Kirsi Nevanti

In Real Life (Or Elsewhere)

Kirsi Nevanti’s doctoral student project In Real Life (Or Elsewhere) is about creative processes and parallel realities in documentary films. It is hoped that the project will contribute to the development of the documentary as an art form and provide insights as to how documentary films can discover paths to new viewing windows. In addition, the project has resulted in a pioneering application that may come to be used in the health service as well as in other environments where people congregate. Kirsi Nevanti is a doctoral student (2011–2016) in film and media studies with a background as a film maker and director.

Goal and purpose

This doctoral project’s research into creative processes and parallel realities in documentary film will be presented to audiences public and professional, in Sweden and internationally, who are interested in the contemporary world and documentary expression. The hope is that the research will contribute to developing documentary film as an art form, and provide new insights into how the genre can reach new audiences beyond the traditional ones.

Research questions

Nevanti’s background is that of a filmmaker and director, and her research focuses particularly on the role of the director. She also works with conceptualization based on her artistic practice as a documentary filmmaker.

One of the research questions came to focus on spatiality: what happens when documentary images are shown on four screens forming the walls of a room? It is already clear that the human psyche is greatly affected by being surrounded by four screens, with projections of an ingeniously edited and sound-designed non-narrative work.

Another of the research questions came to be about identity and parallel realities in the gendered world.

How the project has been carried out

The thesis consists in part of artistic works and essays that are critical reflections on the creative process and how that process can be conceptualized. The cinematic centerpiece of the thesis is entitled Images and the Worlds of Being (2011–2016). Previous subprojects are A Shift Between Worlds (2013–2015) and an essay book entitled In Real Life (or Elsewhere) (2013). The research will be presented to audiences public and professional, in Sweden and internationally, who are interested in the contemporary world and documentary expression. In all aspects, Nevanti’s research has been shaped organically as a result of her burning interest in documentary film as an art form. It is also shaped by the gaze, the presence in the act of seeing. She dedicates the centerpiece of the thesis, Images and the Worlds of Being, to Tove Torbiörnsson, director and head of the Film and Society Department at the Swedish Film Institute. Tove was also the chief advisor on Nevanti’s doctoral project until her untimely passing in October 2015.

Tove-1-594x476.jpg
Tove Torbiörsson

Tove Torbiörsson In Our Hearts

Schedule

PhD Candidate in the period September 2011 through August 2016.

Final presentation of project

The works in the thesis will be presented in a final seminar (TBA); the thesis defense will take place in 2017.

Where you can find some of Kirsi Nevanti’s subprojects

Images and the Worlds of Being

The central focus is the view through the camera lens through which the filmmaker meets the world, in a hypnotic tapestry of parallel realities in a tenderly portrayed, runaway present. A four-screen projection with multiple layers of combined techniques. A sort of logical reasoning about the illogic of our era, in search of elusive reality (to paraphrase Jean Baudrillard) – the presence in the act of seeing. An experiment in the forms of visual knowledge, outside the traditional display windows, for an audience interested in the contemporary world. Shooting location: The World.

The key focus has been the gaze, the presence in the act of seeing. The images have been filmed over the years with no planning and with strict limitations to the scope of the material.

Shooting sites

  • Ceuta, a Spanish enclave in Morocco (February 2016).
  • La Fonda and Tijuana, Mexico (December 2015)
  • San Diego (November 2015)
  • Möhkö, Eastern Finland (August 2015)
  • Belgrade, Serbia (May 2015)
  • São Paolo, Brazil (March 2014)
  • Yamagata and Fukushima, Japan (October 2012)

1. _0010_Kirsi_4screen_16_SCREEN_Gibraltar1.jpg 2. _0010_Kirsi_1_Images 2016.jpg

3. _0010_Kirsi_Skiss 4duksrum hangmen.jpg

1. IATWOB/Gibraltar 2016 Photo by Kirsi Nevanti. Camera Ikonoskop A-cam dii.
2. Testlab Images August 2016. Photo: Kirsi Nevanti
3. 4-Screen Room Zero Zone: Images and the Worlds of Being/Hangmen. The screens will be hanging 50 cm above the floor.

Team: Director/photographer: Kirsi Nevanti; film editor: Julian Antell; sound design and mixing: Jan Alvermark. Work-in-Progress 2011–2016.

