J.P. Sniadecki, an alumni of the same film lab from which spawned the blockbuster film ‘Leviathan’, is visiting Copenhagen in December. 

From December 2 to 30, CPH:DOX, Cinemateket, Copenhagen Architecture Festival and the Department of Film, Media and Cognition at the University of Copenhagen have invited J.P. Sniadecki for six different film screenings and talks.

You will be able to experience J.P. Sniadecki’s films ‘The Iron Ministry’, ‘Demolition’, ‘Foreign Parts’, ‘Yumen’, ‘Works in Progress’ as well as ‘Leviathan’, the hit film that was created in the same laboratory as J.P. Sniadecki’s works: the Sensory Ethnography Lab, located in Harvard. 

J.P. Sniadecki’s films are primarily observations of life and places, but also of how people react to his presence. This methodical grip, combined with an exploration of cinematic materiality and temporality, is the core of the ethnographic film work of Sniadecki, which you can now see at Cinemateket.

The documentary ‘The Iron Ministry’ turns observations of passengers during a train journey into a journey through differences of class, dialects, appearance and behaviour. Passengers are surprisingly outspoken, and Sniadecki has a great eye for the everyday poetry and the surreal.

‘Demolition’ is a portrait of a construction site in Chengdu in Western China, a chaotic landscape of concrete and twisted metal. An invisible transformation with the characteristics of a metaphor. The construction workers know very well what time it is: “A Chinese proverb says that if the ancient remains, nothing new will ever come.” 

Ruin fetish and participant observation

The Sensory Ethnography Lab hosts some of today’s most exciting film experiments at the intersection of art and science, like ruin fetishism and participant observation through contact. 

The laboratory’s most famous work is night fishing-portrayal ‘Leviathan’ (2012), which with violently expressive and sensual resources such as high contrast and focus on machine sounds gives the boat and the waves personality.  


Friday, December 2nd at 19:00:

‘The Iron Ministry’ (J. Sniadecky, 2014) – Meet the director 

Friday, December 2nd at 21:45:

‘Demolition’ (J. Sniadecky, 2008) – Meet the director

Saturday, December 3rd at 14:30:

‘Foreign Parts’ (Verena Paravel and J.P. Sniadecky, 2010)

Saturday, December 3rd at 16:45:

‘Works in Progress’ + J.P. Sniadecki in conversation with Arine Kirstein Høgel.

Saturday, December 3rd at 19:00:

‘Yumen’ + J.P. Sniadecki in conversation with Mette Hjort.

Tuesday, December 20th at 21:15 and Friday December 30th at 16:45:

‘Leviathan’ (Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Verena Paravel, 2012)

Buy tickets here.



Wednesday, November 30th at 18:00:

‘Yumen’ + J.P. Sniadecki in conversation with Arine Kirstein Høgel.

Location: DOKK1, Lille sal 

Thursday, December 1st  at 13:00:

‘The Iron Ministry’ (J. Sniadecky, 2014) + J.P. Sniadecki in conversation with Anders Sybrandt

Location: Moesgaard Museum, Auditorium 4240-020. 

J.P. Sniadecki’s visit has been organised by researched and director Arine Kirstein Høgel and research programmes Camera as Cultural Critique and Contemporary Ethnography.