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Woodenhead/Outland

Woodenhead/Outland

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When:

  • Sat 15 Jul, 7:30pm – 9:00pm

Where:

Te Uru Waitakere Contemporary Gallery, 420 Titirangi Road, Titirangi Show map

Restrictions:

All Ages

In response to our exhibition, Roger Ballen's Theatre of the Mind, Te Uru presents a special screening of Florian Habicht's debut feature, Woodenhead (2003), preceded by Roger Ballen's short film Outland (2015) and his music video for I Fink U Freeky by South African group Die Antwoord. All presented at cinema scale in glorious HD quality.

Woodenhead is a Grimm-like fairy tale, filmed around the West Coast and Northland. With composer and sound designer Marc Chesterman, Habicht pre-recorded the entire soundtrack before commencing shooting, only then inviting the actors to improvise to the score. Like the overdubbing of foreign language films which have developed cult status, Woodenhead capitalises on the delays and off-beats between image and sound, offering surrealist ‘flaws’ that heighten psychological and narrative tension, reminiscent of silent films. (Florian says when he decided to shoot the film that way, he was acting on explicit instructions from Milli Vanilli, who visited him in a dream.) Quirky, elegant, and sexy, Woodenhead creates an imaginative world in which artfully measured explorations of humanity, nature and creativity take place – from the base and profane to the grand and sublime. NZ Herald reviewer Federico Monsalve describes it as a "dark, fantasy-drenched New Zealand. It breathes with the black and white sensuousness of our geography and speaks with a sobering and surreal continental accent. The result is absurdist, with tinges of French surrealism akin to Jean Genet and the moral sensibilities of Rimbaud let loose in a sex shop."

Outland is made with filmmaker Ben Jay Crossman and takes us on a journey to Roger Ballen's Outland to show us the mind inside the mind. Where previously Ballen's pictures, however troubling, fell firmly into the category of documentary photography, his Outland pictures move into the realms of fiction. Ballen’s characters act out dark and discomfiting tableaux, providing images which are exciting and disturbing in equal measure. One is forced to wonder whether they are exploited victims, colluding directly in their own ridicule, or newly empowered and active participants in the drama of their representation.

I Fink U Freeky is a music video which features a collaboration between Die Antwoord and Roger Ballen. It has become a massive viral hit with more than 90 million views on YouTube. Die Antwoord consists of Ninja, Yo-Landi Vi$$er and DJ Hi-Tek, who have been together since 2008. They describe themselves as a “fresh, futuristic, flame-throw-flow-freeking zef rap rave krew from the dark dangerous depths of Afrika.”

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