after 9/11
11 Sep 2005

It has taken a while, but more and more the September 11, 2001 attacks and the events that followed them are having direct repercussions on art.

SMCS on 11
Sunday, September 11, 8:30 p.m.
After 9/11: Video programme, +/- 70 minutes
Free admission

On the occasion of the premiere of a new film by Jeroen Kooijmans, New York is eating me & The Cactus Dance, SMCS is also showing a number of other short films in which 9/11 plays an important role. On 11, of course.

* Marc Bijl, Afterhours, 2005, 6 min.
* Stefan Ruitenbeek & Tarik Sadouma, Cultural Superiority, 2005, 10 min.
* Christian Jankowski, 16 mm Mystery, 2004, 5 min.
* Jeroen Kooijmans, New York is eating me & The Cactus Dance, 2005, 37 min.
* Herman Helle, History of the World part 11, 2005, 4 min.

The title of the programme derives from the title of a recent video by Marc Bijl, Afterhours. With a simple hand-held camera, Bijl filmed the deserted streets of Manhattan at night. New York – proverbially the City that Never Sleeps – here seems to have changed into a ghost town, definitely invaded by evil. The only thing that stands out are the large posters calling on citizens to be vigilant. But where are the citizens?

Cultural Superiority is the film which was Stefan Ruitenbeek’s recent graduation project at the Rietveld Academy. The work problematises the Western-dominated art world in the post 9/11 era, in the way that since the attack on the Twin Towers and the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq which followed it questions have been raised in general about Western – and most particularly, American –  hegemony over the world. The film was shot, very suggestively, in the desert of North Africa.

For 16 mm Mystery the German artist Christian Jankowski worked together with the Strause Brothers, experts in the field of special effects in films like Titanic and The Day After Tomorrow. While the artist sets up his projection screen in Los Angeles, a film cliché directed by the Strause Brothers is enacted in the background, which in fact is just as unexpected as the images that reached us from New York on 9/11.

The main film of the evening was made by Jeroen Kooijmans. He was working in New York on a comic documentary on moustaches, and saw the Twin Towers collapse one after the other. His American dream turned into a nightmare. He only completed the documentary years later. From the results, it is clear how much the traumatic experience altered an initially rather corny scenario into a document about his own identity and the loss of values which once seemed so self-evident. 

At 37 minutes, New York is eating me & The Cactus Dance is the longest film in this programme. The DVD is being issued by Artimo, and will be on sale this evening (Ned/Eng).

The evening will be closed with an animation by Herman Helle, as short as it is dramatic. With materials like clay and household refuse, and an impressive soundtrack, the attack on the World Trade Center is sketched from the perspective of the victims.