We Only Come Out At Night

Giovanni Giaretta, Christian Niccoli, Astrid
Nippoldt, Salla Tykka, Pierfrancesco Gava,
Ali Kazma, Inge Meijer, belit sağ

Curated by Marco Nember

De School, Amsterdam
March 1st - March 30th, 2019

WOW, Amsterdam
February 28th - April 25th, 2019

The project ‘We Only Come Out At Night’ was born as an attempt to conquer and win the night with a series of screenings starting in the evening and continuing until the first morning lights.
The screenings will be offering an unexpected point of view on our society, its fears and desires, always carefully considering the perspective of the viewer. All the selected works will underline the importance of the cinematic grammar intended as a language able to be understood and assimilated by every kind of public. The choice to present these films ‘in the heart of the night’ of Amsterdam is a direct consequence of the socio-political approach that each of the participating artists imply in their work. This is the main reasons why the need of focusing on unconventional moment of the day will corroborate each work, adding to the film content new values and reading levels.

We Only Come Out At Night

The project will create a dialogue between the work on show, the location and the public: a friction between the process of reading our daily reality through the eyes of the media and the revealing of their unsureness and uncertainty, to question and not to answer.
The night is seen as a moment where the psychology of judgement and decision-making can shift from the usual paths, as the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences Daniel Kahneman (Tel Aviv, 1934) wrote: "In simpler terms you are more aware and more concerned about your surroundings and in an alert state during the first half of the day, till afternoon. In such a state it is difficult to get emotional unless some major event occurs. These cognitive senses or alertness levels drop in the evening and are lowest late night. In such a less alert state, you can get emotional easily (at least when compared to mornings) as you are not using that alert mind of yours (also it is exhausted) and your guard is a bit down."
This response takes place at night typically because that’s when the majority of people trained their body to be tired, as part of their daily sleep/ awake cycle. When a sensation of fatigue is felt many neurological processes, including motivation, pleasure, cognition, memory and learning will be accepting ideas and paths of thinking that might otherwise may not be intercepted.

Giaretta_The Nightshift

Nippoldt_Oakwood Garden

Niccoli_Du Bei Mir

Ali Kazma_Play

This subversion of the usual cognitive paths is particularly underlined by the selected films of Giovanni Giaretta and Astrid Nippoldt: both are focused on the perceptual effects caused by night and darkness on the human body emphasizing slips of comprehension and vision.
In Giovanni Giaretta's 'The Nightshift' the shift itself becomes a metaphor that tells about mechanics of perception, describing a particular state of mind caused by working at night in relation to an self-generated flmic illusion in which one pretend that it is daytime while in Astrid Nippoldt's 'Oakwood Garden' the camera views are guided by artificial illuminations in the garden of a typical luxurious apartment tower in Beijing from the revealing perspective of a roamer or a buzzing insect.

An endless night in which moments are forced to repeat cyclically over time become palpable in the works of Ali Kazma and Christian Niccoli. In Christian Niccoli's 'Du Bei Mir' a man is doing a prostration, a down throw during a stormy winter night. It underlines the contrast between the storm (the outside) and the calm and constant rhythm of the man (the inside) revealing the struggle of his faith.
In Ali Kazma's 'Play' the audience is taken into a haunted world where the borders between the past and the present, the original and remake, real and representation are skilfully blurred: a world of ghosts that evokes contemplation on memory, loss and death in a neverending replica of Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' emphasized by a technological set-up.


Meijer_If you go down the woods today

Gava_Mare Nostrum

sag_and the image gazes back

The relationship between man and nature investigated by Inge Meijer and Salla Tykka lives on fragility and intuition: the ability of both artists to unveil different levels of thought and contradictions through the representation of a relationship or an apparently simple natural event obliges the viewers to re contextualize their point of view.
In Inge Meijer's 'If You Go Down the Woods Today' a sequence capturing the daily exercise of a retired show animal and its owner reshapes into metaphors of compassion and supremacy, revealing the complexity of captivity. In Salla Tykka's 'Victoria' a nightly blossoming of a giant water lily is depicted: the plant tells the story of European colonialism in the 19th century and hides within its beauty the human need for power and domination.

Ideas and paths of thinking that accentuate questions about the role of images in current and historical events, engaging on visibility and representation are evident in belit sağ and Pierfrancesco Gava's works. Pierfrancesco Gava's 'Mare Nostrum' was developed during a collaborative research with the refugees collective We Are Here and it's composed of footage found on YouTube: the work deals with several aspects and consequences of migration from Africa to Italy for both the refugees and the hosting country. The work also draws attention to the context of the footage’s initial publication and circulation, largely driven by the media, which decide what to and what not to show in an effort to sway public opinion.
belit sağ's 'and the image gazes back' is an attempt to talk about our relation to images and vice versa in a loose, associative manner: the events mentioned in the film and their representations resonate in our own memories from media while the visible and the unseen, audible and mute, imaginable and unimaginable becomes tangible.

The films selection is equally divided in works where the night becomes both subject and timeless moment (Giaretta, Nippoldt, Kazma, Niccoli) and works able to respond in an excellent way to the identikit of nocturnal thoughts (Meijer, Tykka, Gava, sağ) as reflections on man, migrations, nature and the impact of media in our lives. In 'We Only Come Out At Night' the time space between sunset and sunrise is intended as a necessary main opportunity to question oneself, to investigate reality and stimulate understanding through different, challenging, points of view.

In collaboration with
Istituto Italiano di Cultura, Amsterdam
Goethe Institut Niederlande, Amsterdam
Fins Cultureel Institut voor de Benelux, Bruxelles

Giaretta_De School

belit sag_WOW

De School & WOW, Amsterdam