september 2017, living archive

Vaginal Davis presents: Rising Stars, Falling Stars – Sweet 16 mm, Never Been Kissed

In their search for forgotten 16-mm jewels in Arsenal's archive, Vaginal Davis and Daniel Hendrickson found a reddish print of George Cukor's 1960 musical LET’S MAKE LOVE with Marilyn Monroe, Yves Montand and Tony Randall. Monroe sang her famous song "My Heart Belongs to Daddy" in this film. This month's "screening performance" on September 3 is part of Goldsmiths' Berlin Summer School - DIY: Art, Film and Performance, which is taking place at silent green Kulturquartier from 28th August to 10th September and is run by Susanne Sachsse and Katya Sander.

july 2017, living archive

Public Screening – July 11

The Harun Farocki Institute presents another public screening at the Arsenal on July 11.

In the catalogue of the 14th International Forum of New Cinema in 1984, where NIPPON-KOKU FURUYASHIKI-MURA (Shinsuke Ogawa) was screened, a comprehensive production note is printed: "At 2 pm on August 31st, the camera captures the rice flowering in the field…. There is no sign that a rush of cold air masses is already on its way. One month later though, the camera shows that the not a single one of the rice flowers has turned into actual rice. […] As a result, Yoshio and the Ogawa production company formed a team and started experimenting with cold air". The films of Shinsuke Ogawa connect political commitment with a thirst for research and stamina, whether on the side of the Japanese student movement, when opposing the construction of the Narita International Airport or finally, as is the case here, in this precise, emphatic observation of rural life.

june 2017, living archive

Filmmakers' Choice – Odyssey and cosmic resonance

The next Filmmakers' Choice is presented by Lucile Desamory on June 26: In Luc Moullet's LA CABALE DES OURSINS, abandoned strip mines appear next to volcanoes and pyramids. The director cum pataphysical cartographer creates a wasteland of the secret paths through his childhood memories. Opinions as to what is considered a historical monument, a magnificent natural landscape or industrial waste vary. I'm interested in the moment when the shift occurs, the "in-between" and its emotional consequences. CORPUS CALLOSUM (Michael Snow) combines the realism of a normal metamorphosis in credible "real" inner spaces with "impossible" changes of form. In both films, the shift is a physical place, a fissure: a place of entrancement. Both films take the viewers to the equilibrium point between shifting modes of perception.

june 2017, living archive

Public screening on June 14

Following up on the Harun Farocki Institute's public screening of Marta Rodriguez and Jorge Silva's "Chircale"s, we are screening their NUESTRA VOZ DE TIERRA, MEMORIA Y FUTURO (Our Voice of the Earth, Memory and the Future) on June 14. It was shot in 1981 and premiered in the Berlinale Forum in 1982, for which a 16-mm print with German subtitles was created. The Colombian filmmaker Marta Rodriguez was born in Bogotá in 1933 and studied anthropology there before going to Paris to study film. She and the cameraman Jorge Silva filmed a series of anthropological documentaries about indigenous culture in the Andes. NUESTRA VOZ DE TIERRA, MEMORIA Y FUTURO uses fictional elements to explore the struggle of land reclamation and the attempt to see the past politically and the present historically.

june 2017, living archive

Vaginal Davis presents Rising Stars, Falling Stars – Sweet 16 mm, Never Been Kissed

It's that time again! On June 11, archive expert Vaginal Davis is presenting her latest analogue finds at silent green alongside Daniel Hendrickson: Two episodes of Beat-Club, the first German TV show to present English-speaking artists. The show was broadcast by Radio Bremen from 1965 to 1972. It was presented by Uschi Nerke and various other co-hosts. In the first episode, the TV presenter apologized to viewers who did not like beat music, but the show had soon acquired cult status. Performances by Cat Stevens, the Bee Gees, Jimi Hendrix and The Who will be complemented by some surprise clips from Vaginal Davis' own collection.

may 2017, living archive

Living Archive News

We are very happy that 43 films and installations from the 12th Forum Expanded have entered the Arsenal archive, most of which are now in distribution.

Also new: The !K7 archive Subkultur Berlin 80. Starting in 1982 the video artists Stephan Guntli, Michael F. Huse, Horst Weidenmüller, Reiner Bumke and Karl-Heinz Dohms produced rare video material of avant-garde concerts in Berlin clubs, together with a number of freelance filmmakers. The team documented and featured more than 50 bands like Einstürzende Neubauten, Malaria, Matador, Nick Cave, Fehlfarben, Diamanda Galas, Lydia Lunch, Crime and The City Solution, Shark Vegas, Swans, Wiseblood, Young Gods, Stephan Eicher, Mike Vamp, Mona Mur as well as many other Stars, who performed in Clubs like Metropol, Loft, SO36 or Pankehallen. The Bands were also seen in the Café Swing a trendy hot-spot at Nollendorfplatz. During times without concerts they organized thematic video nights. The videos capture the nervous energy of Berlin’s legendary subculture of the 1980s. This is a unique collection of the !K7 label which can now be researched at the Arsenal archive. The newly digitized videos can be viewed at the Arsenal archive at silent green. 28 videos are now available for exhibitions and projections.

