Branka

Njen poslednji film pozvan na festival u Montrealu

Dopisnik Boston Globa Cate McQuaid je objavila ovih dana veoma lep intervju sa Brankom Bogdanov, direktorom film i video produkcije (media director) na bostonskom Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA). Pogledaj http://www.icaboston.org/ 

Branka i Dusko su nam bili u gostima prosle nedelje i druzili smo se u Barceloni obilazeci stari grad i tipicne katalanske restorane, puno pricali o Beogradu, Splitu, Bostonu, Barceloni, pa sam imao priliku da malo vise saznam i o njenom radu.

Onda sam pogledao web sajt njenog muzeja i pronasao kratki video klip (49 sekundi) o njenom poslednjem filmu o kineskom umetniku Chen Zhenu - mozete da ga pogledate ako kliknete na link koji prenosimo sa ICA sajta: 

Chen Zhen: Inner Body Landscapes
Friends and colleagues share their memories of Chen Zhen and his work in this excerpt from the ICA's new video about this internationally recognized artist.

Ovaj film "Chen Zhen: Inner Body Landscape" i njegov autor Branka Bogdanov su pozvani da ucestvuju na 21. Internacionalnom Festivalu Filmova o Umetnosti, (21 st Internatioinal Film Festival of Films on Art) koji ce se odrzati u Montrealu, od 13-22 Marta. To je veliko priznanje za Brankin rad pa pozivamo sve koji mogu da prisustvuju projkeciji u Montrealu da dodju na festival.

Videotaping art for art's sake

bullet

Branka Bogdanov filters ICA exhibits through a humane lens

By Cate McQuaid, Globe Correspondent  12/22/2002

Visual art doesn't smile for the camera.

Ask Branka Bogdanov, director of film and video at the Institute of Contemporary Art. In the 13 years since she came to the ICA from her native Yugoslavia, she has made 40 video documentaries about exhibitions here: light-footed, engaging videos that draw the viewers into the metaphors that power the art and let them get cozy with the artists.

Bogdanov says videotaping the art is a constant challenge. ''Art is not made for its cinematic values,'' she says. Then she smiles. As a videographer, Bogdanov thrives on challenges.

''To have the viewers see more than they can see in the gallery - it's an additional dimension you can only do with video,'' says Bogdanov, who is 56 but looks a decade younger. She lights up when she talks about her job: ''That's how I keep myself entertained.''

Sometimes, the artist as well as the art pose problems. Look at ''Chen Zhen: Inner Body Landscapes,'' the documentary that accompanies the show through Dec. 31. The challenge wasn't so much in showing the art as portraying the artist, who died in 2000 at 45. It became a personal mission for Bogdanov, who had met Chen when his work was included in the 1998 ICA exhibit ''The Quiet in the Land,'' a group show of work by artists made during a residency at a Shaker community in Maine.

''Because I came from Yugoslavia, a socialist country, and he came from China, we found many, many things in common,'' Bogdanov says. ''So we bonded. In his art, he crossed the boundaries of experience, his Western experience crossed with Eastern philosophy.''

Quiet, expert touches

To put Chen on video, the filmmaker conducted interviews. She culled film footage from China. In the documentary, she builds a palpable sense of the late artist's absence, even as she gives flesh to the metaphors of his work and lets his friends and family describe the great and generous heart that was lost when Chen died after a 20-year battle with blood disease. It isn't until well into the 20-minute video that Chen himself appears, at which point the viewer already misses him.

''Writing the script for this, I asked myself, `Should I start with him, or should I put that later?' Almost as if he isn't going to be on the tape at all,'' Bogdanov says. ''And then you show him.''

She pauses, pleased. ''You don't want to make another boring tape on art. You don't want only art historians and scholars. For that we have catalogs.''

These quiet, humane touches run through Bogdanov's work.

''There have been times when I've found Branka's documentaries more accomplished than the exhibitions themselves,'' says Boston area filmmaker and curator John Gianvito. ''As an artist, she takes the challenge of what could be a rudimentary educational sidebar to the exhibition, an audio visual guide, and uses it to be expressive as an artist herself and aligns it with the intentions of the artist on display. She does it expertly.''

Bogdanov engages the art she videotapes with deep questions and a sense of welcome. She sees contemporary artists as prophets and healers, here to take the heartbeat of our day and our culture and find the story in it.

