Cinemathèque française Announces Chris Marker Exhibition + Retrospective

Les Sept Vies d'un Cineaste Chris Marker Exhibition Cinematheque francaise

Exciting news from the Cinémathèque française announcing dates for the much-anticipated Chris Marker exhibition has been posted on www.cinematheque.fr.

Here’s the intro and several citations for now. English translations have been added at the end of the post.

For background on the acquisition of Marker’s estate, see State of the Estate and State of the Estate II: The Glorious Shambles, as well as Fonds Chris Marker – 550 Grands Cartons chez Cinémathèque française here at chrismarker.org.

CHRIS MARKER LES 7 VIES D’UN CINÉASTE
EXPOSITION – RETROSPECTIVE DU 3 MAI AU 29 JUILLET 2018

L’exposition Chris Marker est un voyage. Un voyage dans l’espace et le temps, un voyage qui accompagne, de la Deuxième Guerre mondiale et la Résistance jusqu’à sa mort en 2012, le parcours exceptionnel d’un cinéaste et d’un homme hors du commun. Ce voyage est à la fois la chronique d’une existence longue et très remplie, et une libre circulation dans les différentes couches du temps aux côtés d’un explorateur inventif de possibles déplacements entre présent, passé et avenir, déplacements dont La Jetée a offert le modèle le plus connu. Cette exposition est en même temps un voyage dans l’espace, à la surface de la planète, aux côtés d’un infatigable globe-trotter, curieux du monde et de ses habitants : la Californie, l’Islande, la Corée, la Guinée-Bissau, la Sibérie, la Chine, l’Amérique latine de Mexico à Valparaíso en passant par La Havane, jalonnent ces trajets où l’amour du Japon occupe une place singulière. Les parcours de Chris Marker, à l’occasion, l’auront même mené sur Mars ou sur la planète virtuelle de Second Life…

[…]

La Cinémathèque française a recueilli les immenses archives de toute nature et sur tout support laissées par Marker à sa mort. C’est à partir de ce trésor aussi riche qu’hétérogène qu’a été conçue l’exposition, à la fois chronologique et thématique. La matière de ce legs est si riche et si complexe que l’inventaire de celui qui fut aussi un archiviste passionné n’est pas encore achevé au moment d’ouvrir l’exposition. On y découvre en particulier les œuvres originales qui lui avaient été offertes par de grands artistes, ses propres créations plastiques jusque-là inconnues, ainsi que ses deux grandes installations, Zapping Zone (Proposals for an Imaginary Television) et Owls at Noon Prelude: The Hollow Men, ainsi que le programme de discussion avec un ordinateur qu’il avait conçu, Dialector.

[…]

L’exposition est accompagnée, dans les salles de la Cinémathèque, par l’intégrale des films, vidéos et programmes télévisés (les treize épisodes de L’Héritage de la chouette) réalisés par Chris Marker. Seront également projetés les films auxquels il a collaboré, et le documentaire récent que lui ont consacré Jean-Marie Barbe et Arnaud Lambert, Never Explain, Never Complain. Et encore un programme particulier de grands films classiques particulièrement aimés de Marker et avec lesquels ses propres réalisations dialoguent.

Text by: Christine Van Assche (commissaire générale), Raymond Bellour et Jean-Michel Frodon (commissaires associés)

Find out more at: www.cinematheque.fr

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For those who wish in advance to dig a bit deeper into a philosophical exploration of Chris Marker and the archive, I recommend reading “Marker’s Archive”, the second Essay of Gavin Keeney’s recent book Knowledge, Spirit, Law: Book 2: The Anti-Capitalist Sublime. The sections of this wide-ranging reflection – within an even wider-ranging, fascinating book – comprise: I. Cultural Patrimony; II. Futural Intensity; III. Belated Assimilations; IV. Editioned Works; V. Pre-1962 Marker; and VI. Postscript. It is available through Punctum Books (‘earth, milky way’) in a limited edition. See punctumbooks.com.

Keeney is no stranger to Marker. In 2012, he published Dossier Chris Marker: The Suffering Image. The publisher Cambridge Scholars offers this sample online: Download PDF: Dossier Chris Marker.

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CHRIS MARKER THE 7 LIVES OF A CINEASTE
EXPOSITION – RETROSPECTIVE FROM MAY 3 TO JULY 29, 2018

The exhibition Chris Marker is a journey. A journey in space and time, a journey that accompanies, from the Second World War and the Resistance until his death in 2012, the exceptional journey of a filmmaker and a man out of the ordinary. This trip is at the same time the chronicle of a long and very full existence, and a free movement in the different layers of time alongside an inventive explorer of possible displacements between present, past and future, displacements of which La Jetée offered the best known model. This exhibition is at the same time a journey into space, on the surface of the planet, alongside a tireless globe-trotter, curious about the world and its inhabitants: California, Iceland, Korea, Guinea Bissau, Siberia, China, Latin America from Mexico City to Valparaíso via Havana, mark out those journeys where the love of Japan occupies a singular place. The courses of Chris Marker, on occasion, will have even led him to Mars or to the virtual planet of Second Life …

[…]

The Cinémathèque française has collected the immense archives of all kinds and on any medium [format, device] left by Marker at his death. It is from this rich and heterogeneous treasure – both chronological and thematic – that the exhibition was conceived. The material of this legacy is so rich and so complex that the inventory of the one who was also a passionate archivist is not yet complete when opening the exhibition. In particular, we discover the original works that had been offered to him by great artists, his own previously unknown plastic [fine art] creations, as well as his two great installations, Zapping Zone (Proposals for an Imaginary Television) and Owls at Noon Prelude: The Hollow Men, as well as the discussion program with a computer he had designed, Dialector.

