On the Ostend tide line Rosa Barba put the monumental sculpture Pillage of the Sea, by now a reference point on the coast. We are very happy to show films of this versatile artist in our last program of the year.


ROSA BARBA — DE/IT, 2007 – 16MM on digital – 22’

ROSA BARBA – DE/IT, 2009 – 16MM – 4’10”

ROSA BARBA – DE/IT, 2021 – 16MM on digital – 31’15”

08/12 20:00 KAAP Ostend

In 2021, Heidi Ballet is the curator of Beaufort, the art trienniale at the Flemish coast. A recurring topic in the artworks of this edition is how man is subject to the will of nature. If the high-rise buildings on the Coast occasionally raise the question, “How did man change the coast,” the question is now turned around: “How did this coast change man?”.

In Ostend, Monokino and Rosa Barba are invited as participating artists. Monokino organizes Cracks & Crumbles; various screenings, performances and video installations that reflect on the sea as a transatlantic “highway” for migration and colonization.

On the tide line of Ostend Rosa Barba put the monumental sculpture Pillage of the Sea. A stack of concrete “pillows”, with which Barba refers to the “stone men”, the stack of stones that recurs in different cultures and was often placed along roads or at road junctions. On the various cushions are names of cities that are in danger of disappearing due to rising sea levels.

In 2021, we didn’t manage to meet Rosa Barba and get to know her work better. Now, two years later, we are catching up and searching together with Barba for what we share; cinema and the sea.

The film Outwardly from Earth’s Center is based on the story of a fictional society on an unstable piece of land that risks to disappear. This situation requires the collective effort of the population to ensure both the survival of each individual and the survival of the society. The story finds its basis partly in reality, as Gotska Sandön moves about one meter per year.

The fictional account of experts enhances the surreal atmosphere, slowly shifting the experience from what is initially considered a beautiful documentary to a more abstract and somewhat absurd picture of people’s struggles and vulnerabilities.

Let Me See It It is a radio play rather than a film. The grainy images of the 16mm film show a seascape, a shoreline of an undefined location at night. We hear the hum of a sleepy narrator telling a story about a man losing his eyesight. The man’s friend helps him memorize objects in his house that have been lost. The images of the night flight over an archipelago become a metaphor for the search for his memories and the fading of his once consistent world.

The narrator urges an invisible protagonist to reassess all the other objects around him. It is an experiment that leads to the beauty of disintegration, to the unsettling sensations of his dramatized and intensified patterns of experience.

Inside the Outset: Evoking a Space of Passage is a project in two parts: a film and a long-term installation of an Open-Air Cinema. The project began seven years ago, when Barba was invited by the Point Centre for Contemporary Art in Nicosia and curator Mirjam Varadinis to Cyprus.

After this visit, the artist proposed to build a cinema sculpture in the Buffer Zone, continuing an ongoing exploration in her artistic practice of landscape and human intervention in nature. The inauguration ceremony of Rosa Barba’s Open-Air Cinema took place on Sept. 10, 2021 with the premiere of this film.

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With the support of Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds and the city of Ostend.


Tickets are €10 of €7 with discount and for sale via Uit in Oostende. You can contact info@monokino.org for more info.

SUPPORT — We currently work without subsidies, so your support is more than welcome and literally brings light to the screen:

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Payment reference: ‘Gift’.

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Artistic coordination: Anouk De Clercq, Godart Bakkers
General coordination: Ditte Claus
Artistic team: Eric de Kuyper, Xavier Garcia Bardon
Production team: Bob Mees, Jef Declercq, Johan Opstaele, Noah Heylen
Communication: Cynthia Vandenbruaene
Graphic design: Michaël Bussaer. Webdesign: Dominique Callewaert.

With the support of Auguste Orts, CINEMATEK, KAAP, KASK School of Arts Gent, Onderzoeksfonds Universiteit Gent, Vlaams Audiovisueel Fonds.

Whoever walks in Ostend today is confronted with a fantastic eclecticism: a brutal grey apartment block exists next to the glorious Thermae Palace. The mighty, almost Stalinist, building of De Grote Post dominates the Hendrik Serruyslaan. A former department store houses a museum for contemporary art. Belle-époque houses are hidden in the quiet but stately streets.

In 2017, one void struck artist Anouk De Clercq: that glorious film culture of Henri Storck, James Ensor or Raoul Servais had disappeared from the streets. With the closure of the Rialto cinema, the last independent cinema from the Ostend cinema circuit also disappeared. Against such an extraordinary backdrop, with the sea as a large projection surface for images, stories and histories, that is such a shame.

And so the idea of Monokino ripens: one room, marked by an equally fantastic eclecticism, where cinema can be itself again. One room where long and short films, film classics, auteur cinema, video art, experimental films, animation, or the work of young makers can find a place. Monokino shows, questions, responds, engages in conversation, invites, welcomes, puts in perspective. Monokino is a place of, by and for people from Ostend, for professionals and enthusiasts, for young and old, for those from here and those from there.

The films that Monokino wants to show don’t only live on the screen. They also spread between residents, spectators, and makers. In that sense, Monokino is also Kopfkino: a mental cinema, where images get the chance to live and multiply.

That’s how Monokino drifts nomadically through those eclectic streets of Ostend and settles in the heads and hearts of the people of Ostend. Soon it’ll moor for good.

Monokino wants to drive cinema into the 21st century and illuminate the adventurous side of film. While we strive for a permanent place as anchorage for cinefiles from Ostend and beyond, Monokino operates as a nomadic film platform.

The sea is Monokino’s favourite projection surface for images, stories and histories. In anticipation of our next screening, we’ve started to collect a list of films in which the sea plays a main or supporting role. Can you think of a film that’s not already on our list? We’d love to hear about it via info@monokino.org.

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