Filipa César & Louis Henderson
15 September 2017


A Cinéconversation, as part of the exhibition "Filipa César & Louis Henderson: Op-Film. An Archaeology of Optics" and the film series "Screening Room"

"We imagine the lighthouse lens as a departing point to unfold a critique of Western epistemologies informed by optical technologies as military and colonial design. The projection of light and its Enlightenments are embedded in the processes and violent imperial gestures of discovering, shedding light, grasping, comprehending, framing, revealing and possessing. As counter-gesture, our research seeks lines of flight towards the shadows through an upholding of a politics of opacity."

César and Henderson’s research transitions from the factory production of Fresnel lenses to a museum of lighthouses and navigational devices, and from the system of triangular trade that followed the first European arrivals in the "New World" to the South American reading of the revolutionary potential of Optical Art. Shifting from 16mm celluloid images to digital desktop captures and CGI 3D meshes, this work maps a trajectory from historical methods of optical navigation to new algorithms of locating, from singular projection to multi-perspectival satellitic visions. Registering these technical advances progressively through their film’s materials and means of production, the artists develop what they describe as "a cinema of affect, a cinema of experience - an Op-Film."

Funding and Support

Ministerium für Familie, Kinder, Jugend, Kultur und Sport des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen


Filipa César & Louis Henderson: Sunstone, 2017
Courtesy of the artists
The works in the exhibition have been co-commissioned by Gasworks, London & Contour Biennial 8, Mechelen