Nothing will ever stop the music, 2022
World premiere of the film realised by Max Pugh produced by Jill Silverman van Coenegrachts and presented in collaboration with the BAD+ salon. EN
This unique two hour epic poem is layering elements of storytelling, personal history, global travel, with the history of the earth. The film maker spent many years gathering visual and sound material for an experimental documentary film about his relationship to the planet, which he begins to collect and articulate a few days after the start of the pandemic.
Nothing will ever stop the music is leading us to a sonorous rush of clarity about what it is perhaps to be human right now in this fragile world we have almost ruined in our quest for more of everything.
"I spent the last fourteen years gathering visual material for an experimental documentary film about my relationship to the planet. It was a mostly pleasurable and inspiring process, but it wasn't until I woke up, a few days into the lockdown imposed on us all by the pandemic, that I realised that now was the time for me to start turning my global collection of images and sound into the artwork I had imagined all those years ago.
Banned from straying more than 1km from my house by the French government, I stared at my immobilised roll-aboard suitcase and thought of the connection between my post-apocalyptic images of the airplane graveyards in the Arizona desert taken in March 2017, and the daily news images in March 2020 of 96% of the world’s airliners now grounded. So many clipped aluminium wings showing me a way to live differently, to slow down and reconnect with my own immediate surroundings rather than constantly chasing time and space.
I remembered that my immediate surroundings were chosen by the very first artists; the Palaeolithic poet-painters of the caves at Lascaux and Peche Merle. The connections I began to make in this new-found zone represented an opportunity to stop ‘making sense’ of everything and to abandon the idea of conventional narrative entirely. I found that my attention to detail had increased and my perception of my reality was open to so much more than I had packed into my initial ‘thesis’.
I often reminded myself that the history of our planet, and now of our humanity, is and will continue to be punctuated by a succession of extinction events. Grappling with the annihilation of humankind had long been a feature of my life; first it was the threat of 'Mutual Assured Destruction’ during the Cold War, then it was climate change, and most recently the Pandemic. But what if worrying about these hyperobjects was just a pretext? What if the prospect of losing everything had in fact provoked me to celebrate what was in front of us to enjoy, rather than explore my existential fears, or examine the causes of our eventual destruction?
I was fascinated by maps from a young age, and wanted to explore and make real every corner of them. This drifting increased with every passing year, and my psychogeographer’s tool of choice was always going to be a camera. I was conscious of my privilege and constantly amazed by the freedom I had to explore the world. When I had begun to think about this film in 2006, I had imagined that our leaders would soon be forced to ground the world’s airliners due to the climate emergency. I had not anticipated the virus.
All the more reason to complete the project I had committed to fourteen years earlier, not only for my Godson Benjamin, but also for my own children who had been born since, and all children, for that matter.
I went to the ends of the earth in order to better understand the end of the world. I knew this was a moral journey; an admission of the existence of collective and individual morality and the urgency to learn from the past.
But even when contemplating the abyss, and plagued by guilt, I felt a kind of ecstasy when moving through the world. Travel afforded me a powerful sense of anonymity. In disconnection and dislocation came dreamtime, and a heightened awareness of what the filmmaker Chris Marker called ‘things that quicken the heart’, but yet I also experienced a calling to an origin story; a need for connection, and a need to come from somewhere. From that comes something deeply personal and, I hope, very honest. So this becomes a film about the beginning of time, the end of the world and the interconnectedness of all things in-between, but it is also a film about love.
In all these endings, there are new beginnings."
Opening : Wednesday 6 July at 7 pm
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