Shelter in PlaceFull Schedule
Film Still: Hans Richter, Die neue Wohnung, 1932. Courtesy of Cinémathèque Suisse.
June 8 (launch)
Program 1 // Heterotopias
Hans Richter – Die neue Wohnung (Version Atelier Richter), 1932
Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle – Le Baiser (The Kiss), 1999
Gaetano Pesce – Paesaggio Domestico: Habitat for 2 People, 1971
New Living (1932) by Hans Richter is a polemical film that advocates for the adoption of modern architecture and furnishings that deliver on the promise of modernism: namely, that through the use of science and technologically advanced industry, abetter quality of life can be enjoyed by all. "Light, Air, Sun” it proclaims, are essential to the health and hygiene of all citizens as the film begins with a montage of glass and steel buildings, balconies overlooking alpine vistas, and happy children at play. We see the same form of architecture in Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle's film Le Baiser (1999). Present also is the gradual dissolution of the structure’s utopian promise, as a maintenance worker cleans the glass walls of Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House. The building and its accordant lifestyle are reserved for those who can afford it. Finally, Gaetano Pesce’s Paesaggio Domestico: Habitat for 2 People (1971) presents us with the possible conclusion of these social and class divisions brought on by architecture. A recursive future of pure interiority where we consume even ourselves.
Film Still: Deniz Eroglu, The Bedridden Triptych, 2013. Courtesy of the artist.
Program 2 // Kammerspiel
Verena Buttmann – Der Auftritt, 2018
Deniz Eroglu – The Bedridden Triptych, 2013
titre provisoire – Some things in common perhaps, 2017
This selection of films confronts bodies with the interior space to create a stage reminiscent of the traditional form of theatre Kammerspiel, characterized by a straightforward scenario with few actors, focusing primarily on their dialogue. In Kammerspiel the isolation from the outside world creates a claustrophobic setting, offering an insight into the psychology and inner conflicts of the protagonists. Throughout the films, interior scenarios are featured with the artists cultivating strategies brushing on post-Brechtian theatre, social awkwardness, and black humor to investigate their themes. Deniz Eroglu puts into focus bedridden men and their caretakers in his film The Bedridden Triptych (2013), consisting of three stylistically different films that merge together to form an expanded meaning. Verena Buttmann's Der Auftritt (2018) centers around a relationship between a couple as they live in very close proximity in their shared apartment, delving into the banality and strain within the intimacy of the two characters. Finally, Some things in common perhaps (2017) by the artist duo Titre Provisoire establishes a more improvisational tone among performers in an empty house in New York City, setting the backdrop for them to work through topics of alienation, power, coercion, and claustrophobia.
Film Still: Andreas Bunte, Unterdruck (Low-Pressure), 2013. Courtesy the artist.
Program 3 // Containers
Lucas Briffa – 1 NE 3 F Boyers, PA, 2015
Korpys/Löffler – Verwisch die Spuren, 2016
Andreas Bunte – Two Films about Pressure, 2013 (Synthetische Diamanten/Unterdruck)
Architecture serves many functions beyond simply shelter from the elements. The palace is a representation of power, while the panopticon is a device for containment and control, Vaults preserve the things we treasure, art, currency, data; there are also more subtle structures that slowly condition us towards different behaviors. Each of the films in this program represent architecture as a container that preserves or shapes the contents held within.
Lucas Brifa’s film 1 NE 3 F Boyers, PA (2015) looks deep into the secret underground complex that houses the archive for Corbis, an image licensing company founded by Bill Gates. The film focuses on the facility and on images from the Bettmann archive, started by Otto Bettmann and originally brought to the US in suitcases as he escaped Nazi Germany.
The films of Korpys/Löffler regard representations of power and protest, their film Verwisch die Spuren (Cover your tracks!) (2016) combines banal interior scenes of the European Central Bank Building in Frankfurt am Main, designed by Coop Himmelb(l)au, with footage of crowds protesting austerity measures in March of 2015.
Finally, conditioning is the subject of Andreas Bunte Two Films about Pressure (Synthetische Diamanten/Unterdruck), 2013. Whether its the extremely technical process of fabricating artificial diamonds from lumps of coal or the underground pressurized facility built for the Olympic team of German Democratic Republic.
Film Still: Pia Borg & Ed Lawrenson, Abandoned Goods, 2014. Courtesy of the artists.
