It all depends

It all depends is series of film programs curated by Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Tobias Hering which serves to accompany and revise the various Visionary Archive sub-projects in the form of regular public events at the Arsenal cinema. The title It all depends places the focus on the mutual references, hegemonies and dependences between Africa and Europe into which cinema, curatorial work and the projects’ actors are interwoven as well as on accompanying the different lines of connection between the Visionary Archive sub-projects as they emerge.

One important part of this practice is the joint viewing of films from the Arsenal archive’s holdings, thus serving to link current curatorial and discursive practice to the hugely exciting and complex history of the Arsenal archive. A workshop-like format spanning half a day has proven productive for this series of film programs, enabling several films to be watched and discussed together and offering those involved the time and space to ask questions and generate and articulate connections. Each session of It all depends explicitly invites one or two participants to formulate a reply to the discussion in text or any other form which will subsequently form part of the project documentation.

Although the Visionary Archive project draws on the concept of "African film", we are equally interested in taking a closer look at the generalizing character of such a concept and the idea of autonomous African cinema production it suggests. The focus here is on attaining a better understanding of how this production fits into a complex set of international cinema networks as well as carrying out a broad-based examination and critical appraisal of African cinematographies.

Locating "It all depends" within the Entire Visionary Archive Project

The individual projects in Khartoum (Studio Gad), Bissau (From Boé to Berlin), Cairo (Revisiting Memory) and Johannesburg (B-Schemes) are simultaneously the partners of and addressees for the work of the It all depends project. It is hoped that they will benefit from the results of the discussions and the questions posed by the film program series by offering them the chance to recapitulate their approaches and goals in front of a interested audience largely composed of the same people and address shortcomings and gaps. It all depends serves to bring together and enhance critical self-enquiry and allow ideas to be sounded out in public.

This also involves bringing existing transcultural and translocal visual practices into the work of the sub-projects by means of additional films, finding alternatives to individual work approaches and creating a context where new perspectives on the relationships between North and South can be formulated. As far as possible, those invited to take part will be grappling with similar questions of transcultural exchange and the related role of archives in their own artistic work or work in other formats. The curatorial mission of It all depends also lies in linking the work of Visionary Archive during the project phase with the event and research practice of other cultural producers in informal terms should any temporal and content-related overlaps emerge.

Summer School 2014

The Arsenal Summer School that has taken place annually since 2009 takes place in 2014 under the title of "Reanimation & Re-Enactment: Filmic Forms of Re-Encounter". The summer school will be headed by Marie-Hélène Gutberlet and Tobias Hering and follows in the conceptual footsteps of Visionary Archive trail. The three-day program offers participants the opportunity to grapple with the specific forms of re-encounter which enable the past to become present in cinema based on a wide range of different films.

The "It all depends" series
It all depends #1
It all depends #2 | Review by Brigitta Kuster and Review by Eckhard Weber
It all depends #3
It all depends #4
It all depends #5

Biografien
Marie-Hélène Gutberlet studied art history, philosophy and film studies in Frankfurt am Main and Basel (Dr. Phil.) and works as a freelance curator, journalist and film scholar. She is the co-founder of the experimental film series "reel to real" (which has taken place in Frankfurt am Main since 2003) and co-initiator of the "Migration & Media" project which involves symposia and exhibition projects, most recently "Shoe Shop" (Johannesburg 2012) and "The Space Between Us" (Berlin and Stuttgart 2013–2014). She has published numerous articles on African cinema, Black cinema, migration, experimental and documentary film.

Tobias Hering studied philosophy in Frankfurt/Main and Berlin and works as curator and journalist. Alongside freelance curatorial projects with international film and art institutions, he was also a participant of the "Living Archive – Archival Work as a Contemporary Artistic and Curatorial Practice" project (see also "Specters of Freedom"). He also programs the ongoing series "Der Standpunkt der Aufnahme" at Cinema Arsenal, for which he recently published the essay collection "Der Standpunkt der Aufnahme – Point of View". Tobias Hering has been a member of the selection committee for the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival (dokfest) since 2011.