We are pleased to present five new DVD releases realized through "Living Archive": Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen’s avant-garde films RIDDLES OF THE SPHINX and AMY! (GB 1977 & 1980), Deepa Dhanrajs pioneering film-political work KYA HUA IS SHAHAR KO? (What Has Happened to this City?, India, 1986), Philip Scheffner’s THE HALFMOON FILES and DAY OF THE SPARROW (Germany 2007 & 2010), a DVD featuring classics of queer cinema by Sheila McLaughlin and Lynne Tillman (INSIDE OUT, COMMITTED and SHE MUST BE SEEING THINGS, USA 1976–84) and the cinematic oeuvre of the Berlin filmmaker, photographer, networker, story and image collector Riki Kalbe with a total of 15 films from 1976 to 1998. The Arsenal cinema will be showing all films from July 2-7 (for program details please see arsenal cinema / program).
The catalogue presents a new and unique access to the archive of the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art, which sets new standards in dealing with a film collection. 37 artists, performers, curators and scholars were invited to develop their own perspectives in dealing with the archive and to implement and present their projects. For two years, the Arsenal archive was the starting point for the multi-perspective approach of participants hailing from USA, India, South Africa, Israel, Brazil, Jordan, Britain and Germany. This produced an endless variety of projects: retrospectives of Soviet, Chilean, Spanish and Cuban films; the reappraisal of Riki Kalbe and Ludwig Schönherr's oevre; a cinema of decolonization; a cross-sectional analysis of the year 1978; KEYwording – the importance of keywords for the functioning of an archive; an archeology of cinema or a program on cinematic explorations of national identities.
Numerous publications are being published in the context of the Living Archive project. In adition to the Living Archive catalogue, "Rising Stars, Falling Stars", a broshure accompanying Vaginal Davis' series at the Arsenal cinema has already been published as well as eleven books within the framework of the project "KEYwording". The publication "NOW! Extended" will be available soon. Madhusree Dutta and Ines Shaber’s project "KEYwording – Notes on Enculturation of Words and Word Practice within the Image Archive" deals with the importance of tagging and annotation for the functioning of an archive. The Arsenal has abandoned the convention of keywording because "the given categories do not and cannot be applied to many of the films Arsenal is collecting." Inspired by this statement, the project aims to create a cross-cultural dialogue on the usage of words and their expanses in the context of myriad theories, practices, associations and actions within the field of cultural productions.
The first ever Arsenal cushion is now available! As with our t-shirt collection, the design is taken from a series of sketches entitled "The Basis of Make-Up" by Berlin artist and filmmaker Heinz Emigholz. Both the cushion and the t-shirts can be purchased at the box office or ordered via our website.
Vaginal Davis, a performer and curator whose main interest is early cinema and queer film, has been inviting guests to her monthly screenings at Arsenal for five years. In her own unforgettable way, she presents rare films, classics and gems from the silent era. These are always accompanied by live music and all the screenings are followed by drinks. Now, a reader that contains most of Davis's fascinating introductory texts has been published to celebrate five years of "Rising Stars, Falling Stars." It costs five euros and can be ordered from Arsenal or bought at the box office.
On the occasion of the "Performing Documentary" film and discussion series that was programmed by Birgit Kohler at the Arsenal Cinema at the beginning of June, a publication with texts by the invited filmmakers has been released (only available in German).
Over the past 10 years, a new, experimental variant of documentary has emerged in Austrian and German filmmaking: Films that work with explicit mise-en-scènes, alienation effects and performative appearances to literally set the stage for researched documentary material that forms their basis. The "Performing Documentary" program brings these documentary films together and sets them in a discursive context for the first time.
The publication not only includes texts about the films but original contributions by the filmmakers in which they reflect on current patterns of documentary representation and introduce their own approaches.
With texts by Birgit Kohler, Tina Leisch, Anja Salomonowitz, Gerhard Friedl, Calle Overweg, Volko Kamensky, Thomas Fürhapter, Stefan Landorf, Andres Veiel and Romuald Karmakar.
"Poor Man’s Expression" is based on the eponymous exhibition that took place at Arsenal in 2006. The project’s original hypotheses are revised in both text and image-based contributions. The examination of Arsenal’s experimental film archive plays a central role.