Janis Rafa: Feed me. Cheat me. Eat me.
Eye Film Museum presents a solo exhibition by the Greek artist and filmmaker Janis Rafa. Her films and video installations focus on human and other beings' relationships. Her latest work focuses on the tension between caring for and exploiting animals and landscapes.
Janis Rafa's evocative films and video installations rarely contain spoken words; instead, she focuses on the silent presence of domestic or wild animals �� dogs, horses, birds, etc. – and makes them the driving force of her poetic compositions. Janis Rafa's stories are not just about human fears, hopes and failures; they also emphasize animal instincts, untamed behaviour and the human inability to live together.
Rafa's imagery is cinematic and seductive. Yet her work is disturbing: it forces the viewer to think about pressing issues, such as people's relationships with each other and the world around them. Her most recent works – premiered at Eye – focus on the tension between caring for and exploiting animals and landscapes by human inventions and desires.
Rafa's new work tends towards playful eroticism and physical contact, through puns and repurposed utensils usually designed to control animals. The exhibition's title summarises the underlying feeling of melancholy and whimsicality that continually returns in her work.
Rafa's subjects find their place in unusual film compositions that mix the fictional with the everyday. In these timeless spaces, she emphasizes power structures, domination and control. The locations she chooses are urban fringes, post-industrial places, abandoned buildings and decaying farmland. Among the ruins of this world, Rafa explores themes such as affection for the non-human body, relationships between animal species and dealing with loss. Her work is a wordless ode to stray and pet dogs, roadkill, prey animals, animals in factory farms and other victims of late capitalist society.
About the artist
Janis Rafa (1984, Greece) studied at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam. In 2022, her work Lacerate (2020) was selected for the exhibition The Milk of Dreams at the 59th Venice Biennale. In 2018, the Centraal Museum in Utrecht presented her exhibition Eaten by Non-Humans, and in 2023, her exhibition Riddles for Resilient Tongues was on display at opbo studio in Athens. With her feature debut Kala Azar, Rafa won the IFFR 2020 KNF Award.
Dates and times
|Tuesday 5 December||10:00 - 19:00|
|Wednesday 6 December||10:00 - 19:00|
|Thursday 7 December||10:00 - 19:00|
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