SIR Cinema at Coolsingel in October, November and December

After two months of showing Alfredo Jaar’s The Ashes of Pasolini, the SIR cinema now offers a new programme with a unique collection of artists’ productions for November and December dealing with the contemporary city and the influences of large-scale urban development on residents.

– Tuesday – Friday: 17-20h
– Saturday and Sunday: 12-18h
– free admission

SIR Cinema is located in the heart of Rotterdam at Coolsingel 47, a former location for many beautiful cinemas in the past. Today nearly all of these have been either demolished or renovated to serve new functions ranging from high-end shops to a disco. One example is the magnificent Kriterion at the top of the Groot Handelsgebouw, designed by Maaskant. Before and after the films and during the intermissions, the screen would be rolled up, and the audience would be treated to an enormous view of the city. Another example is Marcel Breuer’s Cineac, that offered a continuous showing of the Polygoon news bulletins, and cartoons which were open to all-day walk-in traffic. In the near future Lantaren/Venster and Cinerama will be relocated out of the city centre to their new location at the Kop van Zuid. This will leave the city centre with just one cinema complex. Protest abounds; plans for new movie theatres in the city centre are already being drawn up.

The Coolsingel cinema and the long term Programme Coolsingel stress the importance of locating international art projects and cultural locations in the heart of Rotterdam. In the middle of Rotterdam’s chaotic Coolsingel axis, there is now a cinema.
Not only does the cinema show a unique collection of artists’ films free of charge on the city boulevard, at the same time it offers the public a place to sit down, watch and take a break, not unlike the centrally located churches and chapels of days gone by.

Changes in the contemporary city

The programme includes works by Pawel Althamer, Pia Rönicke, Esra Ersen, Heidrun Holzfeind and Manon de Boer.
Curator of the film programme Jos van der Pol (artist, advisor SIR) in cooperation with SIR.

Opening hours: Tuesday – Friday: 17:00 – 20:00 / Saturday and Sunday: 12:00 – 18:00

Pawel Althamer, Brodno 2000, 2000 Video 5, 52 minutes
Brodno 2000 shows an event that actively involved the local community in the artists’ work, by requiring the collaboration of the residents of the block of flats where he lives. The result was a huge sign “2000” made out of windows lit up in the appropriate order.

Pia Rönicke, Urban Fiction, 2003, 16 minutes
Urban Fiction transports us into a hypothetical world of architectural discussion, which we have to imagine as an exchange of ideological statements between Le Corbusier and Constant. The master and the pupil. The purist and the humanist. Hard-core utopia and cutting-edge vision. Iconic beauty and the beauty of social intercourse.

Pia Rönicke, Outside the Living Room, 2000, 8 minutes
Pia Rönicke takes on the role of the poetic urban planner to create a fictional vision of reconciliation between nature and urbanism. Set to an emotive soundtrack, the viewer takes a dream like journey through various animated landscapes to encounter fictional and recognisable urban cityscapes reconstructed to feature nature as the dominant force; Manhattan skyscrapers are surrounded by dense forests, and Mies van der Rohe’s Lake Shore Drive Apartments are topped with rice fields.

Esra Ersen, Perfect/Growing Older (dis)gracefully, 2006, 22 minutes
Ersen has been struck by the radical transformation currently taking place in Liverpool and the impact upon its inhabitants. Regeneration promises a new identity for the city in the run-up to being European Capital of Culture. Acting as a kind of urban planner, transferring her methods from city to person, Ersen has performed a makeover on a long-standing resident of Liverpool. Is it only the façade of a city that is transformed, and does the inner core remain the same, just like in a make-over?

Heidrun Holzfeind, Corviale -II Serpentone, 2001, 34 minutes
Corviale – II Serpentone shows the contrast between the reality of everyday life and the promises of modernist structures for a society. The film focuses on the 9,500 inhabitants of Corviale, Rome, a 1-km long housing complex, commissioned in 1972 by the Institute for Social Housing to provide much-needed housing for the working class. Never finished, the village is based on Le Corbusier’s Unité d’Habitation of Marseilles.

Manon de Boer, Resonating Surface, 2005, 38 minutes
Resonating Surfaces is triptych of a city, a woman and a lifestyle. This is the personal story of Rolnik, a Brazilian psychoanalyst currently living in São Paulo, and encompasses the Brazilian dictatorship of the sixties as well as the Parisian intellectual climate surrounding Deleuze and Guattari in the seventies.

Alfredo Jaar, The Ashes of Pasolini, 2009
8 October – 8 November 2009

The Ashes of Pasolini is still on view at the Venice Biennale, and SIR showed this film during the performance programme When the Lightness of Poetry, organised by SIR in the final week of September. SIR wants to offer all of Rotterdam the opportunity to see this remarkable 38-minute film by Alfredo Jaar. The Ashes of Pasolini shows Jaar’s belief in the relationship between ethics and aesthetics, in which a society takes responsibility for its culture in an active and social manner.

At first sight, the film is about the life and the possibly politically motivated murder of film director Pier Paolo Pasolini. It is a passionate indictment of political and cultural repression, past and present. In the current political climate in Europe, which has shifted so far to the right, Alfredo Jaar’s message with his portrait of Pasolini is of the highest importance.

“I will present a short film entitled The Ashes of Pasolini. It is a modest film about the death of an extraordinary intellectual.It is mostly based on documentary material discovered after 1975, the year of his death, and before. As you know, it is still unclear who killed him. But for me, it has always been clear why: it was because of fear. Fear of his voice, fear of his life style, fear of his ideas, fear of his opinions, fear of his intellect. He was the totally complete intellectual: a filmmaker, a poet, a writer, a journalist, a critic, a polemist. He was totally involved in the cultural and political life of his time. As an artist he took risks, broke the rules, he created his own rules. Pasolini wrote one of the most beautiful poems of the 20th century titled The Ashes of Gramsci (2005), a eulogy to another great Italian thinker, Antonio Gramsci. The title of my film is based on this poem by Pasolini but I chose it to write a eulogy to Pasolini himself. In these dark times in which Italy finds itself, Pasolini’s voice is sorely missed.”[…] Alfredo Jaar.

The Cinema is part of SIR’s long-term plans for the Coolsingel for the years 2009 – 2011. As a preface to the restructuring of the Coolsingel by the Urban Construction and Housing Department, Sculpture International Rotterdam (SIR) has developed a plan for the Coolsingel featuring temporary and semi-permanent art projects. Within this context, SIR focuses on the history, the current state and the unpredictable future of the Coolsingel. Along these lines, SIR is examining a new generation of artworks for this central area of Rotterdam including projects by Paola Pivi, Yohei Taneda, Cosima Von Bonin, and Joep van Lieshout. More information on the Coolsingel programme.

Publicatiedatum: 12/05/2015