Ori Huchi Kozia
*Brazzaville (Republique du Congo)
“art through breaking and entering”
I am Ori Huchi Kozia, a young independent author and director from Brazzaville, Congo, part of a new generation of contemporary African filmmakers. I live and work in the Congo. My process links several media: performance, video art and experimental film. I create surreal characters, either staging them in film or confronting them with the real world in public places or theatrical spaces, costumed and made-up with found objects. My films re-interrogate the meaning of things, my relationship with the world, with art and with us all. Arte povera finds the meaning of its existence here and the measure of its aesthetic, social and political justification. Starting with video art, video instaltion and experimental ficition, I develop and experiment with a sort of aesthetics of chaos that summons bizarrre, surreal universese – sometimes sublime and unexpected, strange or visionary. I have entered art through breaking and entering. The creative impulse applies everywhere. So I started filming “things” before I even knew what a director’s statement was or a shot list. For the simple reason that, in the Congo, there is no structure of training that accompanies creation. I had to learn by doing. I started in 2009 as an intern in sound and light direction at the Institut Francais of the Congo. With neither training nor experience, I filmed my first dance video “The Dancer God” inspired by the Nietzsche quote “ I can’t believe in any god that doesn’t know how to dance”. That work marks the spirits and will be adapted for the stage. The video was very well-received at the dance video festival of Bourgogne, France. Next, I directed my first “real” documentary film in 2010 “Joy and Me”, which showed on French-speaking television stations and was selected for the Panafrican film festival de Cannes in 2011.
But what I wanted from cinema was different and radical. I wanted to make different films, in a different way, propose another cinema, another view, another aesthetic. Given that I am the youngest of my generation, that led to significant misunderstanding on the part of older Congolese directors. No one understood my films. In reaction to that, in 2011, I independently filmed an experimental fiction “BAD APPLE” on an empty theater stage, where the actors mimed the set.
In 2012, I was awarded an “EGIDE” grant for a two-month training course in documentary at the FEMIS in Paris. That was my only institutional experience in film training.
Back in the Congo, I joined a contemporary art studio, and I won the first prize in video art with two videos I made with my mobile phone: “TRAUMA” and “EPHEMERE” (Ephemeral).
In 2014, I received a grant for a 4‑month writing and research residence in France, at the Cité International de Arts de Paris. This was made possible by a grant program at the Institut Francais “Visas for Creation”.
Then, I went to Rotterdam in 2015 with “EPICURA”, a film with almost no dialogue, FILTERED or REFINED, with a shot list between experimental film, art video and film essay. Selected for the Rotterdam International Film Festival.
“KATAMALANASIE” marks a decisive turn in my aesthetic progress, and my directing choices: another step towards creation.
Work as a writer, director, producer
2014 EPICURA Brazzaville, Fiction. 26 min.
2013 NEUROSIS. Brazzaville, Video art. 11 min.
2012 EPHEMERAL. Brazzaville, Video art. 3 min
2012 TRAUMA. Brazzaville, Video art. 5 min.
2012 GOUEMO. France, Documentary. 20 min.
2011 BAD APPLE. Brazzaville, Fiction. 15 min.
2010 JOE AND ME. Brazzaville, Documentary. 26 min
2010 THE DANCER GOD. Brazzaville, Fiction. 13 min