may 2017, living archive

Public Screening – 
The Harun Farocki Institute Presents

The Harun Farocki Institute presents two films by Claudia von Alemann in a public screening on May 16: Already during her studies at the Institut für Filmgestaltung der HfG Ulm, Claudia von Alemann was developing cinematic counter-narratives on the social function of the woman in front of and behind the camera. In ES KOMMT DRAUF AN, SIE ZU VERÄNDERN (West Germany 1973), Alemann goes to women’s places of work at the Adler factory in Frankfurt or at Leitz-Optik in Wetzlar, where she examines and makes visible the different forms of female industrial work: factories and families are places of exploitation, which don’t just have to be interpreted but also changed. Marta Rodríguez and Jorge Silva were making CHIRCALES (1966–1972) at the same time in Colombia, a “cine-sociology” (Julianne Burton) about the Castañeda family, a brick-working family who live on the edge of Bogotá. The screening will be followed by a discussion with Claudia von Alemann.

april 2017, living archive

Filmmakers' Choice: African mirror images and mirages

The next edition of our series Filmmakers' Choice will be presented by Felipe Bragança on April 26: Two films about the projections and representations of traumatic moments in the relationship between the African continent and Europe's colonial policy and violence. ESCAPE FROM MY EYES (Felipe Bragança, Brasil/Germany 2015) is about a group of African refugees in Berlin in 2013. MUEDA – MEMÓRIA E MASSACRE (Ruy Guerra, Mozambique 1979) is the dramatic representation and documentation of one of the most violent moments in Mozambican history. Made by the Brazilian- Mozambican director Ruy Guerra, MUEDA, which combines re-enacted scenes with interviews, is considered the first feature film to be made in independent Mozambique. Both films try in different ways to achieve a feeling of memory through their characters' contemporary reinterpretations.

april 2017, living archive

Public screening

We have had a new Living Archive grant holder since February: The Off-Nollywood filmmaker and critic and co-founder of the Lagos Film Society Didi Cheeka. As the initiator of the "Reclaiming History, Unveiling Memory" project, Cheeka now has the task of working through the recently discovered film archive of Nigeria’s Colonial Film Unit. Arsenal is supporting this activity and currently restoring Adamu Halilu's film "Shaihu Umar" (1976). Meanwhile, Didi Cheeka is also researching Arsenal's archive. One of his first discoveries was the film REMPARTS D'ARGILE (Ramparts of Clay, Jean-Louis Bertuccelli, France/Algeria 1970), which in 1971 was announced as follows in the catalogue for the first Berlinale Forum: "With (…) long takes, the film begins like a documentary about a remote settlement on the edge of the desert. Pictures of a marriage, of the men's difficult work under a scorching sun and of lessons at a primitive school slip in. Confusingly though, a 19-year-old woman appears in the foreground. She was adopted by a family, never went to school and is now trying to catch up with her schooling, from what the children report from class. She is on the margins of the community, more tolerated than integrated. Her hour comes when the men one day refuse to carry out the difficult work of breaking rocks for the pittance that one of the city officials hands out."

We are showing the film in a public screening on April 7.

february 2017, living archive

Living Archive: "ORG"

Fernando Birri’s ORG (Italy 1967–1978) is a monstrous film, extremely rarely screened since its premiere at the Venice Film Festival in 1979. After a 1991 retrospective of his films at Arsenal, Birri left behind a print of the nearly three-hour work in our archive. Only one more print is known to exist in the world.

As part of the project "Living Archive – Archive Work as a Contemporary Artistic and Curatorial Practice" the group "Entuziazm" (Michael Baute, Volker Pantenburg, Stefan Pethke) came across Birri’s film in Arsenal’s archive in 2011 and decided to look into it further. It was then digitized and new subtitles were provided.

The new version will be shown as part of the Forum program of this year’s Berlinale. arsenal edition will also release a DVD of ORG featuring additional material in February.


february 2017, living archive

FU-Lecture Series: Film Studies, The Archive, and Difference

This lecture series by Sabine Nessel (Seminar for Film Studies at the FU Berlin) explores the relevance of archives for research into film history and to this end goes into the archive itself. The cycle of anthropological difference is closed on February 7th: SWEETGRASS (Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Ilisa Barbash, USA 2009) is a documentary about herding sheep in Montana (USA) and a research project of Harvard University's Sensory Ethnography Lab. The first images show a herd of sheep in a snowy landscape. The camera leaves the group and closes in on one single sheep which suddenly stops chewing and looks into the camera with its big eyes. The Arsenal's archive, in which a 35-mm print of the film is located, thus proves itself to also be a place for animals. That's how the lecture series ends.