A Shift Between Worlds

A Shift Between Worlds is about experimenting with identity in the gendered world, based on two workshops led by Diane Torr, “Man for a Day” and “Woman for a Day.” Kirsi Nevanti initiated and arranged the workshops at the Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts in 2013–2014. They resulted in several component works, including two video essays, two audio works and two large-format photographic works, the latter in collaboration with photographer Johan Bergmark. This subproject was presented at the doctoral 75% seminar and in a master class at the Tempo Documentary Film Festival in March 2015 (StDH/Uniarts 2013–2015), and was expanded with a short commentary film entitled Diane Speaks Out (2016).

_0010_Kirsi_IMAG2569_600.jpg

Team: Photographer Johan Bergmark; film photographer Kirsi Nevanti; film editor Julian Antell; sound design Jan Alvermark.

For more information: In Real Life (Or Elsewhere) at the 2015 Tempo documentary film festival

See the video at Uniarts Play: A Shift Between Worlds on Uniarts Play

In Real Life (or Elsewhere)

Essays on creative processes and parallel realities in documentary film (a SADA publication from 2013, published in connection with the doctoral halfway seminar at the Nobel Museum in November 2013).

_0010_origpic-2fbf29_ Kirsis bok.jpg

Find the book in the store

En kulen morgon (One Overcast Morning) – an introduction to the essay by the same title, published in “In Real Life (or Elsewhere)”. Audio work, read by Tove Torbiörnsson (in Swedish).

En Kulen Morgon

Status of the project

Doctoral halfway seminar: November 21, 2013

Doctoral 75% seminar: March 6, 2015

Final seminar: 8 February 2017

Public defence: 1 juni 2017

Kirsi Nevanti on In Real Life (or Elsewhere)

Kirsi Nevanti’s own words about her doctoral project In Real Life (or Elsewhere).

My research project is called In Real Life (or Elsewhere) and it’s about creative processes and parallel realities in documentary film. My background is that of a filmmaker and director. The thesis consists of artistic works and essays that are critical reflections on the creative process and how that process can be conceptualized.

The research will be presented to audiences public and professional, in Sweden and internationally, who are interested in the contemporary world and documentary expression. My hope is that the project will contribute to the development of documentary film as an art form and will give insight into how the genre can find paths to new audiences. One result of my doctoral research was the development of an application that I want to work further on: a contemplative space to be used in healthcare, for example in grief therapy. The space uses documentary images in the healing process and can be used by patients, their family members and caring staff. I dedicate this application to the memory of the director and head of the Film and Society Department at the Swedish Film Institute Tove Torbiörnsson, who was also the chief advisor on my doctoral project until her untimely passing in October 2015. The following is a brief summary of the subprojects in my thesis. The entire thesis will be presented in a closed dialogue seminar in September 2016; the defense is planned for January 2017.

Images and the Worlds of Being – The central focus is the view through the camera lens through which the filmmaker meets the world, in a hypnotic tapestry of parallel realities in a tenderly portrayed, runaway present. A four-screen projection with multiple layers of combined techniques. A sort of logical reasoning about the illogic of our era, in search of elusive reality (to paraphrase Jean Baudrillard) – the presence in the act of seeing. An experiment in the forms of visual knowledge, outside the traditional display windows, for an audience interested in the contemporary world. Shooting location: The World – Fukushima in Japan; São Paulo in Brazil; Belgrade in Serbia; San Diego in the USA; La Fonda and Tijuana in Mexico; Möhkö in Eastern Finland, in the borderlands with Russia; and Tarifa in southern Spain. The final recording took place in Ceuta, the Spanish enclave in Morocco, in February 2016.

Making a film for four screens that form a room makes the task infinitely more challenging. The visual element is the core: none of the takes were planned in advance, which was a key premise of the project – coming to a place and seeing what attracts the eye. Images and the Worlds of Being is also the cinematic centerpiece of my thesis work entitled In Real Life (or Elsewhere) – on creative processes and parallel realities in documentary film. Team: Photographer Kirsi Nevanti; film editor Julian Antell; sound design Jan Alvermark. Sound and assistance Anders Nyberg. Images and the Worlds of Being was accepted to IDFA, the international documentary film festival in Amsterdam in November 2016.