May 2011, arsenal cinema

Forum Expanded

FLUG DURCH DIE NACHT, 1980

Forum Expanded enters the stage in its fifth year with a new focus on the relation of performance and film. With more than 40 film, installation and performance projects from 20 countries, the program offers new perspectives not only in artistic but also geopolitical terms.

The installation project Cinema City under the auspices of Indian filmmaker, curator and activist Madhusree Dutta, for example, deals with the relation of urban space and cinema in several movie theater foyers. The omnibus film Embargo Project by young filmmakers from North America, New Zealand and Australia addresses the marginalization of indigenous artists; TANGIER 8 is a collaboration between filmmakers and writers in Morocco; and, within the frame of a panel discussion, Forum Expanded examines the current situation of artists in Iran.

With a view to the return of structural cinema in contemporary artistic and curatorial practices, Forum Expanded seeks to return temporality to the moving image. An exhibition of early films by Heinz Emigholz as well as numerous works in movie houses and exhibition spaces (Mark Lewis in the Canadian Embassy, Heike Baranowsky at Barbara Weiss or Gusmão & Paiva at the Akademie der Künste) counter the prevailing assumption of the viewer's limited attention with a surprising amount of contemplation offers.

Time and space are established by bodies traversing them, and in this way, cinema at times becomes a stage. This is not only reflected in the practice of a grandmaster of structural film such as James Benning, who presents an earlier work as a performance, but also in the way performance artists deal with film. For the first time, a theater will be a venue of Forum Expanded. We are particularly looking forward to Christoph Schlingensief, who at HAU – Hebbel am Ufer will present and comment on the silent movie L'INFERNO (Italy 1911).

The film FLUG DURCH DIE NACHT (FRG 1980) of the former dffb student Ilona Baltrusch is a historical discovery. Two persons roam a theater-like West Berlin, expressing the typical apocalyptic feeling of the 1980s in endless philosophical loops. At the same time, the playfulness with which FLUG DURCH DIE NACHT defies the rules of cinema and theater make it extremely up-to-date.

The presentation venues of Forum Expanded in 2010 are, apart from Arsenal, the Filmhaus of the Akademie der Künste on Hanseatenweg, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (with transmediale), the Temporäre Kunsthalle (with the artist Phil Collins), the Canadian Embassy, HAU – Hebbel am Ufer, the daadgalerie, the galleries Barbara Weiss and Tanya Leighton, as well as the foyers of the Berlinale cinemas Delphi and CineStar Cubix on Alexanderplatz.

This year Forum Expanded was curated by Stefanie Schulte Strathaus (direction), Anselm Franke, Nanna Heidenreich, and Bettina Steinbrügge.