''We need to listen to what artists say,'' says Bogdanov, chatting in a room beside the tiny theater at the ICA where her documentaries screen. ''They're talking about the concerns of our time. They make metaphors, and we need to decode what they say.''

A spell seems to drop over her, then she moves forward in her chair, speaking as if confidentially. ''Years ago, I encountered a music movement - Tropicalissimo in Brazil. It was rock and bossa nova, fused with avant-garde jazz. All this together! And Chen Zhen did the same. This crossing of boundaries is so important. When we listen and merge our experiences, it can only produce wonderful music and art.

''What,'' she then asks, ''can it do in a political situation?''

It's a loaded question. ''I'm more sensitive, coming from Yugoslavia,'' Bogdanov admits. ''The country that completely disintegrated for no good reason.''

From Belgrade to Boston

Bogdanov came to the US in 1989 at the invitation of the ICA's then-director, David Ross. She had been a senior producer at the television station in Belgrade. She and her 13-year-old son, Boryan Jovanovic, arrived well before the most recent troubles tore her country apart. She and her husband and compatriot, David Mladinov, whom she had known since her student days but married here in Boston, watched from afar as their homeland was bombed.

''It was difficult to be here. I didn't think NATO and the US did the just thing, bombarding Yugoslavia. I demonstrated with my fellow countrymen here. I was very disappointed. But you can say that in this country, and I appreciate this country because of that.''

Her in-laws came and stayed with Bogdanov and Mladinov during the war. ''My father-in-law was 80,'' she recalls. ''He said, `I lived 80 years in one town, but the countries changed around me.' He lived in Austria -Hungary, in Italy, in the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, in a Nazi puppet state, in Yugoslavia, then Croatia. He stayed in one small town, but lived in six different countries.''

If this sense of flux is a geopolitical curse, it's also the grounding for great art - and film. Bogdanov often finds herself leapfrogging from one culture to another. She rolls her eyes, thinking about the Chen video.

''I had never thought I would edit in Chinese,'' she exclaims. ''We had the translation in English and tried to follow along. I've edited in Italian before, I know that a little. But in Chinese! My editor and I, we both fell in love with the Chinese language.''

Bogdanov felt it was important to interview Chen's wife and Chinese colleagues in their native tongue. ''I wanted their true experience on tape,'' she says.

One of her gifts as a documentary filmmaker comes across in conversation: She sets people at ease and lets them be themselves. ''I'm producer, director, and writer,'' Bogdanov says. ''But I don't hold the camera myself. It's important for me to focus on the subject. My job is to open up a person.''

Boston photographer Shellburne Thurber has appeared in three Bogdanov documentaries over the years.

''I know this as a photographer: If you've got the camera, you're in control,'' says Thurber. ''It's a huge responsibility. One feels taken care of by Branka. It's hard enough to be interviewed, it's a whole other thing when you're being filmed. You have to trust the person doing it.''

Thurber trusts Bogdanov. ''I've dealt with enough people around my work that my radar is out,'' she says. ''My work has been misread, and I've had to step in to take control. I feel completely relaxed around Branka. I've never felt I've had to require approval [of a Bogdanov documentary].''

These days, Bogdanov is at work on her biggest project yet: a documentary on the new ICA building on the waterfront, set to open in 2006. There, she'll oversee a new media gallery. Her son, now grown, has become a filmmaker as well.

''Boryan is interested in highly commercial films,'' she says. ''He's the second assistant director for Michael Bay's `Bad Boys II.'''

She laughs. ''The combination, isn't it wonderful? He's making `Bad Boys II,' and I'm making - in his view - obscure films about obscure artists.''

This story ran on page N8 of the Boston Globe on 12/22/2002.
Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

A evo sta pisu o njoj na Artextu:  

Branka Bogdanov is a multi-award winning writer, producer and director of documentary, educational and feature films. Bogdanov first garnered international acclaim for her film and video work while working in her native Yugoslavia. Her devotion to the world of contemporary art led to the development of the ICA's in-house video production unit in 1989. Bogdanov has produced and directed nearly forty videos on artists and cultural issues, traveling to Italy, Prague, Mexico and numerous other site locations worldwide.

ARTEXT is the international distributor of the outstanding collection of videos on contemporary avant-garde art directed over the past 12 years by Branka Bogdanov for The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. For a full list of available videos with information on each work, please see our ICA Video Catalogue.

Ja sam samo brzo prebrojao na tom sajtu filmove koje je rezirala Branka i stigao do broja 33.

Cestitamo Branka!