Problematizing Reality: Encounters between art, cinema and philosophy​



‘Problematising reality – Encounters between art, cinema and philosophy’ is a series of projections and discussions that takes place in various cultural spaces in the city of Lisbon, starting in June 2018, in a partnership between IFILNOVA (CineLab) / FCSH / UNL, Goethe-Institut Portugal and Maumaus / Lumiar Cité and in collaboration with Apordoc / Doc’s Kingdom. 



Films, especially those that are considered as documentary, appeal to our thinking of reality in a particularly challenging way. While their indexical link to the reality they approach grants the images and sounds a specific credibility, the position of the artist, her aesthetic, thematic and political choices, her subjective understanding and artistic sensibility, determine how this reality is mediated. While in mass-media, the mediation part is often omitted (and thus, the images are presented, ideologically, as objective representations of the factual reality), critical filmic artworks include the part of mediation in order to address it productively through their very aesthetic constitution, thereby raising a wide range of questions which are also central to philosophical thinking. For reflecting on the relation between the factual world and its subjective appropriation, questioning hegemonic claims to objectivity and authority, and problematizing the inherent contradictions of society, are immanently philosophical issues. Artistic documentary films and philosophical thinking, notwithstanding their very different forms, figures and aims, thus share the concern of addressing the complex relation between the empirical world and its mediation through perception, signs and concepts. What does it mean to approach reality critically through an artistic form? How do filmic constellations think and make us think, instead of generating an impression of obviousness and immediacy? How can a specific truth-content be disclosed through montage, rhythm or an arrangement in constellation? What is the agency of a particular artistic form in relation to its content? How can political, ethical or epistemological problems be addressed through an intelligibility of the sensitive? And how can philosophical thinking help us to seize its impact and unfold its different strata of meaning? 

These encounters between film-artists and philosophers of international renown aim to confront these and other questions, starting every time from a particular film which will be screened in its entirety. In these encounters, film and conceptual thinking are considered on a par: instead of privileging one field over the other, these interventions focus on the very moments where film and philosophy enter into a productive dialogue. Thus, the point is not to elaborate general theories onfilm as a medium or aesthetic positions on art in general, nor is it to use films as an illustration of broader concepts of reality, rather, priority will be given to the singularity of a filmic moment embedding conceptual thought, or the singularity of a conceptual moment triggering an artistic form. 


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session 1: Renee Green/Ute Holl 

session 2: Alberto Toscano/Simon Thompson

session 3: Maria Augusta Ramos, Patricia Mourão 

session 4: Emily Wardill/Michael Marder

session 5: Albert Serra/ Alexander García Düttmann

session 6: Jean-Gabriel Périot/ Alain Brossat