When you watch Melanie Bonajo’s films, you feel they are made by an old soul with a highly contemporary spirit. She has the ability to fluidly connect the mature to the youthful, the mundane to the sublime, and the empathetic to the ironic. Although it’s easy to love her work, it always has a critical undertone, challenging our ideas on nature, nurture and progression, by sharply dissecting the mechanics that shape the society we inhabit.

Nocturnal Gardening portrays four women living according to alternative norms and who have each, on their own, established new communities. The women attune their energy to the ecosystem around them with an enhanced sensibility. They stand for sensitivity, connection, and communication with plants, animals, the elements, and other communities. Though they are revolted by the counterproductive insanity of our hoarder culture, in which everything is archived in a museum of dead things, they are not trying to destroy civilization but rather to experiment with alternative strategies. Each of them embraces social movements and self-organization, exploring spiritual anarchy and the solitary nature of the wild in their own way.

Progress vs. Regress is a film about the ways modern inventions have changed social relationships, as seen through the eyes of those almost one hundred years of age. This generation has lived through a century with the most sudden, widespread industrial, technological, and digital changes in the history of humankind.

The film documents the most influential of these inventions with regard to how they shape us and our values, and investigates how the myth of progress has affected and continues to affect attitudes towards labor, money, time, and emotions. Embedded within this work lies the story of how we as a society cope with our elderly population. The generation born now grows up on a conveyer belt of inventions in the name of progress, while the elderly have no perceived economic value and are not taking part in our visual culture.

AWL_016   Melanie Bonajo
Wednesday 17 May 2017
doors open: 8.15 PM
program + tickets: WORM
address: Boomgaardsstraat 71, Rotterdam