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1 > 2 DECEMBER 2017


Godshuizenlaan 4, Gent
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L'Enfer de Rodin (Henri Alekan, 1957)


Organized by Steven Jacobs and Birgit Cleppe (Ghent University)

The 1940s and 1950s can be considered “The Golden Age” of the European art documentary with landmark films by Luciano Emmer, Alain Resnais, Henri Storck, Paul Haesaerts, Robert Flaherty, Carl Theodor Dreyer, and Henri-Georges Clouzot among others. At the same time, prominent critics, art historians, and film theorists extensively paid attention to the art documentary, which came to be seen as an interesting genre to investigate the boundaries between film and art, juxtaposing movement versus stasis, narrative versus iconic images, and cinematic space versus pictorial surface.

This symposium includes several lectures by international experts as well as screenings of rarely seen mid-twentieth-century films. Documentaries by Henri Alekan and Dudley Shaw Ashton on the sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Barbara Hepworth respectively will be combined with a rare late-1930s color film on Rubens by René Huyghe, two so-called critofilms by Carlo Ludovico Ragghianti, and some segments of Pictura, a major portmanteau production containing parts directed by several filmmakers including Alain Resnais. Particular attention goes to the way these films can be seen as “cinematic museums” in the sense that filmmakers consciously experimented with viewpoints, light conditions, and display devices to transform the original artwork in a thrilling cinematic experience.

Last but not least, artist Mark Lewis will introduce the screening of some of his recent cinematic explorations of the Louvre museum and its artworks.

  • Download the full program here: PDF (367 KB)
  • The symposium and film program are free but reservation is required by sending an email before November 27th to
  • A lunch (soup and main dish) is available at KASK-café on Saturday 2 December, but this needs to be pre-ordered by transferring 15 € to the Cinea account: BE04 2100 0796 1631