27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
The Commodity Catalogue
director: Zbyněk Baladrán
original title: The Commodity Catalogue
country: Czech Republic
running time: 14 min.
synopsisThe film is the second part of a trilogy about representation, art and politics. In the previous film, The Signature of Certain Things (2022), the author dealt with the social role of art. In this essay, he encourages us to view images as commodities. But is it even possible to exclude art from this point of view? The very form of the film, which slyly follows the logic of commodified and multiplying images, becomes a hint to the answer.
“Low resolution, distorted colours, an obsolete frame rate, errors and interferences. All of these are signs of VHS analogue video, which this film, of course, is not. It is merely a manifestation of consumerist aesthetics. Old images pretend to be new. New images pretend to be old. The form of art follows the logic of products and uses it to critique itself, but that’s about everything that’s happened so far.”
biographyVisual artist, curator, exhibition architect and director Zbyněk Baladrán (born 1973) studied art history at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, and new media at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. In his work, he looks analytically at the contradictions of contemporary social movements and explores the possibilities of understanding them through artistic practice. He has presented his film work several times in the Exprmtl.cz section. Most recently, he released the film The Signature of Certain Things (2022), and in 2020 he received the award for Best Czech Experimental Documentary for the film Catastrophe.
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