Maki: Opening Event

For the opening event of SIFF 2015, the Grenoble-based performance collective, MAKI, mounts an incredible experience in an impossible location, bringing together 16mm film projection, shadow play, music and dance to the grounds of the shipyards that have long served Syros. A unique cinematic event, a “primitive cinema” where the basic processes of the medium of film—the initial play between light and dark, recorded image and live motion, and celluloid projection—become the cinema itself.


This performance draws upon the primary sensations and emotions that film effects in the mind of a viewer, and further, it attempts to expand cinema so as to fully encapsulate its context: a windswept chunk of rock in the Aegean. Using light, shadow, music, movement, and film projections, the performers thematize the basic processes of the cinema to create a remarkable and engaging spectacle.


Maki, the voyaging spirit, has for the past ten years been exploring unlikely places, spaces and contexts, from the Gambia River to the Vercors Mountains. Initially a shadow and light performance act, Maki naturally mutated into a creative collective that brings together cinema, improvisational music, dance, graphics, exhibitions, publications, and radio shows—all without delineation. Site-specific residencies—the back-and-forth from one world to another—enrich our performances and our creative process, propelled by improvisation. From an ephemeral installation emerges an abundance of ideas: a rush of images and sounds from the villages of the African bush to our own angular sidewalks. This journey places in question the trajectory of our world, the notion of equality, the different legacies of history, free movement, the freedom to think…. Like a wildfire in the night, Maki seeks to address these questions through poetry, exchange and the richness of interactions.


Made up of projectionists, musicians and a dancer, Maki leads viewers through a maze of shadows, lights, images and manipulated sounds, all mixed in real time on a large screen for a voyage through the traces of history, the mélange of cultures, the poetry of travel…. It is a manual and improvisational cinema for all types of audiences..


This collaboration began in 2005 amongst five French artists at a residency in Dakar, and continues under the auspices of the organization “Culture Ailleurs” in Grenoble, France. The organization was started in 1995 by S. Perroud, J. Lobhedez and D. Follet to bring together artists of all nationalities, and create a space for expositions, performances and cultural exchange. Culture Ailleurs is supported by l’AFAA, the City of Grenoble, the General Consul of l’Isère and the Foundation of France.