The film ‘Closer / Apart‘
is the new work from a three-way collaboration between photographer/film-maker Chris Saunders, producer/musician/writer Okzharp and performer/artist/designer/styl
ist Manthe Ribane
‘Closer / Apart‘ is visual exploration of the album ‘Closer Apart‘ by Okzharp and Manthe Ribane directed by Chris Saunders.
The album is due to be released on Hyperdub Records, on 6th July.
In the film Manthe Ribane performs different incarnations of herself whilst simultaneously occupying mythologised characters that connect to ancient she-warrior narratives drawn from a fictionalised nexus between ancient African and Far-Eastern cultures. This is expressed through movement within and flow through four environments that suggest imaginings of a horizon-less, time-less night, a wild nature, a parched pre-apocalyptic river bed and a divine redemptive inner-space.
As Manthe moves through these four locations her form and movement manifest the emotional arc of her journey. She is ‘La Loba’ – the she-wolf. She is the Akai Tori – ‘the red bird’, a keeper of the light, and possessing the wisdom of ages. She is the maternal Sentinel – chaotic nature, the weather, the elements. Finally, she is the Senri Yokai, attaining divine spiritual power over her own destiny.
The film draws on Chris Saunders’ photography and film work capturing contemporary movement and dance , but applies this to an abstracted interrogation of a person’s place within different natures – real and fictionalised, performative and psychosomatic. Animated textures and digital landscapes from Manuel Zambrano are overlaid, challenging the integrity of Manthe’s cinematic world, rupturing the viewer’s engagement with it, evoking an internet-like unrest, bringing with it a sense of the imminent beyond the present continuous.
Director: Chris Saunders
Performer: Manthe Ribane
Choreography, Styling: Manthe Ribane
Director of Photography: Deon Van Zyl
Editor: Josh Borril
Graphics, Animation: Optigram
Artworks: Jonathan Freemantle
Artworks made and film shot on location in December 2017 @ Nirox Sculpture Park, The Cradle of Humankind, Johannesburg, South Africa.
Soundtrack from the album ‘Closer Apart’ by Okzharp and Manche Ribane, Hyperdub Records.