Agnès Varda (1928–2019) was an incredibly creative and productive personality—her comprehensive oeuvre takes in works as a filmmaker, photographer, and installation artist and spans more than sixty years, over the course of which she reinvented herself again and again. Before she started receiving attention for her films from the mid-1950s onwards, she had already made a name for herself as a photographer. As a pioneer of modern film, she expanded cinema’s possibilities for artistic expression for decades, creating a signature blend of documentary realism and poetic fiction before enthusiastically turning her attention to small digital cameras from 2000 onwards, eventually beginning a third career as an installation artist at the age of over 70. A comprehensive individual exhibition at the Betonhalle of silent green Kulturquartier from June 9th to July 20th is dedicated to this final creative period of Varda’s career.
The Arsenal cinema is showing a selection of Varda’s films whose motifs also appear in the exhibition and which reveal different connections across her entire oeuvre. It becomes clear that her exploration of photography, film, art and installation forms didn’t follow each other chronologically, but rather that Varda’s way of thinking and creating referenced other art forms from the very beginning. Her films repeatedly demonstrate a tendency to arrange and to exhibit. Vardas’s oeuvre consists of passages between the arts, between still images and moving ones, between life and death. (Birgit Kohler)
To compliment this program, arsenal 3 (www.arsenal-3-berlin.de) is screening the film VARDA PAR AGNÈS (France 2018), which has Agnès Varda lead the viewer through her oeuvre in lively, richly anecdotal fashion.
The film series is taking place as part of “The Third Life of Agnès Varda”—a project by silent green Film Feld Forschung gGmbH in collaboration with Ciné-Tamaris and the Estate of Agnès Varda.
Funded by the Federal Government Cultural Foundation and by the Federal Government’s State Minister for Culture and Media. With thanks to the Institut Français Paris for the rental of four 35mm prints.