Curated by Caroline Koebel for Aurora Picture Show
Kino B initiates viewers into the swarm of moving images made thus far in the 2010s by Berlin-based artists. Sylvia Schedelbauer’s Sounding glass, the stunning and astounding experimental short about vision, history, memory, and war that won accolades at Ann Arbor and Oberhausen, centers the outwardly spiraling program. The other projects—curated in situ during a research trip to Berlin—include film, video and installation (transposed to single-channel projection) by Guillaume Cailleau & Ben Russell, Harun Farocki, Isabella Gresser, Bernd Lützeler, Anna Marziano, Deborah S. Phillips, Michael Poetschko, and Daniel Steegman Mangrané. Chosen for their individual merits and seemingly unrelated in their disparateness, the works nonetheless share a command of cinema’s potential for experientially transformative critical reflection. Each title, in its own way, acts as an experimental essay on the world as it can be encountered, engaged and repositioned so as to enable a dialogue between self (artist) and others (viewers) on that world.
In addition to curating and writing about artist’s film and video, Caroline Koebel makes experimental cinema clashing aesthetics and politics. Retrospectives include Festival Cine//B (Santiago), the Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle (Warsaw) and Directors Lounge (Berlin). She has also presented at Scope Art Fair (NYC), Edinburgh International Film Festival, European Media Art Festival (Osnabrack), LOOP Barcelona, and most recently as part of the globally touring 100x100=900 Project sponsored by the Magmart Festival (Naples). She holds a BA in Film Studies from UC Berkeley and an MFA in Visual Arts from UC San Diego, and is on faculty at Transart Institute (New York-Berlin).
Programme (descriptions provided by the artists):
- The Voice Of God (Bernd Lützeler, 2011, 35mm on video, color, sound, 9:35)
If God would come down to earth and try to earn a living in Bombay, most probably he would very soon become successful as a voice-over artiste, lending his voice to thousands of Hindi movies and even more documentaries and public service films in India. A melodramatic docu-drama with voice-over in stop-motion and long-time exposure.
This film has no dialogue. All languages heard in this film are meant to be understood as sound design. Only a few sentences of a field recording appear to be in English. The text of the field recording: “May I have your attention please. Please make sure, that there is no undeclared or suspicious object. When you see any such object, please do not touch it. Inform the police immediately. It is possible that it may be an explosive. Active cooperation is expected from you. Please make sure, that there is no undeclared or suspicious object. When you see any such object, please do not touch it. Inform the police immediately. It is possible that it may be an explosive. Active cooperation is expected from you. Thank you.”
- Notebooks On Dislocation, Fragment I (Michael Poetschko, (2011, 3-channel installation on single-channel video, color, sound, 19:44)
Notebooks On Dislocation approaches the complexity of the contemporary city through different perspectives, methods, stories and optics. Fragment I is conceptualized as an audiovisual travelogue and assemblage of urban experiences, mnemonic itineraries, notebook entries, and philosophical speculations. Where can we find traces of structural change, signs of life and possibilities of resistance within the ‘new urban fabric?’ How can we think of another city, another spatiality (anthropological, poetic,…) that “slips into the clear text of the planned and readable city” (de Certeau)?
(Notebooks on Dislocation is in its original version a synchronized three-channel videoinstallation)
- 16MM (Daniel Steegman Mangrené, 2011, 16mm installation on video, color, sound, 5:26)
16MM is a continuous single take, a long shot traveling with constant speed through the jungle, going deeper and deeper inside it, for the duration of the roll of film, feet by feet. 16MM is both an essay on cinema and on the forest and the crossings that occur in it. A film about time and the nature of the creative act. An exercise of penetration that is not without psychological connotations. A tactile look. A conceptual and physical work. each meter of shot film corresponds exactly to a meter advanced through the woods, and the speed of this movement corresponds to the speed the film achieved inside the camera.
This structural analysis of the medium was made in the jungle because even today it is one of the ultimate depths and is from the impact felt entering the forest that the whole idea emerges. But this impact is not only physical or psychological: the Mata Atlântica rainforest in southwestern Brazilian is also, geopolitically, one of the densest places in the world. Since the time of the "discovery" to the "post"-colonial day of today, in the jungle happen a succession of conflicts: economic, ecological, geographic, human, scientific, historical, territorial, etc ... crossing each other, creating a network of relationships as complex as the geometry of the vines, branches and trunks, and so difficult to equilibrate as it is to penetrate its natural thickness.
