Berlinale: Press Releases

Press Releases 2008


Jan 21, 2008:
Film and video experiments, exhibitions and performances: Forum expanded continues to probe the boundaries of cinema

For the third time, Forum expanded will accompany the Forum with exhibitions, films and video programs, performances, and discussions. More than fifty artists, filmmakers, musicians and performers are represented from over ten countries.

Film and art no longer quarrel over their proper jurisdictions, but rather explore the possibilities between the genres. For example, the curious and playful installation Green Porno, in which Isabella Rossellini, collaborating with Jody Shapiro, Rick Gilbert, and Andy Byers, invites viewers to a film experience in a terrarium, where they can use a magnifying glass to learn everything about the sex life of flies, spiders, earthworms, and fireflies. “I was always fascinated by the infinite, strange and 'scandalous' ways that insects copulate,” says the artist and insect-performer Rossellini. Some of these Green Porno shorts will be screened before Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg in the Forum.

Thirty years ago, the Forum already sought to give film and video equal standing beside the other arts. In 1978, a program series was dedicated to the Whitney Museum of American Art New York, which pointed the way then as it does now in this respect. As part of Forum expanded, Chrissie Iles, the current Curator at the Whitney Museum, unveils a program that builds a bridge between this past and today’s questions of curatorial practice.

The works shown in cinema Arsenal and in the exhibitions reflect the self-locating of the artist in film and art history, for example the powerful performance Years When I Was A Child Outside (Family Multi-Channel) by Filipino artist John Torres. They experiment with reduction in form and content, like Franziska Cordes’ installation Mirage (Club “Silencio”), which concentrates on breathing, and the work Spaziergang am Rand der Demokratie (A walk on the edge of democracy) by Jörg Hommer, seeking a direct grasp of political reality.

In the screening of Heinz Emigholz’ films The Basis of Make-Up I-III at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, actors will read aloud entries from the artist’s diaries and notebooks. One Hand On Open by Stefan Pente and William Wheeler is a self-staging of the drag discourse. In Hila Peleg’s film Crime Against Art, part of the contemporary art scene accuses itself of political failure – in a courtroom show.

The series “Back and Forth: Cinema Talks” is devoted to film-historical references in contemporary works. Works by Grahame Weinbren and Marie Losier establish biographical and art-historical connections and explore their intersection. Kent Monkman and Gisèle Gordon use clichés from Western films as a foil for a work on the themes of “First Nation” and drag; it is on view in the Canadian embassy. In their performative installation Wildflowers of Manitoba (curated by Wayne Baerwaldt), Luis Jacob and Noam Gonick project the dreams of their youth onto the ceiling of a camping tent.

A spotlight will also be on aspects of film history virtually unknown in Germany: Shai Heredia, the founder of the “Experimenta” festival in Bombay, guides us through the history of Indian experimental film up to the present. John Torres and Khavn De La Cruz present and discuss Filipino avant-garde history from the 1980s. As in 2007, Jerry Tartaglia presents never-before-seen jewels by the underground star Jack Smith: Sinbad of Baghdad & Jack Smith Performances 1975-1985.

The event and exhibition venues are the Filmhaus am Potsdamer Platz, whose atrium will host the artists’ group CHEAP with their “Gossip Studio”, as well as cinema Arsenal, the Museum für Film und Fernsehen, the Volkswagen startklar Lounge, the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, the Canadian embassy, and for the first time the Wilde Gallery.

With Maria Thereza Alves, Ute Aurand, Scott M. Berry/Adam Segal, Tim Blue, Agnieszka Brzezanska, CHEAP (John Blue/Tim Blue/Vaginal Davis/Daniel Hendrickson/Susanne Sachße/Marc Siegel), Tony Conrad, Franziska Cordes, Keren Cytter, Stephen Dwoskin, Heinz Emigholz, Jeanne Faust/Jörn Zehe, Hollis Frampton, Niklas Goldbach, Noam Gonick/Luis Jacob, Jörn Hintzer/Jakob Hüfner/Mark Formanek, Jörg Hommer, Ken Jacobs, Karl Kels, Khavn De La Cruz, Monika Kijas/Vanessa Aab, Mike & Goerge Kuchar, Marie Losier, Johann Lurf, Sabine Marte, Bady Minck, Kent Monkman/Gisèle Gordon, Olaf Nicolai, Tomonari Nishikawa, Hila Peleg, Stefan Pente/William Wheeler, Isabelle Prim, Isabella Rossellini/Jody Shapiro/Rick Gilbert/Andy Byers, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, Deborah Schamoni, Jeremy Shaw, Jack Smith, Stefanie Schneider, John Torres, Grahame Weinbren, Florian Zeyfang, and the guest curators Chrissie Iles, Wayne Baerwaldt, Shai Heredia, and Jerry Tartaglia. Curated by Anselm Franke and Stefanie Schulte Strathaus.

Press Office

January 21, 2008