Galerie Greta Meert is pleased to present The Ugly One, a feature film by Eric Baudelaire, the second chapter of the artist's collaboration with Masao Adachi, pioneering filmmaker of the Japanese New Wave and former member of the Japanese Red Arrmy. For the first time since its premiere at the Locarno Film Festival, the film is presented as an installation in the first floor gallery space. On the second floor, the inaugural chapter of Baudelaire and Adachi's collaboration is projected: The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi, and 27 Years Without Images, a 66 minute movie, accompanied by a series of documents and works on paper, unfolding a complex entanglement between cinema and terrorism. At the time of its first screening at FID Marseille, Jean-Pierre Rehm wrote the following words about the film: !
"Who are May and Fusako Shigenobu? Fusako — leader of an extremist left-wing faction, the Japanese Red Army, involved in a number of terrorist operations — has been in hiding in Beirut for almost 30 years. May, her daughter, born in Lebanon, only discovered Japan at the age of twenty-seven, after her motherʼs arrest in 2000. And Masao Adachi? A screenwriter and radical activist filmmaker, committed to armed struggle and the Palestinian cause, was also underground in Lebanon for several decades before being sent back to his native country. In his years as a film director, he had been one of the instigators of a ʻtheory of landscapeʼ — fukeiron: through filming landscapes, Adachi sought to reveal the structures of oppression that underpin and perpetuate the political system. Anabasis? The name given, since Xenophon, to wandering, circuitous homeward journeys. !
It is this complicated, dark, and always suspenseful story that Eric Baudelaire — an artist renowned for using photography as a means of questioning the staging of reality — chose to bring forth using the documentary format. Filmed on Super 8 mm, and in the manner of fukeiron, contemporary panoramas of Tokyo and Beirut are blended in with archival footage, TV clips and film excerpts as backdrop for May and Adachiʼs voices and memories. They speak of everyday life, of being a little girl in hiding, of exile, politics and cinema, and their fascinating overlap. All of which adds up not so much to an enquiry as a fragmented anamnesis."
Courtesy Galerie Greta Meert