- Sounding Glass (Sylvia Schedelbauer, 2011, video, b&w, sound, 10:00)
A man in a forest is subject to a flood of impressions; structurally rhythmic waves of images and sounds give form to his introspection.
Jury statement, International Short Film Festival Oberhausen: "With very few images culled from the flood of footage originally taken during World War II, the filmmaker manages to express the incomprehensible trauma of war as a strong visual experience. With a highly compressed use of sound and image, Sounding Glass creates a visceral impact that can only be achieved by cinematic means. The certainty that everything and everyone has a fixed place in history gives way to uncertainty and searching. Constant changes between light and dark set history in motion. Flickering deforms, developing a pull that in turn creates an urgency that doesn’t preclude doubt."
- Austerity Measures (Guillaume Cailleau & Ben Russell, 2012, 16mm, color, silent, 8:40)
A color-separation portrait of the Exarchia neighborhood of Athens, Greece, made during the Anti-Austerity protests in late 2011. In a place thick with stray cats and scooters, cops and Molotovs, ancient myths and new ruins; where fists are raised like so many columns in the Parthenon, this is a film of surfaces - of grafitti'd marble streets and wheat-pasted city walls - hand-processed in red, green, and blue.
- Parallel (Harun Farocki, 2012, 2-channel installation on single-channel video, color, sound, 17:00)
For over one hundred years photography and film were the leading media. From the start they served not only to inform and entertain but were also media of scientific research and documentation. That’s also why these reproduction techniques were associated with the notions of objectivity and contemporaneity - whereas images created by drawing and painting indicated subjectivity and the transrational. Apparently today computer animation is taking the lead.
Our subject is the development and creation of digital animation. If, for example, a forest has to be covered in foliage, the basic genetic growth program will be applied, so that "trees with fresh foliage", "a forest in which some trees bear 4 week-old foliage, others 6 week-old foliage" can be created. The more generative algorithms are used, the more the image detaches itself from the appearance as found and becomes an ideal-typical. Using the example of trees and bushes, water, fire and clouds we compare the development of surfaces and colorings over the past thirty years in computer animation images. We want to document reality-effects such as reflections, clouds, and smoke in their evolutionary history.
- The Mutability Of All Things And The Possibility Of Changing Some (Anna Marziano, 2011, Super16mm on video, color, sound, 16:00)
This journey into mutability takes place in Abruzzi, Italy, in a territory that was damaged by the earthquake in 2009. By way of fragments of conversations, archive material and readings in public spaces, the film explores the becoming of individual and social bodies. How should one accommodate the perpetual new beginning of things and continue participating in the transformation of a community?
- Nietzsche À Nice (Isabella Gresser, (2013, video, color, sound, 5:00)
Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Noon and Eternity” in times of mass tourism and digital viewing habits. A young tourist is mirroring himself on his tablet PC at the beach while in the air above Nice, up to 49,000 passengers a day, longing for happiness. Down at the beach they can watch themselves flying over. An animated screenplay frames the setting for Nietzsche’s thoughts out of his late work written in Nice. As if the sky embodies a dystopian image of “The eternal return of the same”.
The low-tech animation contrasts the high-tech digital media through which we are viewing our world. The perception of Nietzsche and the perceptions as an artist and tourist mix together. Nietzsche’s mystical affirmation under the sun turns in an observation of a postapocalyptic scenery. The digital turn as a dead end or a decadent spectacle on a cruiser.
- Herman(n) (Deborah S. Phillips, (2011, 16mm, color, silent, 8:00)
I see this part of Neukölln (a district in Berlin) through golden late summer light as an inviting place. I have lived, for more than 10 years, on a side street of the Hermannstraße, first on the one side, then on the other. Gentrification has already commenced where I live, things get busier. It's as trendy as in many other parts of town now.
Herman(n) makes the street palatable to viewers: it's not a matter of relaying a message, but more a feeling of the place...