Some Chance Operations

1999 | 00:36:00 | Austria / Italy / United States | English | Color | Stereo | 4:3 | Film

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Art History, Artist Portraits, City, European Film/Video, Expedition/Travel, Experimental Film, Memory, Mental Landscape, Travel

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Shot in Naples, Vienna, and New York, Some Chance Operations explores the notion of an archival form, in this instance film, as an unstable memory receptacle that can vanish. History and how it is made is meditated upon as one of many chance operations. The filmmaker Elvira Notari, who had a film production company in Naples from 1906 to 1930, plays a significant role as an impetus for Some Chance Operations. Despite the fact that she was a prolific filmmaker, producing over sixty feature films, only three remain intact.

Notari’s films enjoyed a high level of popularity in Naples and circulated throughout Italy and in New York, where they were exported to fulfill the demand by Italian immigrants far away from their natal homes. Whether or not anyone remembers these films today is one of the questions posed in this film. How do people imagine what seems distant, both in time and location? The aspects of dreaming, fiction and projection involved in imagining even what was once familiar and how these memories are bound to words, sounds, sensations, and images become one of the themes of the film. The idea of Naples, for a variety of people, became a rallying point for this meditation.

Premiere

Secession
Vienna
1999

Exhibitions + Festivals

Other Planes of There, Pat Hearn Gallery, New York, 2000

Strangers: The First ICP Triennial of Photography and Video, International Center of Photography, New York, 2003

Under Vesuvius: Naples in Film, Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna, 2007

Ongoing Becomings, Musée Cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne, 2009

Endless Dreams and Time-Based Streams, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, 2010

Fakt & Fiktion: das Interview als künstlerische Praxis, Universität zu Köln, 2011

Make an Effort to Remember. Or, if Failing That, Invent, Bétonsalon — Centre for Art and Research, Paris, 2013