SO LONG AFTER SUNSET AND SO FAR FROM DAWN

SO LONG AFTER SUNSET AND SO FAR FROM DAWN – 2014-15 – film (7min) / installation. Original language : Kurdish. Version with English subtitles available.

FILM – Oscillating between the birth and decline of light, night plunges the ruins of Ani (ancient Armenian capital) and some under construction buildings of Mardin (at the Syrian border) into the blueish glows of their own destinies, between past and future, in a uncertain present. Subtitles accompany the film where a dialog builds up between titans and gods, two mythological opposite entities symbolising mechanical and organic, order and desire, and reveal their tragic irreconciability.

INSTALLATION – The installation So long after sunset and so far from dawn is made of a screen and two photographs displayed side by side, all of the same height and constituting a fresco. In the film, a Kurdish and subtitled voice, treated as music and accompanied by other musical elements, unfolds an imaginary dialog between a Titan and a God.

CREDITS film, music, texts and photographs by Romain Kronenberg / Kurdish translation by Kawa Nemir / with Mehmet Korkut and Mazlum Adıgüzel.

CATALOGUE DU 61ème SALON DE MONTROUGE – Guillaume Désanges

Romain Kronenberg (a musician and film-maker) develops a work in sparseness and precision, a way of sublimating a complexity of affects and thoughts in the simplicity of the object (material and cinematographic).

He designs hybrid installations, kind of total artworks, somewhere between sculpture, music, photography and film, forming landscapes arising from the spatial explosion of a film, and organised around recurrent objects, at once sculpture sculptures in space and props, or even fully-fledged characters.

Based on a dense network of references, intentional as much as intuitive (and whose outlines, let us wager, depends as much on the spectator as on the artist), the work proceeds on a game of non-control or theoretical “letting-go”, giving pride of place to the imagination. Relying on the emergence of chance within an established programme, there is a sort of poetic relay of the discourse which determines its forms. Among the motifs hidden in the folds of the narrative, we find the issues of life force and stagnation, progress and decline, never in a Manichaean way (or even dialectically), but in a logic of identity-related tension, like the two sides of one and the same reality. This unity of opposites is very present in Romain Kronenberg’s film writing, just as the figure of a time curled up or folded beneath the form of a tight arc, between power and fragility. Based on the resurgence of the fantastic and myth in contemporary reality, it is the eye which the work casts on a current state of the world which is the most disturbing, shedding indirect light on the marks of a change of civilisation, somewhere between resistance, resignation, hope and destruction.

PUTTING TIME BACK INTO THE CITY: IMPRESSIONS FROM THE 3RD MARDIN BIENNIAL (excerpts) – Gökcan Demirkazık

What happens when references are too far removed from one another, when myths, the mythologized and facts collide and collapse onto one another? So long after sunset and so far from dawn (2014), Paris-based artist Romain Kronenberg’s arresting video, juxtaposes new high-rises being built in outer Mardin with the stoic yet somber remnants of the Armenian medieval city of Ani (located in present-day Kars). The apartment blocks rise seemingly in the middle of nowhere, encircled by the vast emptiness of Mardin plains, as the story of the fall of the Titans is narrated through subtitles. Minimal modulations of the two-tone electronic ambient sound occasionally mix with something akin to a whistle; the camera cuts from one view to another, switching between the abandoned and the not-yet-occupied.

In the video, the cranes over construction sites become “the great columns that support the sky,” whose guardian, Atlas, not only has to bear the weight of the heavens, but also that of loneliness. The absence of human activity, which will soon materialize anyways in the newly built environment, allows one to see more clearly how the ruins of Ani constitute memento mori for the expanding city. Kronenberg extends the “temporal relief” in Aktaş’s work, the suggested locus of all mythology, into a Bergsonian time spiral, and overlays it with elements like love and faith that immediately recall cycles of life. The simultaneously (homo)erotic and messianic addresses of the unidentified narrator to Atlas subvert a monolithic understanding of myth-making (in the Greco-Roman tradition) limited to patriarchal struggles among gods and demi-gods, and Zeus’ violation of beautiful women.

ETE PERPETUEL

ETE PERPETUEL2015-16 – Film (43min) / installation. Original language : French. English subtitles available.

FILM – (English title : Perpetual summer) Jeanne, 40 years old, is isolated in the garden of a summer house where she settled with Louis several years before, after the slaughter. Since then, her beloved has drowned swimming in the pool. Now lonely, she revives Louis’s memory practicing a dialectic game where she lends her voice and intelligence to let the confrontation of their contradictory natures reappear. Indeed Louis was an enthusiastic man willing to fight who opposed her skeptical character. As the game unfolds, the memory of Louis becomes so real that he appears under Jeanne’s eyes. Shaken, she leaves the game and lets herself drop into the pool where she experiments both the accident of her beloved and her own abandonment. After leaving the water, she sings a poem where she mourns for him going through the diversity of emotions she experimented since he passed away. During the poem, time slowly stretches until it stops. And starts again twenty years before, a few days before the accident.

