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YAOI Copenhagen, Istanbul, Long Island

A Trilogy by Lotte Nielsen

Sunday, March 4 | 3 PM | FREE

In conjunction with the Watermill Center, prize-winning Danish artist Lotte Nielsen will present a screening of her art film trilogy YAOI Copenhagen, Istanbul, Long Island at Southampton Arts Center. After the screening, Nielsen, cinematographer , Jon Hokanson, and the American cast members of YAOI Long Island will take the stage for a Q&A session.

The participants in the film have been culled from local LGBT organizations in three cities. YAOI Copenhagen was filmed in an abandoned movie theater on the outskirts of Copenhagen, YAOI Istanbul was shot in a dilapidated wooden house in Istanbul, and YAOI Long Island was created at the Watermill Center. All films include fictional elements in an otherwise true-to-life narrative. The “characters” seem to be playing themselves, while at the same time displaying fictionalized versions of their own lives. This contrast is brought about by placing members of the casts of the three films in environments with which they are unfamiliar while, at the same time, allowing participants to introduce elements the artist herself did not expect.

In all three films, Lotte Nielsen works with groups of young persons who represent different genders as well a broad range of sexual inclinations. Gender and sexual orientation are mixed in unexpected ways. What interests the artist is to explore how the various categories of gender and disposition correspond to the range of possibilities such a category might entail. What does it mean to an individual who sees him or herself as belonging to a particular group when he or she is placed in a context that is new, with individuals who are similarly grouped when challenged to interact with members of a group other than his or her own.  It is Lotte Nielsen’s goal as an artistic filmmaker to put certain issues of gender and sexual orientation in focus and to explore possibilities of interaction that will give young LGBT persons the confidence to be themselves. It is also hoped that by participating in such a film the participants will be proud of an achievement they might otherwise not have experienced.

Lotte Nielsen has exhibited in Denmark, United Kingdom, Turkey, South Africa, and Germany. She is delighted to introduce her work to a New York audience.

The film will last 50 minutes and will be followed by a panel discussion.

What is YAOI?

The YAOI film trilogy celebrates the lives of LGBTQ people and their exploration of identity, gender and sexuality across borders and cultures, as seen through Nielsen’s unique artistic lens. We meet, among others, American transgender Madeline, Hakan from Istanbul, and Kit Kat from Long Island.

In her own sophisticated style of mesmerizing imagery and independent soundscapes, Nielsen offers a sensual, authentic insight into the intimate space each group creates, staging the participants against unexpected backdrops (a crumbling, abandoned theater or a dilapidated hotel in Istanbul, and the Watermill Center).  These settings have the effect of bringing out qualities in the lives of the participants, that might not otherwise emerge in normal settings. The people seem to loosen up with one another when placed in environments they themselves have no relation to.

Adding to the theme of transition, the threshold between childhood and adolescence, past and future, functional and decaying, the film sites occupy a liminal space, one which speaks of ruins, haunting and ghosts of the past.

Behind YAOI

Essential to Nielsen’s project is establishing trust between herself and the group. It is precisely this trust that is the enabling element in the project.  In preparing for the actual filming, Nielsen spent months visiting the cast members in their own environments, spending time relaxing with them. The result is visible on the screen; the young people in the films are generous in the sharing of their lives with us.

Consistent with her own visual aesthetic and that of the film’s cinematographer Jon Hokanson, Nielsen envisages a musical language independent from that of an ordinary documentary film. Collaborating with composer Christian Scheuer, the artist chose to embrace a powerful, omnipresent and challenging soundscape. By mixing techniques from both film tradition and the visual arts world, Nielsen and Scheuer developed an approach where musical and sonical passages coexist and blend together to form a physical and emotional counterpoint to the images.

About Lotte Nielsen

Lotte Nielsen lives and works in Copenhagen. She was graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 2016 and holds a BA in Art Practice from Goldsmith’s College of Art, London. She participated in EXTRACT – YOUNG ART PRIZE – CPH 2017, where she was awarded the YOUNG ARTIST PRIZE by an international jury consisting of Danish visual artist Joachim Koester, director curator Katrin Bucher Trantow at Kunsthaus Graz, Austria, exhibition inspector Sean Kissane at IMMA, Ireland as well as director of GL STRAND Helle Behrndt. She was selected by Jane and Louise Wilson for a solo show at Flowers Gallery in London. Her films have been screened at International Film Festivals in Copenhagen, South Africa and Turkey, and have been exhibited at art galleries worldwide.

 

Special thanks to the Hamptons LGBT Network.

This program has been made possible thanks to the generosity of the Danish Arts Foundation.

Venue

Southampton Arts Center
25 Jobs Lane
Southampton, NY 11968 United States
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Website:
http://www.southamptonartscenter.org

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