2012 | gokarna, india
THE PHILOSOPHER, THE BELIEVERS & Z’SHELL-TER / The true story of a brahman book collector who gathered some 100 000 books of philosophy, psychology, poetry, sexuality … and has consequently been rejected from the very religious hindu village for being an agnostic atheist pornograph. The collection has been preserved in a bunker on a hill above the village, opened as a borderline controversial public library. But it has aroused jealousy and hate from the villagers.
SCREENINGS: Nuremberg Film Festival 2012. Venice Biennale 2013. Chicago Biennial 2015. TARS Gallery Bkk 2015
CREDITS: from a concept by M4, Francois Roche & Camille Lacadee, with/ Design Process & Computation/ Ezio Blasetti; Robotic Design/ Special effects, Stephan Henrich; Sound design/ Myrtille Fakhreddine(braïbraï), Devin Jernigan; Computation & Fabrication/ Mark-Henry Jean Decrausaz, Cameron David Newnham, Mark Kowalyov, Peeraya Suphasidh; Camera/ Suthiwat Yanawiboot; Storyboard/ Pim Jular; Model & Props/ Pajareeya Suriwong, Nichapatara Swangdecharux; Machinism Special Design/ Cheng Yu Ling; Shooting Organisation/ Wachira Leangtanom; Editing/ Camille Lacadee; Making-of/Danielle Willems, Pantira Unarat; Historical Research/ Natreeya Kraichitti; Community Negotiation/ Lila Tedesco; Production Assistants/ Arisa Juengsophonvitavas, Papat Jinaphun, Javed Godkin Paul de Costa, Nicha Laptaveepanya, Nuthapong Jiratiticharoen, Benjawan Lamsa-ard, Tachapol Danaboonchai, Suthata Jiranuntarat, Yanisa Chumpolphaisal, Jenwit Narukatphichai, Permpoon Rojanasakul; Construction/ Manjunath&Co; Engineer/ Ravi N.Pattegar, Civil Engineer Contractor; Acknowledgements/ Sri Ganapati Vedeshwar (Study Circle Library), Elias Tabet (Pandrata Circle), Sanjeen SingPawat, Gwyllim Jahn
“the philosopher, the believers & z’shell-ter”
What could be the relationship between these antagonist forces, from a strategy of speculation re-questioning the order of discourse, to theology and religious rhetoric, where emerges a figure… from their encounter… from the contradictory zones of the believers and unbelievers?
This interstice, this crack between two dimensions, two interpretations of the world’s logic (if there is one…), seems to be a territory with its own systemic values, transactional and transitory, as a fragile monkey-bridge joining the antagonist verticalities and their opposites in a shaping relation between power and knowledge.
For example, in the Indian culture, we could approach the Bhaghavad Gita through a multitude of interpretation (especially on the fight between the two brothers): from a fairy tale to a religious report, from moralistic speeches to a pitch for Bollywood production, from a sacred scripture to a philosophical and psychological questioning of the notion of identity, duplicity, integrity, consciousness and being.
In the background, underneath of this interrogation, a more crucial question slowly reveals itself: Can we foresee for India, (as is happening everywhere,) the invasion of the autistic over-designed international architecture, following eastern countries such as China, Thailand, Singapore… with no other identity than the personification of post-capitalism meanings, values and designs’ sprawling…
Or is India able to create the specificity of its development, by extracting substances from its history, its alive polytheism, its democratic turbulence, its intrinsic relationships between narration and technologies (from sophisticated hand-made to computing fabrication, from the traditional transmission of know-how to programming machines and behaviors).
Could we plan a situationist activism in terms of production, which would combine expertise, recognition of the needs and conflicts, but also lines of subjectivity extracted from the polyphonic listing above…
“z’shell-ter” / It would have been my last complain
It is a story of the owner of a large library in Gokarna, he collected 100 000 books about philosophy, psychology, some on palm leaves… He is a Brahman…but because of this huge rare collection he has been rejected a long time ago from Gokarna village as an agnostic or atheist collector in a very religious Hindu zone….
The collection has been preserved in a new building on the top of the village by alien fund…which will open soon as an incredible public library (the Study Circle). But at the same time it has aroused the jalousie and hate from village… he commissioned to find a way, to do something or anything in order to recreate the link …similar to the excerpts Bhaghavad Gita of the Mahabharata, when Krishna helps one brother to engage the war against the other one…as a representation of the conflict of his own self-indulgence…
In this sense, a small structure able to soak trough interstices between the philosopher and the believers…. able to trap their symmetrical self-confidence and self-indulgence, has been completed as equal distance from both locations. This illusion-catcher is open to be used by the both side…
The Brahmans in charge of temple came and validated this singularity, in charge to collect human pathologies, on one side the beliefs and certitudes of the community, and on the other the arrogant loneliness of the philosopher…
That is a true story and the old man in the movie is the owner of the library… as a report, a “mockumentary” of the situation.