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FLEFF Intern Voices

The Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival from the interns' point of view

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Posted by Andrew Ronald at 2:10PM   |  8 comments
A still from Scene 32.

Blog posting written by Andrew Ronald, Film, Photography & Visual Arts '15, FLEFF Blogger, Mahopac, New York.

I recently had the opportunity to Skype with Shambhavi Kaul, a continuation of this blog post.

After joking about the almost too-idyllic introduction of being able to pick up a camera at the age of five and instantly fall in love with the art of cinema, Kaul and I discussed a few things, ranging from what inspires her as an artist, some analysis on her piece, Scene 32, and how the piece fits into FLEFF's theme of "mobilities."

To begin, I asked her a question most artists are quite familiar with: what inspires you? Kaul responded with quite a powerful answer in which she stated, "meaning within cinema is produced in part by presenting both the familiar and the unfamiliar. The unfamiliar is usually what we take for granted, the aspects upon which the familiar becomes possible, the moon, animals, certain backdrops...my interest is to re-circulate these aspects while resisting the frames by which we claim to understand them."

Scene 32 also makes vivid use of both HD video and 16mm film. Upon elaboration, Kaul explained that "Film and video are two totally different mediums. When you put them next to each other in a deliberate way, their modes of description begin to seem imperfect and thus meaning is made unstable.” 

This only reinforces her place in the exhibition as part of the mobilities movement. Cinema travels, and it is one of the original modes of portability in the way it has become enhanced. “The deluge of images that was once thought to exist only in the darkened rooms of theaters is now all around us. In all this, I think of my work as acts of recirculation where a resistance, perhaps a counter argument to some modes of appropriation may be enacted.”

As for plans for the future, Kaul is working on yet another exciting new project shot in Southern California and Northern Mexico. "It's a piece about borders and landscapes, and how they affect each other," she explains. "What pertains to meaning in landscape? This is something I definitely plan on looking out for. Are you?


8 Comments

Andrew...nice look into Kaul's work. I'm wondering, did she mention where these works were shot? Which country? And why?

Great post Andrew. This seems like a great project, a rarely seen mesh between the "new" and "old". How I miss 16mm and 35mm, what film is meant to be on!

Really insightful interview with Shambhavi Kaul, Andrew. SCENE 32 really does offer a counter narrative to these salt marshes in Gujarat.

Scene 32 was filmed in India, in the very place where I was born. As to why, I suppose the work can be seen as a ritualistic repetition of the impossible-to-know moment or place of origin.

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