[…]

The exhibition is accompanied, in theaters of the Cinémathèque, by the complete movies, videos and television programs (the thirteen episodes of The Owl’s Legacy) directed by Chris Marker. Also to be screened are the films he collaborated on, and the recent documentary directed by Jean-Marie Barbe and Arnaud Lambert, Never Explain, Never Complain. And as well a particular program of great classic films particularly loved by Marker and with which his own realizations dialogue.

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Update I: Assembling Marker with Jean-Michel Frodon

I just noticed news of an event, “Assembling Marker”, which will put Marker curator Jean-Michel Frodon in conversation with Nora Alter at Slought | Assembling Marker in Philadelphia, on March 12, 2018. It has been organized with Film and Media Arts at Temple University and Cinema & Media Studies and French & Francophone Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Of course the mention of a “double volume publication” by the Cinémathèque definitely caught my attention. Here an excerpt from the announcement:

Upon Marker’s death, there were no direct heirs nor designees to manage his estate, preserve his legacy, and archive his materials. That task was taken up by the archives experts from Cinémathèque française, with the help and guidelines of a few devoted individuals including Jean-Michel Frodon and Raymond Bellour. The result of their tireless efforts and commitment is a double volume publication forthcoming this May, the most comprehensive exhibition ever dedicated to Marker’s multifacted work, and a vast retrospective including all his films and many of those he was inspired by or that were inspired by him, opening at the Cinémathèque Française on May 2. In conversation with Alter, Frodon will discuss the experience and process of archiving Marker, editing his writings and preparing an exhibition—all part of the process of making accessible the work of a deeply private person who vehemently disliked public life.
slought.org

Where do people get the idea that being a “deeply private person” translates automatically into “vehemently disliked public life”? Sure, if we define public life as non-stop interviews and being stalked by paparazzi, that might hold true, but Marker welcomed strangers into his atelier, offered them vodka, made friends across the world, and in many ways made public life – the commons and the global village – the vast palette from which he assembled his creations, even though he no doubt needed long stretches of private, focused time to bring them to life.

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Update II: CHRIS MARKER L’HOMME MONDE

The current presentation on the Actes Sud site gives the title of the catalog (and the exhibition) as Chris Marker: l’homme monde:

L’exposition “Chris Marker, l’homme monde”, organisée l’année des célébrations du cinquantième anniversaire de Mai 68, s’accompagne de l’édition d’un ouvrage de référence, pour lequel ont été conviés les plus grands spécialistes de l’œuvre de l’artiste. Les trente essais qui composent cet imposant volume dévoilent les différentes facettes de la personnalité de cet homme qui fut tour à tour résistant, écrivain, cinéaste, amateur d’art, voyageur, photographe, éditeur, monteur… Répartie en neuf chapitres, l’iconographie riche et dense fait la part belle aux archives des collections de la Cinémathèque française, dont certaines inédites. L’ouvrage se donne ainsi l’ambition de plonger dans l’intimité de Marker pour permettre d’en saisir toute la contemporanéité du projet intellectuel et artistique, la curiosité et l’acuité du regard sur la situation de notre monde actuel, la générosité politique et l’exigence éthique. En outre, l’œuvre de Chris Marker a eu un impact considérable et fut une source d’inspiration pour nombre d’intellectuels, de créateurs, de réalisateurs et de passionnés du cinéma.
Actes Sud

Chris Marker L'Homme Monde catalog Actes Sud

The exhibition “Chris Marker, the world man”, organized the year of the celebrations of the fiftieth anniversary of May 68, is accompanied by the edition of a reference work, for which were invited the greatest specialists on the work of the artist. The thirty essays that compose this imposing volume unveil the various facets of the personality of this man who was in turn ‘resistant’, writer, filmmaker, amateur artist, traveler, photographer, book editor, film editor… Distributed in nine chapters, the rich, dense iconography is the pride of the archives in the collections of the Cinémathèque française, some unpublished. The book thus aims to plunge into the intimacy of Marker, in order to fully grasp the contemporaneity of his intellectual and artistic project, the curiosity and acuteness of his view of the situation of our current world, his poetic generosity and ethical imperative. In addition, the work of Chris Marker has had a considerable impact and was a source of inspiration for many intellectuals, creators, directors and film enthusiasts.
Actes Sud