Author of the program: Goran Petrović
„Contemporary political thought explains that we are living in a post-political society, in which all differences are re-appropriated and subsumed by the service of capitalist productivity and the reign of consumption. In politics, this circumstance is reflected through the blurring of borders between the centre-right and the centre-left that precludes any possible alternative to neoliberalism. In the arts, as Chantal Mouffe (2007) has suggested, it is reflected through the blurring of differences between “art and advertising”, that diminishes the space for art to subvert dominant forms of representation aligned with the demands of capital. It is under these present predicaments that all artistic forms of dissensus became subsumed in the modern and postmodern teleology of consolidation under historical evolution and, thus, deprived from their inherently political aspect. In other words, understanding image, sculpture, film, dance or performance as materialised forms of different discourses, we may say that the post-political condition tends to silence or suppress different and destabilizing discourses into the indistinct sphere of neoliberalism by appropriating them. However, despite the failure of art to destabilize and rearticulate neoliberal consensus politics and norms of representation, the political, or rather critical potential of art to contest the power of capitalism did not disappear. This claim demands a much more nuanced explanation.
My selection of films for the screening Reappearing Things, has been inspired by a dissensual role of art. This approach, I believe, opens up an opportunity for a reappearing of the political dimension of art, which otherwise remains deprived from its inherent critical dimension and, as such, subsumed and silenced within the indistinct sphere of neoliberalism.“
From the text Artistic Strategies of Engagement : Hampering Neoliberal Silencing of Dissensus Art
Goran Petrović, 55. October Salon, catalogue
Goran Petrović (Belgrade, Serbia) currently lives in Brussels. He is a PhD researcher at Ghent University (Belgium) and the Research center S:PAM (Studies in Performing Arts & Media). His research combines performance theory with the post-foundational political philosophy, and evolves around the notion of paradox. Petrović holds Master Degree in Art History from the University of Belgrade (Serbia). Since 2000, he has been working as a freelance researcher, curator and producer in visual and performing arts and film.
Clemens von Wedemeyer
The Fourth Wall: ‘Found Footage’, 2008 – 2009
©Clemens von Wedemeyer, VG Bild-Kunst
Courtesy KOCH OBERHUBER WOLFF
Using the form of an educational program, a selection of found footage ranging from news reports and feature films to anthropological documentaries are arranged in mutual commentary, drawing relations between separate regions of the world and differing eras of interpretation and translation. The spoken commentary proposes the thesis that the camera and the mask are related devices, which generate ‘culture’ through concealment and division. Misinterpretation appears to be inherent to all cases of media attention to previously isolated groups. Sections of the video cover ‘Exploration,’ ‘The Uncontacted,’ ‘Expectations,’ ‘First Contact,’ ‘Reporting,’ and ‘Examination,’ and, while remaining open-ended, the film also touches on the Tasaday controversy and possible hoax. The Tasaday were a group of 26 people found living in the rain forest of Mindanao, a southern island in the Philippines. Before they were found in 1971, their lives had purportedly been untouched by contact with other civilizations and unchanged since the Stone Age, now threatened to disappear.
Editor: Janina Herhoffer, Clemens von Wedemeyer
Speaker: Stephen Jacob, Sound Editor: Thomas Wallman
Clemens von Wedemeyer (1974, Göttingen, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. The artist creates installations and videos poised between reality and fiction, full of historical references and metaphoric images as if they were short documentaries. The linearity of the narrative, however, is often interrupted in order to show the changes and developments within the structures of power that, in his films, are primarily reflected on architecture, spatial relationships and social attitudes. Selected solo exhibitions include: The Cast, MAXXI, Rome, 2013, The Fourth Wall, St. Paul Gallery, Auckland, Dunedin Public Art Gallery, Dunedin, New Zealand; Paco das Artes, Sao Paolo, 2012.
Through a Fine Screen, 2010
Courtesy the artist
This film and the book, Reading the Economist, both depart from a single image — a print often referred to as the first photograph to be printed in a newspaper without the intervention of an artist’s hand. As such, the photograph became a part of histories of photography and photojournalism, but remains absent from histories of urban development. This has left the objects and the place depicted in the image unclear. It could have been an image of the place that became Central Park, or it could be somewhere else.
Zachary Formwalt lives in Amsterdam. Solo exhibitions include: ‘Zachary Formwalt’, VOX Centre de l’image contemporaine, 2013; ‘At Face Value’, Wexner Center for the Arts: The Box, 2010; ‘The Form of Practical Memory’, Kunsthalle Basel, 2009. In 2013, his film, ‘Unsupported Transit’, received a Tiger Award for Short Films at the IFFR.
