What You Imagined It To Be

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Organized by Caspar Stracke

"We can’t stay sitting down at a film festival. We have to do something, here too". - Harun Farocki

Microscope is pleased to welcome artist and curator Caspar Stracke to the gallery for a special program he assembled on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the May '68 revolts in France and Europe, loosely centered around protest culture in cinema theaters and tracing the ways in which rebellion in the cinema reflected the political climate.

Projected onto a large canvas resembling a protest sign, the video program is inspired by the New Year’s Eve 1968 occupation of a movie theater at the legendary Exprmntl festival of Knokke-le-Zoute in Belgium. Among the students who interfered with and introduced performative elements into the usual screening routine were Harun Farocki, Holger Meins, Gerd Conradt, and Oimel Mai.

The program includes three videos by Stracke made between 2001 and 2018 - one in collaboration with Terre Thaemlitz - that respond to the event and related subjects. In his latest work “Four Re-enactments” the artist re-enacts 4 scenes of the Belgium protest. Other recent works in the program by Jaimi AleksosKini MatiniSisters UncutBrian DoyleBilly Talen and Youandfilms, among others, continue the themes of protest, cinematic intervention, and re-enactment.  

Stracke also includes excerpts from film documentations of the Knokke-le-Zoute festival in addition to works by Birgit and Wilhelm Hein, Jill Godmillow, Gerd Conradt, and others.

From Caspar Stracke:

"Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the ’68 movement, it [the program] is a focused on the collision between the notions of cinema and protest culture, taking a historically significant event of 1968 as a starting point. The latter could be described as the Underground Filmmakers’ own ’68 ignition, but at the same time also solidifying a schism between politically motivated filmmaking and Avant Garde Cinema.

During the hight of the Vietnam War and at the formation of the international student movement, the event took place in a casino in Knokke-le-Zoute, Belgium, the venue of the Exprmntl 4 Film Festival. A cinema hall got occupied by some of its own audience, including participating filmmakers. Some screenings were disrupted (or, inevitably, “expanded”) by means of performative actions, banners and vocal interventions.

Four scenes of this event I decided to re-enact, inspired by the prevalent question of how such political actions would coming into place today and if one can effectively negotiate between the duality of physical and virtual social spaces. 

I curated a series of works (dominantly work excerpts) that align with this inquiry and included my own responses to these works […]  The re-enactment theme wriggles throughout the program, I included other artists’ re-enactments and ultimately my own remake of a scene describing the remake of a 1968 protest film.  

The result can be seen as a hybrid between curatorial work, found footage cinema and appropriation art."

Program Running time: approximately 67 minutes

General admission $8


Members & Students $6

More info and full program at www.microscopegallery.com


Caspar Stracke is a filmmaker, visual artist and curator living and working in New York City (since 1993) and Berlin (since 2017). In his films and installation work he investigates socio-political and aesthetic potentialities in life surroundings - architecture, urbanism and media culture. He is also interested in the poetics, ephemerality and time-based mechanisms of cinema itself. Stracke's films and installation work have been shown in numerous exhibitions in venues such as Anthology Film Archives, MoMA, The Whitney Museum, The New Museum, MoMA PS1, Yerba Buena Art Center, Hammer Museum, ZKM (Karlsruhe, Germany), ICC Tokyo (Japan), Museo Tamayo, Mexico. He has also participated in festivals such as CPH:DOX, Transmediale, Oberhausen, EMAF, Ann Arbor, Transitio, Microwave and many others throughout North and South America, Europe and Asia. Stracke was the recipient of a Rockefeller Media Art fellowship for the film project "time/OUT OF JOINT" (which he completed 2016). From 2005-2013 he co-directed with Gabriela Monroy video_dumbo, an annual international festival for contemporary moving image in NYC. In 2014 they also co-curated the 60th Flaherty Film Seminar in Colgate, New York under the title “Turning the Inside Out”. A selection of the latter was also screened at MoMA New York, Cine Tonala, Mexico and WHS, Helsinki, Finland. From 2012 - 2017 he was the professor for Contemporary Art and Moving Image at the Finnish Academy of Fine Arts, in Helsinki. Caspar Stracke is the editor of "Godard - Boomerang" a 2014 Godard mini symposium in Helsinki and a forthcoming publication at the University of the Arts, Helsinki, Summer 2018.

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Dates: 

Monday, May 14, 2018 - 19:30
  • 1329 Willoughby Avenue, #2B
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    United States
    Phone: +1 347 925 1433
    40° 42' 22.7304" N, 73° 55' 15.87" W