Based in Prague, Czech Republic, Lea Petrikova is a visual artist and a researcher. In 2016 she received her MFA (MgA.) from the Center for Audiovisual Studies (CAS) at Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts, Prague (FAMU). Works on personal projects, commissions, collaborations (documentary, film, theatre) and also on a theoretical research. Since 2017 she has been a PhD Candidate at FAMU working on a project dealing with the topic of altered states of consciousness in film. More info on: http://www.leapetrikova.com
Pharm’n’Film: Altered States of Consciousness in Sandoz Arthouse Films
The lecture presents results of the ongoing research project that maps a unique theme of film history and its connection to psychedelics — the corpus of arthouse films produced by the pharmaceutical company Sandoz. The Sandoz laboratories, founded in 1886, were the first to synthetize LSD and engaged in its research and production until as late as 1960s, the period during which the films under question were produced. Since the end of 1950s, the company even featured a specialized institution, Cinémathèque Sandoz, which was in charge of the production of specific artistic works with fine arts qualities. Cinémathèque Sandoz brought together a group of remarkable personalities – e.g., the man of letters and fine artist Henri Michaux, the director Éric Duvivier, the artist Max Ernst, or the director Jean-Daniel Pollet — and thus created, from the both period and contemporary perspective, a unique platform for the production of arthouse films that were often inspired by the state of psychedelic intoxication. The project introduces an interdisciplinary exploration of the surprising, yet underresearched phenomenon of film history, which combines seemingly inconsistent fields, such as surrealist film, pharmaceutical industry, the production of Henri Michaux, or the production of LSD.