Project Arts Centre presents the online launch of the book Luminous Void: Twenty Years of Experimental Film Society, a volume celebrating the twentieth anniversary of what has been acclaimed as “the most active, prolific and intrepid group of experimental filmmakers working in Ireland today” (aemi). The book’s editors, Experimental Film Society (EFS) filmmakers Rouzbeh Rashidi, Maximilian Le Cain and Atoosa Pour Hosseini, will introduce the event, discussing the publication as well as the wider history of EFS. The centerpiece of the evening will be a talk by world-renowned film critic and Luminous Void contributor Adrian Martin.
2020 marks the twentieth anniversary of the founding of Experimental Film Society, an Irish-based organisation for the production, archiving and distribution of personal, formally radical cinema. Founded by filmmaker Rouzbeh Rashidi, it is widely recognised as one of the most distinctive and influential voices in international underground film. EFS films conjure an intimate yet alien vision of the world through an exploratory, experiential approach to filmmaking. In blazing a unique and defiant trail through the landscape of contemporary Irish moving image, EFS has become synonymous with a stubbornly independent way of operating in complete freedom at the margins of film culture and the outer limits of cinematic creativity. The artists currently creating under the EFS banner are Rashidi, Atoosa Pour Hosseini, Vicky Langan, Maximilian Le Cain, Michael Higgins, Jann Clavadetscher, Shelly Kamiel and Chris O’Neill.
Luminous Void: Twenty Years of Experimental Film Society celebrates the prolific work and achievements of this unlikely group of creative outsiders who banded together to challenge the norms and limitations of filmmaking in Ireland and beyond. Featuring contributions from noted critics and curators from across the globe, it examines the ideas and impulses that animate EFS as well as the practices of many of the filmmakers associated with it. It includes texts by Adrian Martin, Naidin Mai, Matt Packer, Pluck Projects, Sebastian Wiedemann, Sarah Hayden & Paul Hegarty, Azadeh Jafari, Vahid Mortazavi, Zulfikar Filandra and expert EFS scholar Nikola Gocić. These writings provide a guidebook to the imposingly vast ‘luminous void’ of Experimental Film Society cinema.
The book is priced €20 + p&p (Europe €7, outside Europe €10). An eBook version is also available, priced €10.
Rouzbeh Rashidi (born in Tehran, 1980) is an Iranian-Irish filmmaker. He has been making films since 2000, at which time he founded the Experimental Film Society in Tehran. He has always worked completely away from mainstream conceptions of filmmaking, striving to escape the stereotypes of conventional storytelling. Instead, he roots his cinematic style in a poetic interaction of image and sound. He generally eschews scriptwriting, seeing the process of making moving images as exploration rather than illustration. His work is deeply engaged with film history.rouzbehrashidi.com
Atoosa Pour Hosseini is a Dublin-based visual artist, filmmaker, member of Temple Bar Gallery + Studios, and co-director of Experimental Film Society. Her work is influenced by historical avant-garde cinema, and explores questions about illusion, reality, and perception through the media of film, performance, and installation. She works with the material textures of 8mm and 16mm film as well as digital processes to explore layers of space and time, superimposing imagery and creating entrancing patterns of repetition with startling interruptions, set adrift on an ineffable current of memory. atoosapourhosseini.com
Maximilian Le Cain is a Cork-based experimental filmmaker affiliated with Experimental Film Society, a Dublin-based company dedicated to the production and distribution of experimental cinema. He frequently works in collaboration with Vicky Langan. Their feature film Inside (2017) was recently acquired for the Arts Council Collection. His work explores a personal relationship with cinema as a site of haunting. It is rooted in the spectral nature of the moving image and concerns establishing a personal dialogue with the history of ʻcinemaʼ in the broadest sense of the word. He is also a film writer and programmer. maximilianlecain.com
Adrian Martin is a world-renowned film critic and theorist who has been hailed as “one of the most imaginative and creative of film writers. He has been in love with the cinema for going on 50 years, and his texts often challenge boundaries between criticism, theory and creative writing” (Moving Poems). He is Adjunct Associate Professor in Film Culture and Theory at Monash University. His work has appeared in many magazines, journals and newspapers around the world. He creates audiovisual essays in collaboration with Cristina Álvarez López. His most recent book is Mysteries of Cinema (Amsterdam University Press, 2018). He has contributed audio commentaries to over sixty DVD/Blu-ray releases including for the BFI, Arrow and Masters of Cinema labels. filmcritic.com.au
Luminous Void: Twenty Years of Experimental Film Society was supported by the Arts Council of Ireland.
Project Arts Centre is proud to be supported by the Arts Council of Ireland and Dublin City Council.