INSTALLATION – The exhibition of Été perpétuel preceded the shooting of the film. Objects contributing its making were gathered : rehearsals texts sculptures photographs, and the public invited to move in the possibility of this film to come.

CREDITS – With Audrey Bonnet, Lucie Boujenah & Louis Berthélemy. Sculptures by Benjamin Graindorge. Film, music & dialogues by Romain Kronenberg. With the support of the Fondation Galeries Lafayette / Villa Bernasconi, City of Lancy, Geneva.

Film previews (2015)

Fondation Galeries Lafayette – Paris (2015)

Centre Pompidou – Paris, Nouveau Festival (2015)

Villa Bernasconi – Genève (2015)

HELIOPOLIS

HELIOPOLIS – 2015-16 – film (30min) / installation. Original languages : Turkish & Kurdish. Version with English subtitles available.

FILM – Mardin, Turkey, 2015. In a future where all is still to be built, between concrete and workers of a construction site, between Turkish and Kurdish, four young men read the story of an imaginary city : “in Heliopolis, two communities have gathered in response to the call of the Myth of climate disorders : the myth says that any life outside of the former abandoned City-state turned into shelter has become impossible. At first, life is organised in an organic dynamic, soon endangered by apathy where two archaic political systems resurface. A coup d’état is coming”. The text of Heliopolis – that I addressed to the people living in the area of Mardin as the consequence of political troubles I experienced there in 2014 – as much as the portrait of the four young men facing their own condition through the reading, are revealed by the film – and all the potential of relationships to be made between reality and fiction.

CREDITS – With Mazlum Adıgüzel, Baver Doğanay, Mehmet Korkut & Hayrettin Yavuz.

MARCHER PUIS DISPARAITRE

MARCHER PUIS DISPARAÎTRE – 2013 – film (45min) / installation.

FILM – (English title : To walk then disappear) The film Marcher puis disparaître unfolds the trajectory of a man who, coming from the distance, goes through the daily life of a small Turkish city whose customs and places he observes  at dawn : a café, the old mosque, streets coming alive, a bakery, games on some café tables. The man reaches the boundaries of the city that draws the ballet of trucks, and then hits the road back, heading for no man’s lands : he crosses and abandoned village and, at the sunset, breaks through the ecumene and discovers a vast salt lake where he abandons himself to climate. Through his path, the walker links together the city and the lake et then starts a dialog between opposite symbols : the collective and the individual, the concrete and the abstract, the real and the theoretical, the documentary and the fictional.

INSTALLATION – In the installation Marcher puis disparaître the film is shown linearly, accompanied by traces and elements of its making. In the installation are gathered three sculptures (walking sticks manipulated by the main character in the film), several photographs showing the context of the shooting and particularly the city of Sereflikochisar and three 3D prints left on an aerial view of the salt lake Tuz Gölü. This display is constantly mutating.

CREDITS – MARCHER PUIS DISPARAÎTRE (43 minutes, stereo, 16:9, colour) A film by Romain Kronenberg – sculptures by Benjamin Graindorge – music and sound editing by Romain Kronenberg – produced by Too Many Cowboys (Clément Postec), With the support of the Centre National des arts plastiques (Image/Mouvement), Fondation nationale des arts graphiques et plastiques, and Centre national de la cinématographie et de l’image animée (Nouveaux médias). Public collection : FNAC (Fonds national d’art contemporain)

http://vimeo.com/95584359%20

http://vimeo.com/95584359%20

at Verksmiðjan, center for contemporary art, Hjalteyri, Oh so quiet exhibition (Iceland)

at Onomichi museum, 2015, Rendez-vous exhibition (Japan)

at Nuit Blanche of Kyoto, 2015, Villa Kujoyama

at Villa Bernasconi – Geneva (2015)

at Mardin Biennial – Turkey (2015)

at Gaîté Lyrique – Paris (2015)

in Sereflikochisar – Turkey (2014)

MUSIC

POURQUOI JE VEUX PARTIR (2017, 45min, stereo, radio work commissioned by CNAP & France Culture)

HALFTONE (2014, personal work)

MEDEE, POEME ENRAGE (2014, music for the eponym theatre play)

OVERDRIVE (2011, personal work)

SAME SAME BUT DIFFERENT (2010, personal work)

BLUE BLUE ELECTRIC BLUE (2010, commissioned by CNAP)

DOWN DOWN DOWN DOWN (2010, commissioned by City of Lausanne)

VILLA (2009, personal work)

AD GENUA (2008, personal work)

NAKED (2005, personal work)

FOR (2004, personal work)