The extinction of movie theatres is a global phenomenon that has been observed in the past 30 years across many countries. This can be related to the culture of fear, that has been redefining urban spaces and pushed cinemas into shopping centres; but also to new ways of film distribution – television, home video, internet – in which cinemas are no longer a privileged space.
If one can say that cinema has always been a ghost – a spectre in a way - what could the ending of old movie palaces teach us about the nature of cinema? To use the portmanteau coined by Gregory Ulmer, what is the mystory in the decadence of these buildings?
|Intervention in São Paulo (Baixo Centro Festival 2013)|
Ghost Cinema looks for answers to these questions through a series of video interventions, which occupy façades of deactivated movie theatres. Starting from an affective cartography of buildings abandoned, demolished or simply transformed into another activity, the project counts on the spontaneous collaboration of cinema spectators.
The memories shared in a collaborative digital network are indexed in a database, including old photographs of the cinemas, movie extracts, poems, posters, newspapers, memoirs etc. The data is combined and projected over the buildings in a Live Cinema session, mixing materiality, mediality and temporality. As Jacques Derrida affirms, archives are not dealing with the past, but with the future. Ghost Cinema pays a tribute to dead cinemas, bringing them back to life in a mediumistic session, but more than that, it wants do discuss new architectures for image sharing.