Hanna Rose Shell, a filmmaker and historian of science and technology, will be taking part in a number of events during her upcoming residency in Prague, including a 13 June screening of her experimental and documentary films at the Bio Ponrepo.
The film work of Hanna Rose Shell deals with topics such as the clothing industry, recycling, and camouflage. These works also explore more general subjects like locomotion and the relationship between the past and the present, as well as the issue of analog versus digital media. The artist's digital works and installations examine the interwoven themes of media, technology, history and aesthetics. As a historian of science and technology, Shell has made use of a specific interdisciplinary approach and essay-like style.
Hanna Rose Shell will preface her film screening at the Bio Ponrepo with a spoken introduction. The artist will also deliver a thematic lecture at FAMU, and she will also participate in the exhibition Fibers, Clews, Fabrics: Thoughts are Thin Strands at the Vysočina Regional Gallery in Jihlava in June.
Shell is an Associate Professor of Science, Technology and Society at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA).
Locomotion in Water (2015, 15 minutes). An experimental documentary about seeing movement, doing science and filming fish in Naples, Italy. Moving between past and present, text and image, travelogue and reverie — Locomotion in Water interweaves the reflections of a 19th-century chronophotographer with the animating impulses of a modern-day filmmaker. Shell was inspired by the work of french inventor and physiologist Etienne-Jules Marey. His studies in locomotion arose from his experiments with primitive movie cameras and his research into how to capture and display moving images, contributed to the emerging field of cinematography. Marey created a special aquarium at his villa in Naples, where he portrayed the movements of sea creatures through the use of a modified photographic apparatus.
Secondhand (Pepe) (2007, 30 minutes). A documentary about used clothing taking the form of a historical memoir of a Jewish immigrant rag collector intertwined with the present-day story of “pepe,” the secondhand clothing that flows from North America to Haiti. Secondhand (Pepe) animates the materiality of recycled clothes — their secret afterlives and the unspoken connections among people in an era of globalization.
Blind (2012, 5 minutes). Blind is a film about the phenomenology of camouflage. The film at once documents, and is itself an experiment in, hide-and-seek, investigating how to be seen, as well as how not to be seen, both in nature and on film. At its core is the drive — sometimes life-or-death, sometimes tongue-in-cheek — to hide in plain sight.
Shoddy Aliens (2016, 15 minutes). What is a shoddy weed anyway?