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Spring Show 2021 Presents Experimental Film and Installation, ‘Making A Scene’

SCI-Arc is thrilled to present Spring Show 2021: Making A Scene, a film and installation directed and curated by SCI-Arc faculty Natou Fall (M.Arch 1 ’19) and Zeina Koreitem. Experienced virtually, this year’s Spring Show exhibition will be staged simultaneously as experimental narrative film and archival stream highlighting extraordinary student work from the past year—screened live for viewers all around the world on May 22, 2021 at 6pm. Koreitem and Fall will moderate the event, joined by special guests Hernán Díaz Alonso, Mira Henry, David Eskenazi, Jeremy Hartley, Andrew Zago, and John Cooper.

two women with masks pointing window reflection
Curators Zeina Koreitem and Natou Fall. Production still, Making A Scene. Photo by Logan White

The official exhibition text reads:

BIT BY BIT, THE PAST
RECOVERS THE PRESENT
THROUGH
AN IMAGINARY MISE-EN-SCÈNE
OF A VISUAL EXPERIENCE
WHICH EVER CONVENES
MANY GAZES
– Jean Luc Godard, (Hélas Pour Moi, 1993)
[Buffering, Loading.]
Mise-en-scène is a French expression that can be translated as both a verb and a noun. As a verb, it is the “act of staging,” the action of “putting onto the stage.” As a noun, it is the setting itself, the milieu of production, which facilitates the making of a framed image.
The expression thus contains two meanings. On the one hand, it refers to those processes that aim to produce and articulate the relationships between different layers of an image: movement, sound, foreground, background, light and color, etc. On the other hand, it refers to the total effects of those relationships in space and time. To “make a scene” is then both to frame an image and to embody it; to produce a screen, so that scenes can be seen.
960 E 3rd is a second home for the student body. Given the challenges of the last year, the story we wanted to tell mirrors the spectrum of intense and even sometimes contradictory emotions and sensibilities that, in turn animated the past academic year: uncertainty, emptiness, nostalgia, screen immersion, and hope.

Making A Scene is built around the understanding that the building is an integral part of what makes SCI-Arc a space for experimentation and community. After spending a year away from ‘home,’ the narrative brings the viewer back into the space by visualizing the sounds and textures of SCI-Arc, “still empty yet full of things left behind.”

TV screen soft light architecture model
Production still, Making A Scene. Photo by Logan White

For new students who have not spent time in the building, Koreitem and Fall have created an aesthetic experience of “what will soon become their terrain, as thinkers, and architects.” Visuals of the film are accompanied by an ambient soundscape composed of sounds most familiar to many who have spent time at SCI-Arc. Screen installations will play student work from the 2020-2021 academic year, displayed across multiple different scenes. Other scenes are paired with audio and video content of events led and run by students.

In discussing the conceptual thrust of Making A Scene, Koreitem says, “I visited SCI-Arc in January after many months away. Abandoned chairs, books, models, all those reminders of what once was. My first thought was: mise-en-scène. Scenes to set up, scenes to amplify, scenes to dismantle. The process of making the film became about re-discovering SCI-Arc through these strange moments coupled with an assortment of shared drives, Google docs, spreadsheets of students' work, production schedules and screens. So many screens.”

overhead view two women arms out wires
Production still, Making A Scene. Photo by Logan White

“Developing the narrative, and directing this project meant a lot, like giving a gift back to an incredible community,” adds Fall of coordinating the film. “I reached out for input from students, alumni, and faculty through social media, and tapped into my own experience as a student. With this film, we wanted to tap into what makes SCI-Arc so unique, and the experience of being in studio with your peers and instructors is such a big part of that.”

Tune in to the live public screening of Spring Show 2021 at this link on May 22 at 6pm.