IDFA DocLab is funding 4 more artists to adapt their work through COVID times

    • News
    • April 19, 2021
    • By Julia Yudelman

    After more than a year of lockdowns, artists around the world are still working tirelessly to get their projects adapted, exhibited, and seen by audiences. The artists from IDFA DocLab’s latest competition program are no different. Nearly five months after the festival, many of them continue to face a precarious year of online festivals and uncertain physical events. But adapting or reimagining a full-scale artwork is a complex and costly endeavor that often comes at the artist’s expense. To help, IDFA DocLab came up with a temporary support structure to ease some of the burden.

    When mounting travel and exhibition restrictions became an inescapable reality last November, IDFA’s new media team arrived at the tough realization that the works selected for the DocLab competitions could not be presented equally to an international jury. In response, the team took a cue from their selected artists: they had to adapt.

    Enter the IDFA DocLab Creative COVID Response Support scheme, a temporary grant structure for selected competition artists to continue adapting their work in the face of pandemic-related challenges. Redistributing the prize money of the 2020 DocLab Awards, an international selection committee determined the first selection in February: Later Date by Lauren Lee McCarthy and 24h Sunset/Sunrise v2 by Dries Depoorter and Shishani Vranckx became the first works to receive the COVID Response funding, opening opportunities for furthering the projects in the coming months.

    Now, with 2021 well underway, the selection committee virtually assembled once again to select the second and final round of COVID Response recipients, arriving at a selection of four projects. From full dome works that explore Afrofuturist universes and cosmic colonization to live events that commemorate and examine Instagram influencers and NFT, each of the following DocLab-premiered projects will be granted a sum of €2,500 for the artists to pursue the necessary adaptations of their work.

    Echoes of Silence by Tamara Shogaolu

    Tamara Shogaolu’s audio-driven full dome experience, which the selection committee described as a “beautiful project [that] documents how the sound of space has been colonized over the years,” is looking to travel to other planetariums and full domes in the coming months. Currently, Shogaolu has her eye on several international exhibitions in 2021 where she would present Echoes of Silence in full dome as well as in virtual reality.

    Sylvia by Ziv Schneider

    The rapidly aging virtual influencer that came to DocLab via Instagram feed and live online funeral is dead but not forgotten. Even before the art world’s current obsession with non-fungible tokens (NFT), Sylvia creator Ziv Schneider planned to expand the story with so-called digital inheritance alongside more sustainable alternatives: new and unseen media that fans can bid on and own at a virtual auction-meets-memorial. Making “imaginative and poetic use of frontier technology,” as the selection committee aptly put it, Schneider’s adaptation is currently in the research phase, with details of the future event yet to be announced.

    [The Black Man in the Cosmos] by Kitoko Diva

    After premiering last November in full dome at ARTIS-Planetarium, Kitoko Diva’s immersive project is set to appear at a major African show in 2021, this time following the artist’s original conception of a three-channel installation. Inspired by Sun Ra’s historic lectures and hailed by the DocLab selection committee as a vibrant film they’re thrilled to support, [The Black Man in the Cosmos] will see a new opportunity to reach a new audience that is, importantly, closely tied to the subject of the piece.

    Orbit Diapason by Tabita Rezaire

    Originally planned as an installation at DocLab’s annual physical exhibition, Tabita Rezaire’s astro-politico-metaphysical work ultimately premiered online as a single-channel video on the festival’s do {not} play platform. Looking ahead to the spring, upcoming exhibitions at the Centraal Museum in Utrecht and the Aros Museum in Aarhus will give Rezaire the chance to return to her original vision of showing Orbit Diapason as an installation, now complete with a life-size dome structure for visitors to enter as soon as museums reopen.

    Cover photo by Nichon Glerum.

    IDFA DocLab is supported by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy of the Netherlands, CLICKNL, Gieskes-Strijbis Fonds, Netherlands Film Fund, Flanders Audiovisual Fund, VIVE, VIVEPORT, and Special Friends+.

    DocLab research collaboration partners are MIT Open Documentary Lab, Beeld en Geluid, ARTIS-Planetarium, CreativeXR, Diversion cinema, Het Nieuwe Instituut, POPKRAFT, The Immersive Storytelling Studio (National Theatre), and Tolhuistuin.

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