29.03 – 28.04.2018
exhibition and experimental seminars
Op-Film: An Archaeology of Optics.
Black Lens &
Black Light

From 29th March until 28th April 2018 Espace Khiasma will host in Les Lilas (on the outskirts of Paris) the exhibition “Op-Film: An Archaeology of Optics”, by Filipa César (based in Berlin) and Louis Henderson (based in Paris). The exhibition, built around the film Sunstone, was produced for Contour Biennale 7 (Mechelen) in Spring 2017. It has travelled since to Gasworks in London and Temporary Gallery in Cologne.

On this occasion, and to echo the questions that the exhibition raises, Khiasma and Archive Kabinett will organise two experimental seminars in Paris and Berlin (with an event at Karlsruhe), called “Black Lens” and “Black Light” respectively, associating a series of screenings and audiovisual performances by emerging artists and figures of theory based in France, Germany, as well as Great-Britain and Portugal. Both seminars will evolve in dialogue with each other (with a number of guest speakers in common), but each one develops particular research directions, complementing the other.

Black Lens” is a two-day experimental seminar at La Colonie (Paris) presented by Espace Khiasma on 29th-30th March. It will interrogate technologies of sight in the time of geolocalisation, and attempt to draw out minority ecologies to protect and share items of knowledge. It is this question of a necessary opacity, an ecology of shadow, that will be put to work through artworks and conversations. “Black Lens” underlines the importance of connecting the history of technology to that of peoples in a time of crisis where the surface of oceans becomes a territory of conflict, and their depths become spaces of reckless exploitation and will as scenes of tragedy and spaces of inaudible narrations. From humus to ocean, algorithm to creole, from surface to depth — where are new zones of conflict drawn out and where do they crystallize? Where can the voices we need to struggle with be written out and woven?

With: Erika Balsom, Zach Blas, Christa Blümlinger, Jephthé Carmil, The Otolith Group (Kodwo Eshun & Anjalika Sagar), Denise Ferreira da Silva, Ciaran Finlayson, Ayesha Hameed, Onyeka Igwe, Nadia Yala Kusikidi, Nadir Khanfour, Olivier Marboeuf, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Arjuna Neuman, Rachel O’Reilly, Lorenzo Pezzani, Ruth Wilson Gilmore & Mawena Yehouessi (Black(s) to the Future).

“Black Light” encompasses the workshop from 28 – 30.06.2018 and the seminar between 17 – 20.10.2018, both taking place at Archive Kabinett (Berlin). “Black Light” will underline the importance of Harun Farocki’s visual and intellectual influence – as will also be mentioned in Paris – and that of his materialistic approach, critical of image-making technologies, in collaboration with Volker Pantenburg of the Harun Farocki Institute. With the complicity of the Brazilian Vancouver-based theorist Denise Ferreira da Silva, Filipa César, Louis Henderson, Olivier Marboeuf (director of Khiasma) and Chiara Figone (director of Archive Kabinett) propose three days of screenings, readings and workshops revolving around the question of social justice born out of the postcolonial situation. What is the Enlightenment’s heritage in terms of social and economic organisation of rights and properties? How can we deconstruct them whilst showing how much the radical light of Reason is, yesterday as much as today, a narrative disguise for a system based on appropriation and domination? Taking inspiration from feminist theories and practices, how can we construct spaces of benevolence and collaboration capable of escaping a violent system that exhausts available resources?

With: Filipa César, Valentina Desideri, Raphaël Grisey, Denise Ferreira da Silva, Chiara Figone, Natasha Ginwala, Louis Henderson, Olivier Marboeuf, Rachel O’Reilly, Volker Pantenburg, Emily Pethick, Susanne Winterling.

For more information on the “Black Lens” experimental seminar, please visit:

For information on the exhibition “Op-Film: An Archeology of Optics”, please visit:

Additional information on the “Black Light” workshop and seminar will appear here on the Archive Kabinett website soon.