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Artist's Choice Screening: I Had Nowhere To Go

Douglas Gordon

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I Had Nowhere To Go is a portrait of Jonas Mekas, the legendary artist, filmmaker, poet, curator and godfather of American avant-garde cinema.

"...the memory of the war as told by a bodiless voice..."

In historical terms, the diaristic passages read in the film describe Mekas's life as a teenager in occupied Lithuania during World War II. Focusing on the memory of the war, as told by a bodiless voice, enables Gordon’s work to raise the question regarding the un(representability) of the catastrophe of the war, and furthermore, to participate in the cinematic discussion initiated by Claude Lanzmann's 1985 film Shoah, which avoided using archival images of World War II in favour of spoken testimonies.

With its immersive sound environment and intermittent fleeting images that are evocatively juxtaposed with Mekas's anecdotes, Gordon's film reveals in its subject a puckish humour that outweighs despair, and a redemptive curiosity for life in the face of adversity.


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