Where is Now?

Film and lecture program

Curated by Katrin Mundt
16 and 17 January 2009, 7 – 10:30 pm

Mary Koszmary, Yael Bartana
Mary Koszmary, Yael Bartana

Postcapital: Vortragsreihe, Workshops, Filmprogramm
Württembergischer Kunstverein, Schlossplatz 2, 70173 Stuttgart, Fon: +49 (0)711 22 33 70, info@wkv-stuttgart.de

“Where is Now?” picks up at the archive as a repository for the present— a medial place where reality is not only stored and formatted in images and documents but also interpreted and configured anew through each individual access. Here, time itself becomes a malleable substance, the material of playful intervention and radical reinterpretation. From the perspective of different presents—from the nineteen-sixties through today—the films and videos in this program frustrate the linear progression of time.

Historical crises and turning points in particular, which still today determine the rhythm of our time calculations, are encountered by the works with skepticism. Their protagonists develop strategies for overcoming history—by proclaiming new beginnings, by inhabiting the permanent crisis of a precarious present, or by staging a retro-future against the backdrop of dated utopias. The works problematize the state of experience and perception as well as of agency and representation under archive conditions: in the images self-created by societies in order to ensure their presentness, in the ways in which embodied memory becomes manifest, and in the medial exploration of deviance and dissent.


Friday, 16th January

7 pm

Auf der Suche nach einer praktisch-realistischen Haltung, Alexander Kluge, BRD 1983, 12′

An amateur pilot is training for fleeing to the Kerguelen Islands in the Antarctic Ocean in case of a rocket war. An attempt at anticipating history.
Courtesy: the artist

Emergency Needs, Kevin J. Everson, USA 2007, 7′

Archival material from a news conference held by the first African-American mayor of a large city, Carl Stokes, in response to a violent outbreak of civil unrest in a Cleveland working-class neighbourhood in the summer of 1968 is confronted with its reenactment.
Courtesy: the artist

Geldsorgen, Walter Heynowski/Gerhard Scheumann, DDR 1975, 6′

After the putsch in 1973 the new president of the Chilean Central Bank, General Cano, explains why new money has to be printed.
Courtesy: Progress Filmverleih, Berlin

Chic Point, Sharif Waked, PAL 2003, 7′

In a state of crisis the individual body becomes a latent threat, its sense of control a direct imperative. Sharif Waked presents fashion for an occupied country.
Courtesy: Vtape, Toronto

Little Figures, Sarah Vanagt, B 2003, 16′

Three statues on the Mont des Arts in Brussels: a king, a queen and a medieval knight. Three newcomers to Brussels: a Philippino boy, a Rwandan refugee girl, and a Moroccan boy. An imaginary conversation.
Courtesy: Argos Centre for Art and Media, Brussels

Mary Koszmary, Yael Bartana, PL/NL/IS 2007, 11′

An abandoned stadium in Warsaw. A young, radical Polish leftist calls for three million Jews to return to Poland.
Courtesy: Archive of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

8.30 pm

Kempinski, Neil Beloufa, F/Mali 2007, 14’

A science fiction documentary: the portrait of a mystic place in the future of which its residents speak in present tense.
Courtesy: Archive of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

Kobarweng, or Where is your helicopter?, Johan Grimonprez, B/USA 1992, 24′

The tape assembles archival footage and oral histories depicting the first encounter between the villagers of a remote island in the highlands of New Guinea and the outside world. The anthropologist becomes the Alien.
Courtesy: Argos Centre for Art and Media, Brussels

Valise, Lewis Klahr, USA 2004, 14′

Part1 of the Daylight Moon Quartet assembles vestiges of collective memory, subjective associations, and visual truisms into a narrative of the future’s past: a re-animation.
Courtesy: LUX, London

A Study of Relationships between Inner and Outer Space, David Lamelas, UK 1969, 20′

An analysis of the architectural, social, and geographical vicinity surrounding an exhibition site that is continually casting further circles—all the way to the forthcoming first lunar landing.
Courtesy: LUX, London

Saturday, 17th January

7 pm

About the strategic value of presence
Lecture by Johannes Maier (London)
(in German)

Johannes Maier’s lecture thematizes the merging of historical moment and absolute now in media images based on his own video works as well as other filmic samples. In Facing, Maier portrays the BBC cameraman Darren Conway, who accompanied British soldiers during the last war in Iraq as an “embedded” journalist. In the film, Conway reflects on the situation in Iraq and on his own personal perception of the events. Further examples will be Richard Serra’s Boomerang (1974) and Werner Herzog’s Grizzly Man (2005).

8.30 pm

Afternoon (March 22, 1999), Steve Reinke, CAN 1999, 24′

The artist spends the afternoon in his tiny apartment listening to music he dislikes and ruminating on what it means to be an artist at the end of the millenium. A performance for Reinke’s brand new digital video camera.
Courtesy: LUX, London

Industrial Synth, Seth Price, USA 2000-2001, 16’30”

An experimental video collage reflecting on the pathos of a digital culture, which permanently revolves around notions of death and transience despite its aspirations toward innovation.
Courtesy: Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York

Hotel Palindrome (before R. Smithson), Bernd Behr, UK 2006, 10′

The recollections of two contemporary witnesses to Robert Smithson’s slide presentation Hotel Palenque (1972) entangle us in a mind game reflecting architecture and entropy, presence and duration.
Courtesy: the artist

A Short Video about Tate Modern, Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, UK 2003-2005, 5′

A video about the boundaries of visibility in public culture, about the spaces and moments where people and events become visible only to disappear again.
Courtesy: the artist

9.30 pm

Dissident Sunset, Gail Pickering, UK 2007, 8′

Entombed within a claustrophobic cardboard set, a group of young anarchists stage a carnivalesque performance around representations of political resistance.
Courtesy: the artist

Basking in what feels like an ‘ocean of grace’, I soon realise that I am not looking at it, but rather that I AM it, looking at myself, Emily Wardill, UK 2006, 8′

A symmetrically designed film that questions the public representation and the ideological framing of the personal by example of a focus group.
Courtesy: LUX, London

What you see is where you’re at, Luke Fowler, UK 2001, 25′

A collage from found material about the Kingsley Hall experiment (1965–69), an alternative living and housing space initiated by R.D. Laing for people undergoing severe mental distress.
Courtesy: LUX, London

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