April 2016, arsenal cinema

Living Archive: Opening

silent green ©Cordia Schlegelmilch

Finally! We've moved into our new home for lively archival practice. There are 10,000 films on the shelves, the editing suites are set up, on the walls are posters that Maria Eichhorn once made for her work 23 short films / 23 film posters that looked at our collection. Arsenal's past and present are acquiring a new perspective and we're celebrating - with our audience as always.

At silent green in Wedding, analogue and digital films can be watched and analyzed under professional supervision, surrounded by production, event, exhibition and seminar rooms. Like us, our new neighbors in the listed former crematorium, which include the Harun Farocki Institute, SAVVY Contemporary, Musicboard Berlin, the label !K7 and silent green itself, are planning the conceptional questioning and processing of production, presentation and participation of art and culture, for instance with a long-term project called "Film Feld Forschung" (Film Field Research).

The new spaces for thinking and exploring possibilities will expand the work in our two cinemas on Potsdamer Platz: The move will not only provide better storage but will strengthen the idea of a living archive. An archive is only as relevant as its relationship to the present and this consists more than ever in opening up to the world: We define Arsenal's archival practice as a "living archive" which always takes into account international (knowledge) production and reception.

Since the 1960s, the collection has been a mirror of a world in transformation and gradually films from Latin America, African cinema, the US avant garde, India's film landscape or Hong Kong cinema have been made accessible to audiences here in Germany. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, Arsenal purchased Soviet Army film stock that risked vanishing and in the past few years some 80 shorts and feature-length films from Arab countries have found their way into our collection.

Many films had been forgotten; others were ahead of their time and their significance is only now being discovered. They share a moment of utopia: Each film can be seen as an attempt at the aesthetics of cinema, and considered as social and political contemporary practice with a view to the future. Within this context, digitalization, restoration and making films accessible not only serve to tap into film history but also to re-evaluate it from a critical perspective as well as our self-reflection as a (Western) film institution that has built up the collection. With the audience, new connections and perspectives that reach beyond film work can be created.

At the opening, Prof. Vinzenz Hediger who set up the "Filmculture: Archiving, Programming, Presentation" MA at Frankfurt's Goethe-University will talk about contemporary perspectives regarding the term "cultural definition". Of course, there will also be films, music and surprises from the Moos Restaurant!

We thank the founders of silent green Jörg Heitmann and Bettina Ellerkamp, without whose invaluable generosity and support this move would not have been possible. Thanks also to the Goethe-Institut, which enables fellows to conduct research in the Arsenal's archive, at the Harun Farocki Institute and within the framework of "Film Feld Forschung". We also thank all the participants of the projects "LIVE FILM! JACK SMITH! Five Flaming Days in A Rented World"(supported by HKF), "Living Archive Archive Work as a Contemporary Artistic and Curatorial Practice" (KSB and Lotto-Stiftung Berlin) and "Visionary Archive" (KSB/TURN). They've all helped to ensure that are archive can be as "living" as possible. Thanks too to all those who helped set it up, especially Erika and Ulrich Gregor as well as all the filmmakers in the world whose precious works animate our archive. (stss).

arsenal cinema: Living Archive: Opening

07:00 pm

Living Archive Neueröffnung

Living Archive Opening at silent green, Gerichtstr. 35, Wedding

With short lectures, films and drinks
arsenal cinema: ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin

07:00 pm Cinema 1

Mother of the Unborn

Mother of the Unborn Nadine Salib Egypt/UAE 2014
DCP OV/EnS 85 min

Followed by a conversation with Nadine Salib
arsenal cinema: Magical History Tour – Spaces in films

08:00 pm Cinema 2

A Londoni férfi

A Londoni férfi The Man from London Béla Tarr
Hungary/France/Germany 2007 With Tilda Swinton, Ági Szirtes
35 mm OV/GeS 132 min

arsenal cinema: ALFILM – Arab Film Festival Berlin

09:00 pm Cinema 1

Alexandria… Why?

Alexandria… Why? Youssef Chahine
Egypt/Algeria 1979 DVD OV/EnS 133 min