With each edition of Mezipatra we want to contribute to deconstructing the mindlessly accepted truths, to thinking about the relationship between the private and the public and to connecting the minority and mainstream. We named this year’s topic, with slight irony, High Art and we examine it through films and a accompanying programme. This gives us the opportunity to talk about our favourite topics: art and the construction of values.
Never ending discussions as to whether the creator’s sexuality contributes in any way to the resulting work of art, on whether works about minorities are activist and whether activist works are real art, concern also film and the very essence of queer film festivals.
The topic of High Art provokes questions concerning the way an art work can earn the right to be placed amongst “high“ (consequently appreciated, exhibited, promoted and funded) genres and opens the way for curatorial games and questioning the borders of definitions that categorize art. Therefore in the programme we also present films that mix the seemingly inconsistent and overturn the values of “high“ and “low“, to discover and repeatedly invent new art.
We will present films of contemporary queer creators of self-reflexive art, who make a topic of filmmaking itself and of the relationship between the creator and the viewer; and also films which benefit from metaphors offered by narration about artists and creation.
This year’s programme does not ignore biographies, both fiction and documentary, about the lives and art of remarkable artists. Amongst the stereotypes about queers are that they have good taste and are creative (surely they all are ballet dancers, designers or, at least, hair dressers) and we, quite unusually, do not fight this stereotype. On the contrary, with this year’s topic we also say that we respect the continuity of values that queer artists bring to the “majority” of society through their views.
Special places in this year’s programme belongs to the choreographer Matthew Bourne and animator Tom de Pékin who, with different levels of impudence, process notorious images into independent, and for many people controversial, queer aesthetics.
The traditional retrospective is dedicated to Barbara Hammer, the pioneer of lesbian video art who, during 40 years of fruitful moviemaking on sex and life, made a path for several generations of feminist and lesbian artists. We are especially proud that we bring the tribute to this artist to the Czech audiences at the same time as her retrospectives are on display in MoMa in New York and the Tate Modern in London.
The advantage and challenge for the queer community is the necessity of creating identities and lifestyles which the mainstream experience does not offer them. Let’s use the inspiration.
Director of the festival