The New Film, 2008
Courtesy Kalfayan Galleries and the artist
In The New Film, Yassin pays tribute to his (post-war Lebanese) generation’s enthrallment with icons of popular culture, lo-fi technologies and Egypt’s faltering film industry. After watching hundreds of low-quality cheap video compact discs (VCDs) of feature films produced during Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s reign (1981-2011), Yassin used found footage lifted from the films to stitch together his 12-minute single channel video.
Ubiquitously sold on the streets of Cairo, VCDs have become a primary medium for distributing old and new Arabic films, more specifically Egyptian movies – widely watched in the Arab world. The New Film is composed of a string of roughly edited movie scenes featuring police stations and government offices with an obligatory portrait of Mubarak omnipresent in the background.
Raed Yassin (1979, Beirut, Lebanon) lives and works in Beirut. Yassin is an artist and musician, and his work often originates from an examination of personal narratives and their workings within a collective history, through the lens of consumer culture and mass production. Yassin has exhibited and performed in numerous museums, festivals and venues across Europe, the Middle East, the United States and Japan.
Élevage de poussière / Dust Breeding, 2013
Courtesy the artist
What is the value of images as objective testimonies of a conflict? In her new work, Sarah Vanagt turns her attention to an important chapter in recent European history: the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Élevage de poussière draws its source material from the accounts of expert witnesses, as well as from the multitude of documents (photos and videos) derived from the still ongoing trial of Radovan Karadzic. In parallel, the filmmaker carries out a series of pencil rubbings inside the tribunal’s courtroom: the movement of her hand and the imprints that are revealed by the pencil onto the paper show us a landscape of details that were previously imperceptible.
Sarah Vanagt (1976) lives and works in Brussels, Belgium. She 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; and video installations such as Les Mouchoirs de Kabila, 2005, Power Cut, 2007, Ash Tree, 2007. Her work is shown at many film festivals.
marxism today (prologue), 2010
Courtesy Shady Lane Productions and the artist
Shining a light on what is generally perceived as the losing side in the political and social upheavals of the past two decades, marxism today (prologue) was conceived in collaboration with former teachers of Marxism-Leninism in Communist East Germany. First presented at the 6th Berlin Biennale, the film mixes contemporary interviews alongside archive material in which snapshots of life in the GDR are offset with the teachers’ own recollections of the time, and their contrasting experiences after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.
Phil Collins is based in Berlin and Cologne, where he is Professor of Video Art at the Kunsthochschule für Medien. In his films, photographs and live events, Collins investigates the affective potential of various recording media in their everyday context. Solo exhibitions include: Museum Ludwig, Cologne, 2013; British Film Institute, London, 2011; and Dallas Museum of Art 2007. Collins’ films have been shown at international film festivals, including Berlin, Rotterdam and Oberhausen.
Intelligence Failures: Licensed for Educational Use, 2003
Courtesy the artist
Only the President of the United States can give a televised 60-minute speech that includes 28 minutes of silence and applause. By removing all the words, I sought to highlight a grammar of political speech in a way that might present gaps as the people’s chance to respond to an unresponsive, anti-democratic elected official. The 2003 State of the Union address, seen here, is the speech where George W. Bush performed a sustained, deceptive rationale for invading Iraq. In an age where talk radio routinely runs programs through software to remove gaps in order to increase advertising revenue, I re-envisioned this speech as a series of stutters and false starts met with overly enthusiastic applause and approval. Namely, democracy as practiced in the United States.
Benj Gerdes is an artist, writer, and organizer working in film, video, and other public formats, individually as well as collaboratively. He is interested in intersections of radical politics, knowledge production, and popular imagination. Based in Brooklyn, NY, he is currently Assistant Professor of Media Arts at Long Island University. His projects have been exhibited and screened at venues including the Centre Pompidou, National Gallery of Art (US), New Museum, REDCAT Gallery, Rotterdam International Film Festival, and the Tate Modern.
Self Portrait, 2010
Courtesy the artist
Self Portrait experiments with the multi-faceted montage, using found footage, 16mm film, crumpled and scanned newspaper images, the computer camera, various texts and several cut up audio books.
Sophie Hamacher, an artist and filmmaker from Berlin, works primarily with collage, reconfiguring media images by using documents and reclaiming them from their mere informative quality. She has directed and written projects ranging in genres from full-length documentary to art videos and experimental films. Her films have been shown in international video festivals and symposia in Cairo, London, Berlin and New York.