In Forum Expanded the title of this year's group exhibition is Waves vs. Particles. What is your impression of contemporary cinema? Are new waves forming or do you see primarily an atomisation into individual works?
I don't think you can talk about big currents or waves. The world has become too transparent for that. It was the opacity of earlier times that made such waves possible. We knew far less about what was happening elsewhere and therefore identified more with one thing. Today the influences are so diverse that you no longer have trends in cinema, beyond certain breaks in national cinematographies caused by social or political upheaval.
A current example of this is Georgia. Following independence and the civil wars, no films were made there for the longest time, even though Georgia had very interesting cinema in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s. Now there is a young generation aged around 30 or 35 who are able to make feature films again. Grzeli nateli dgeebi (In Bloom) by Nana Ekvtimishvili and Simon Groß is an example. On the one hand, they tap into Georgian narrative traditions – one recognises stylistic means that filmmakers like Otar Iosseliani and Abuladse used. Their eye is typically Georgian. On the other hand, the film is an attempt to deal with the lost time, the two decades these young filmmakers grew up in.
Are global phenomena like capitalism addressed differently on the local level?
Sure. But that depends on the director. Of course the Argentine perspective is different to the Canadian or Korean experience. We are all integrated into the system differently and all have a different point of view. There are typical local narrative techniques, even if they are extremely difficult to describe – and if that is possible at all, maybe only through individual works. Viola by Matías Piñeiro, for example, follows a very playful Argentine storytelling tradition, in which the characters play roles and leave the viewer unsure whether they are playing their role in the film or their role in the role. One can describe these traditions in the individual films. In German film the Berlin School provides a more cohesive stylistic unity. It didn't surprise us that Halbschatten (Everyday Objects)by Nicolas Wackerbarth, who feels connected to the Berlin School, plays in the south of France, a region that appears to attract members of the Berlin School. So there are certain regional and national particularities, but much of it eludes verbal description.