Every Tear

Sarah Vanagt | 31 min | Belgium | 2017


In the 17th century, Antoni Van Leeuwenhoek, a draper from Delft, begins to make glass lenses, in order to better study the quality of his textile. He melts, drips and grinds small beads of glass. His tiny lenses are so bright and have such magnifying power that the draper seems to have entered a new dimension.
Is he the first to see little moving ‘animals’ in a drop of water? How to describe something that nobody ever saw before?

In the film Every Tear, Sarah Vanagt starts a journey into her home city of Brussels, with Leeuwenhoek’s microscope at hand. She picks up bits and pieces on her road, and tries to find out out what the first microscopic images may have looked like. She replaces the lens of her camera by the 17th century lens. As she is filming, she wonders why we always look for shapes that we already know, whenever we are in the eye of the unknown. A rocket! A bag filled with diamonds! Ribbed cardboard! A cat!

Reimagining Biology
7:00 PM | Wednesday, October 18, 2017
Rockefeller University
Carsen Family Auditorium
1230 York Ave, New York, 10065

Sarah Vanagt (b. 1976) makes documentaries, video installations and photos, in which she combines her interest for history with her interest for (the origins of) cinema. Her work includes films such as After Years of Walking (2003), Little Figures (2003), Begin Began Begun (2005), Boulevard d’Ypres (2010), The Corridor (2010), Dust Breeding (2013); and video installations such as Les Mouchoirs de Kabila (2005), Power Cut (2007), Ash Tree (2007). Her work is shown at film festivals (FidMarseille, Viennale, Doclisboa, Idfa Amsterdam, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Madrid/Berlin, Hors Pistes Centre Pompidou), and in museums (Frankfurter Kunstverein, Fact Liverpool, NGBK Berlin, Shedhalle Zürich). The silent short film Girl With a Fly (2013) was first shown at the 5th Biennale of Moscow. The film In Waking Hours (2015) premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam. Vanagt’s most recent film Still Holding Still (2015) will be shown at IDFA Amsterdam, after its Belgian première on October 22, 2015 (Beursschouwburg, Brussels).