Stella Chiweshe vs 11*14

Stella Chiweshe vs 11*14

Rehearsal session: 27.6., 6 pm, Guttempler
Performance: 29.6., 8 pm, entrance: 7:30 pm, Guttempler

11 x 14, by James Benning USA 1977, 82 Min

Her Majesty - The Queen of Mbira Music from Zimbabwe – that’s what Stella Rambisai Chiweshe often is called. She is the first artist that gained recognition and prestige in this male-dominated music tradition. With her Mbira Music Stella Chiweshe belongs to the big names in the international music scene. For Howling Wolf she will create a musical experience that unfolds from James Benning's 11 * 14. The film is one of the major avant-garde films and according to its director James Benning it aimes to create a spherical space-time continuum.

The artist Stella Chiweshe is one of the few musicians in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa, who since more than 35 years is working in the role of traditional Mbira musician and already her first single, Kasahwa, received gold in 1975. Prior to Zimbabwe's independence, when the colonial government banned all traditional instruments and songs and threatened the Mbira artists with imprisonment, she earned recognition as a musician in secret Mbira ceremonies. Very quickly, her solo work has established Stella Chiweshe as one of the most original artists in the contemporary African scene. She introduces the Mbira music to the occidental context without loosing the relation to her Zimbabwean tradition - she complements Mbira with popular music to show the deepness and power of her traditional spiritual music at home and abroad. Her work has not only made her an international figure, but also earned her the position as Zimbabwe's cultural Ambassador. Stella Chiweshe has been touring Europe regularly since 1983 and has released several internationally successful albums.

James Benning, 1977 about his film: The objective behind 11 X 14 was to formulate a number of ideas using methods that are conventionally thought to be contradictory to the ideas themselves. The contradictions are used to develop a continual feeling of paradox. I wanted to make a narrative film concerned first with the elements of form and structure; that is, to make composition, colour, texture, and on/off screen space the real narrative, putting the story in the background. The underlying story does not attempt to depict reality but to provide a context to encourage each person to interact with the formal and metaphorical elements of the film. The narrative is purposely both open and open-ended to emphasise that the reality of the film should come not only from the film itself but from each individuals’ experiencing the film [...]. 11 X 14 is also an attempt to create spherical time-space. The editing structure emphasises the inherent linear quality of film; however, through the repetition of certain icons, sounds, and events, it is hoped that all the scenes will interlock and relate crosswise rather than through simple juxtaposition.