Program 4 // Borderscapes
Pia Borg & Ed Lawrenson – Abandoned Goods, 2014
Randa Maroufi – Bab Sebta, 2019
The spatial complexity of state governed apparatuses, on the one hand entails hegemonic spaces, comprised of infrastructure used to confine people or to hinder their movement. Consequently, its counter-hegemonic scapes are continuously traversed by bodies, practices, and relationships. These mechanisms are the extensions of society functioning as selective borders between those who can participate in society and those who must be kept out; people who can and cannot move, deemed sane or mentally unfit.
Pia Borg and Ed Lawrenson's film Abandoned Goods (2014) revolves around the extensive British collection of Asylum Art created by people compelled to live in the Netherne psychiatric hospital in South London between 1946 and 1981. It explores the shift in gaze toward these objects from clinical material to revered art objects and further examines the lives of the creators along with the changing contexts in which the objects were produced and displayed.
The Spanish enclave of Ceuta poses one of the two physical borders separating the EU from the African continent in the northern most tip of Morocco, which is at the center of Randa Maroufi's Bab Sebta (2019). The border is subject to an increasing influx of irregular migration and subsequent military security, as well as the day to day movement of goods and labor. Maroufi theatrically stages the heavily surveilled border infrastructure to follow the narratives and movement of merchants from Morocco into Ceuta in contrast to the perspectives of the Spanish border patrol, facilitating or blocking the movement of people.
Film Still: Margarita Maximova, The Vast, The Land, The Liquid, 2015. Courtesy the artist and Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels.
Program 5 // Connection Interrupted
Margarita Maximova – The Vast, The Land, The Liquid, 2015
Space Caviar – Fortress of Solitude, 2014
The relationships between humans and technology is explored throughout the films of Margarita Maximova and Space Caviar. Focusing on image production and artificial intelligence, the films investigate the possibilities and problems we face in an age of increasing digitization. Connection Interrupted shows different approaches to the invisible link of an analog experienced world and its mutations. Maximova's The Vast, The Land, The Liquid (2014) is a silent film featuring footage of landscapes subject to digital glitches. The viewer must rely on the indecisive narration of the subtitles to discern the scene or even identify that it is not the feedback of their own device, which is distorting the images. Furthermore, Space Caviar's Fortress of Solitude (2014) is a video essay, following the interaction with a smart-home, revealing throughout the chapters of the film the gradual militarization and data collection the technology is conducting on it's inhabitants and their home.
Film still: Julian Rosefeldt, In the Land of the Drought, 2015/2017. Courtesy of the artist and KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin, London, Tokyo.
Program 6 // Space Invaders
Gordon Matta-Clark – Tree Dance, 1971
Loretta Fahrenholz – Ditch Plains, 2013
Julian Rosefeldt - In the land of Drought, 2015/2017
Gordon Matta-Clark’s characteristic anarchitecture of the seventies is the embodiment of a creative invasion and reinvention of space to carve out a form for individual expression, confronting the impositions of architecture. In Tree Dance (1971), an early work performed on the tree in front of Vassar College’s chapel (New York), Matta-Clark seeks to build these same pockets of habitation, but in a moving and living structure rather than on buildings of cement and steel. Dancers were invited to cocoon and hang on rope ladders and improvised hammocks among the branches.
The dancers of the New York Ringmasters Crew in Loretta Fahrenholz’s Ditch Plains (2013) are in no way as placid: contorting their bodies with their choreographed dance moves, accented by pixelated flashes, they enact their invasion throughout the city with unclear motives. Harrowing cuts to the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, offer insights into quasi apocalyptic landscapes of ruinous streets, evoking indirect thoughts of social tensions and street violence. The film tells in abstract freestyle about the fatal coupling of subjects and systems in times of permanent crisis.
Are we the invaders in Julian Rosefeldt’s In the Land of Drought (2015/2017)? A highly organized legion of figures clad in hazmat suits appear from nowhere and inspect the territory: vast and eerie landscapes of deserted land, ruinous, colossal temples and monuments, which seem to be remnants of film sets. Their choreography concludes in the abandoned industrial complexes of the Ruhr. Perhaps this fact-finding mission is conducted by future humans who return to ascertain how their ancestors managed to end life on Earth.
Texts by David Hartt, Julian Irlinger, Laura López Paniagua, and Nick Schulte.
This list may be subject to change.