Between 1961 and 1967, the French filmmaker Chris Marker published, through Éditions du Seuil, two volumes entitled Commentaires. Marker himself, who had collaborated as both an author and editor for the publishers – for whom he had conceived and curated, amongst others, the illustrated volumes of Petite Planète series (1954–1964) – designed the two publications that contain the ‘commentaries’ or scripts of his first films. As a cineast and bibliophile, Marker’s interest in the relationship between images and text underscored both the film-essay and the book ‘ersatz cinema’.
The structure and compositional method chosen for the volume Deimantas Narkevičius. Da Capo. Fifteen Films, ‘revisits’ Marker’s form of commentary, making its own a theme that is dear to the Lithuanian artist and filmmaker. Indeed, the parallels and superimpositions between film material and printed matter are not secondary in Narkevičius’s work: from the shooting of Stanislaw Lem’s novel in Revisiting Solaris, to the enactment of the founding myth of the city of Vilnius in Legend Coming True, to the tracking shot over the covers on display in a German Democratic Republic bookshop in Into the Unknown, through to his more recent video, Books on Shelves and Without Letters, shot inside a second-hand book shop.
The relationship between text and image emerges again in the various stratifications of speech (voiceover, direct, transmitted, deferred, etc), as a multiplicity of levels that defines time both in a biographical and historical way. In transcribing the integral version of the film’s dialogue list, we have attempted to account for this articulation specific to Narkevičius’s film montages, highlighting, where considered necessary, the corresponding scenes and the subject of the enunciation. The publication is completed by the comments of 16 authors on the 15 films made by Narkevičius from 1997 through to today, an exception being made for Scena (2003) and Ausgeträumt (2010), to which reference is made in parallel with the reading of Books on Shelves and Without Letters. Each film is introduced by the artist’s personal statement.
—Marco Scotini, Paolo Caffoni
This publication constitutes the first comprehensive overview of the filmic production by the video-artist and filmmaker Deimantas Narkevičius (1964): over 20 years of production and more than 200 exhibitions all over the world. The book has been produced by Museo Marino Marini, Florence (on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Da Capo’, curated by Andrea Viliani and Alberto Salvadori) in collaboration with MSU – Muzej suvremene umjetnosti / Museum of Contemporary Art, Zagreb (on the occasion of the exhibition ‘Da Capo’, curated by Marco Scotini with Radmila Iva Janković), with the support of gb agency, Paris, and Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin.
Da Capo. Fifteen Films
Contributions by Alfonsas Andriuškevičius, Boris Buden, Ana Dević, Charles Esche, Brigitte Franzen, Maria Lind, Raimundas Malašauskas, Laura McLean-Ferris, Joanna Mytkowska, Philippe Pirotte, Gerald Raunig, Jean-Pierre Rehm, Dieter Roelstraete, Alberto Salvadori, Marco Scotini, Jan Verwoert. Andrea Viliani.
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