Artificial Eye & Un Chant d’Amour

Multi-media Performance & Film

The New York based video-artist Janene Higgins and musician-composer Zeena Parkins (the duo travels under the resonant name of LUXBEAT) present Artificial Eye. This multi-media performance was inspired by the life of Hildegard von Bingen (see page 10). From a very early age Hildegard suffered from intense headaches, which caused vivid hallucinations. She interpreted the migraine auras as “visions from the heavens”. At the age of 42 she had a vision that would change the course of her life: she was summoned to “tell and write” what she saw and heard in her visions. A substantial opus followed, including theological studies, liturgical chants, and scientific studies on nature and medicine. Hildegard’s writings are also unique for their generally positive view of sexual relations and her description of pleasure from a woman’s point of view.
Luxbeat succeeds exceptionally well in evoking Hildegard’s auras. While we hear Parkins’ mesmerising sounds produced on her electric harp and sampler, Higgins mixes live abstract visuals, and quotes from the visionary and real-time images of her 20th century interpreter. The music triggers images, images trigger the music.
In other words, this will be Kinoteka-SyHaPa’s first truly interactive Kino-Uho™. Artificial Eye is a 40-minute trance, a meditation on the life and work of an inspiring and remarkable woman. Artificial Eye was premiered last year at Dokumenta X in Kassel.
In the second part of the programme Zeena Parkins will play her score for Jean Genet’s first and only movie Un Chant d’Amour. Genet’s cult film is based upon his novel Our Lady of the Flowers. It depicts the fantasies of a gay, male prisoner and his jailer. For years Un Chant d’Amour was banned in many countries, and was screened only privately or on the underground circuit.
Parkins’ score for this “great poetic masterpiece of power, love and lust in prison” is part of a series of scores she has written for silent films. She presented her compositions for films by Kenneth Anger and Maya Deren at Druga godba ’97.

Artificial Eye: Zeena Parkins: electric harp, sampler; Janene Higgins: mix.

Un Chant d’Amour: Directed by Jean Genet. 25 min., silent, BW, 35mm, France, 1950.
New score written and performed by Zeena Parkins.

Co-organised by Slovenska kinoteka & SyHaPa

Date and time of event: 
Oct 11th 21:00
Place of event: 
Slovenska kinoteka