The Museum of Clouds series opens with a free screening of short films by artist-filmmakers Benjamin Crotty, Laida Lertxundi and Daniel Schmidt & Alexander Carver. Set in remote landscapes – a forest, a desert, a coastline – the films each explore the dynamics and entanglements of a group of characters living in the face of an empire, whether this is the French Army, Hollywood or colonial forces. Primarily cast through friend and peer networks, these films embody the spirit of collaboration that runs through the series.
Benjamin Crotty’s Fort Buchanan, FALL is the final part of an episodic film centred on a group of army wives and husbands abandoned in the wilderness in France. The feature film was first presented at Tate Modern in 2015. Using dialogue appropriated from American television shows, the film portrays exaggerated sentimental moments, domestic conflicts and melancholic departures – unfolding as though it were a queer soap opera without a plot.
Laida Lertxundi’s Footnotes to a House of Love captures a gathering of young people inhabiting a derelict hut in a Californian desert landscape. Marked by strong senses of freedom and intimacy, the film explores the dichotomies between inside and outside, on-camera and off- camera space, and sound and image.
Daniel Schmidt and Alexander Carver’s The Island is Enchanted With You [La Isla está Encantada con Ustedes] is a mix between a period drama, queer erotic fiction and a postcolonial critique of Puerto Rico’s history and its role within today’s globalised pharmaceutical industry. Using fantastical and comedic narratives, the film fictionalises the sexual power relations between Spanish colonisers and Puerto Rico’s indigenous population.
Introductions by the curators and Daniel Schmidt
Benjamin Crotty, Fort Buchanan, FALL 2014, 16 mm transferred to HD, colour, sound, 13 min, French with English subtitles
Laida Lertxundi, Footnotes to a House of Love 2007, 16mm, colour, sound, 13 min
Daniel Schmidt and Alexander Carver, The Island is Enchanted with You [La Isla está Encantada con Ustedes] 2014, digital video, colour, sound, 28 min, Spanish with English subtitles