIMI in collaboration with LUX Artists’ Moving Image presents a double-bill screening of A Idade da Pedra (2013) by Ana Vaz and Michael Snow’s La Région centrale (1971), curated by Filipa Ramos. The screening will be followed by a conversation with Vaz and Ramos; they will explore the similarities and differences between the two films and discuss the reasons for programming these films in dialogue with each other. This is the first instalment in a new series of events organised together by BIMI and LUX.

“Expanding the representation of space towards a system of vision that considers

other forms of movement beyond the more conventional latitude-longitude axes,

Michael Snow’s film La Région Centrale (1971) and Ana Vaz’s video A Idade da

Pedra (2013) offer, at a distance of more than forty years apart, two truly outlandish

perceptive experiences.

La Région Centrale, Michael Snow’s three-hour film was shot in the Eastern

Canadian forest in Quebec and relied on the creation of a complex mechanical

apparatus which allowed for a 360° movement of a 16mm film camera in all

directions. No human or animal presences are seen on land, water or sky, only the

vast, semi-flat natural area that surrounds the plateaux where the machine was

positioned: stones, mosses, clouds and a distant lake becoming its most distinctive


A Idade da Pedra takes place in the central plateau of Brazil, the sertão, an arid,

endless plain, whose naturecultural characteristics are scanned in a profusion of

detailed and intense portraits that reveal Vaz’s unique exploratory gaze. This

landscape is the set for the artist to rethink the birth of the city of Brasília and its

geological foundations, opening itself to a journey that becomes an intense moment

of discovery of a hypothetical future as well as an occasion to reflect about the ideals

and beliefs of modernism.

Gradually both films break all sorts of conventional relations to space and time:

latitude and longitude make no more sense as forms of measuring distance and

location; the linear conception of history is scattered, and the disciplinary borders of

geology, geometry, geography are shaken and twisted, fused onto a whirlpool in

which images and sound stimulate a trance-like effect and offer an experience as

contemplative as it is immersive.” (Filipa Ramos, October 2015)

Films: Ana Vaz, A Idade da Pedra, Brazil, 2013, 29:00 min, 16mm transferred to HD,

colour, 5.1 sound

Michael Snow, La Région Centrale, Canada, 1971, 190:00 min, 16mm film, colour,


Contributors: Ana Vaz is a Brazilian artist and filmmaker whose films, writing and

performances speculate upon the relationships between history and representation

through a cosmology of signs, references and perspectives. Her films have been

shown at numerous international film festivals, including New York Film Festival,

Visions du Réel and TIFF Wavelengths.

Filipa Ramos is an art writer and curator based in London, where she works as

editor-in-chief for art-agenda.

Date and time


Birkbeck Cinema

43 Gordon Square



United Kingdom

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Organiser Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image

Organiser of Artists’ films in dialogue: A Idade da Pedraand and La Region Centrale

Birkbeck Institute for the Moving Image (BIMI) is a response to the growing interest in film and the moving image across the College. Through public events and academic research initiatives, BIMI will address a wide variety of contemporary issues, particularly those relevant to its interdisciplinary structure.  Working closely with the Birkbeck Cinema, BIMI programmes public screenings and special seasons, making use of 35 mm film in addition to the Cinema’s high quality DVD projection.

We will be running a busy calendar of events from research seminars to film screenings. Please check these pages for further details in the coming weeks.

BIMI is funded across three schools at Birkbeck: the School of Arts, School of Law, and School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy.  The University of Pittsburgh is also a partner and co-funder.

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