july 2019, living archive

Vaginal Davis Presents: Contemporary Vinegar Syndrome

july 2019, living archive

Public Screening: The Harun Farocki Institute Presents

Five years after Farocki’s sudden death in July 2014, we are turning our public screening on July 1st into a premiere: HARUN FAROCKI – ZWEIMAL connects two different perspectives on the filmmaker. Directors Lothar Schuster (dffb class of 1968) and Ingo Kratisch (dffb class of 1969 and since 1977 cinematographer for many of Farocki’s films) alternate passages from a long conversation with Farocki from 1995 with casual observations recorded by Kratisch and Matthias Rajmann during the shoots for "Die Schöpfer der Einkaufswelten", "Zum Vergleich", "Ernste Spiele" and other films with both photo and video cameras. Two gestures of remembrance, two attempts at grieving. Beforehand, material unearthed in the archive of the Harun Farocki Institute will be shown: text rehearsals for Farocki’s film "Etwas wird sichtbar". With guests Ingo Kratisch and Lothar Schuster.

june 2019, living archive

Filmmakers’ Choice: Sex, Power and Ambiguous Animals

For this program, we would like to be a group of beings that do not differentiate between our organs of perception. For us, seeing is like hearing, hearing is like smelling and smelling like tasting. Perhaps the uncertainty of the present prevents us from becoming such beings. A possible escape from this uncertainty is offered by a synonym: ambiguity. We have compiled a program that opens up a space of ambiguity. Additionally, we would like to cite from the book: “When Elephants Weep. The Emotional Lives of Animals”: “Would a cat enjoy seeing a mouse […] stretched on a rack? It seems unlikely-injured mice in traps are of only fleeting interest to cats.” “Some traditional tribes in Madagascar say that when sifaka lemurs lie on high branches in the morning, facing the sun, with their eyes closed, they are worshipping the sun.” Presented by Anja Dornieden and Juan Gonzalez. (ad/jg) (19.6.)

june 2019, living archive


Film Feld Forschung has set itself the goal of using the interior and exterior spaces of the listed building in which silent green Kulturquartier is housed to explore the medium of film in both theory and practice. A year-long series of events, workshops and exhibitions deals with the materiality of film and the earth as an archive.

Film is a medium of memory but what comprises and shapes its memory? How does film relate to the material of film itself and to the materiality of what is pictured? What is the physical relationship between bodies and landscape and the image and thus the observer and his/her environment? Attention is paid to the diverse relations, materials and temporalities in the earth and with the earth, for example the way they inform the principles of permaculture. How can the interplay between plundering and repair be reinterpreted for the prospects of the moving image, the cinema and the understanding of archives?

“Contested Grounds” is the common title of two programs at Arsenal. One explores the oeuvre of Corinne and Arthur Cantrill, while the other explores the works of the Japanese filmmaker Shinsuke Ogawa and his collective Ogawa Pro. Stoffwechsel opens on 30th May with an installation of film works by Arthur and Corinne Cantrill, Kerstin Schroedinger and Mareike Bernien in the Betonhalle of silent green. Dagie Brundert and Philip Hoffman will conduct a workshop called Under the Strawberry Sun, Organic Film Processing. Their film works will be screened on 31st May and 1st June at silent green. A two-week permaculture course for urban spaces called SOIL – CITY – SOLIDARITY will start on June 1st.

june 2019, living archive


On June 12, Didi Cheeka, a filmmaker and critic from Lagos, will present SHAIHU UMAR (Adamu Halilu, Nigeria 1976), an important work of Nigerian cinema, which was long thought to be lost. But in 2016, negatives and prints of the film were found in the archive of the Nigerian Film Corporation. Arsenal restored them and they were shown at the 2018 Berlinale Forum. SHAIHU UMAR, which is set in northern Nigeria at the end of the 19th century, is based on the eponymous novella by Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, who would later become the first prime minister of independent Nigeria. It starts with a discussion between students and their respected teacher, the Islamic scholar Shaihu Umar, who tells them of his modest background and the fact that he was separated from his mother after his father’s death and the banishment of his stepfather. His subsequent trials and tribulations include slavery. He is put to a number of tests before being adopted by his Arab master Abdulkarim, not as a slave but as a son.

june 2019, living archive

Public screening 
re-selected: Two films by Jan Lindqvist

In the 1960s and 70s, many Swedish auteurs were involved in the liberation struggles of the Global South and provided the left-wing movement in Western Europe with counter-information. The archive of the Short Film Festival Oberhausen boasts two remarkable films by Jan Lindqvist that testify to the connection between documentary and the partisan struggle. TUPAMAROS (1973) analyzes the theory and practice of guerrilla warfare in Uruguay. AGRIPINO (1977) portrays an indigenous Peruvian farmer who set off on the long journey to Peru’s capital Lima to bring charges against the landowners’ brutal violence. A few weeks ago, Lindqvist “repatriated” these films and others from where they were made, opening up questions about belonging, which also pertain to archives. Guest: Film curator and co-editor of the Swedish film magazine “Walden”. (th) (2.6.)

may 2019, living archive

The Whole Life: Archives and Reality

From May 19 to 25, an international academy entitled "The Whole Life: Archives and Reality" is taking place in Dresden followed by a conference. Arsenal and the project partners of "Archive außer sich" are also involved in the program as part of the large-scale "The New Alphabet" project. Taking the Archiv der Avantgarden as its starting point, the conference grasps archives as social networks of object biographies.

may 2019, living archive

Public Screening – The Harun Farocki Institute present

In accordance with the condition that the “public screening” format be used for first encounters with films and their Arsenal archive prints (and in keeping with a small tradition on feminist and ethnological films within the program), the Harun Farocki Institute presents A RUSTLING OF LEAVES: INSIDE THE PHILIPPINE REVOLUTION (Nettie Wild, Canada 1988) on May 16. The director placed her work within complex political constellations, in the triangle of participatory observation, partisan engagement and radical ethnography. Her first longer film is set between the fronts of the 1980s revolution in the Philippines, which escalated in 1986 when Corazon Aquino became the first woman to accede to power in the country. The film was shown in the Berlinale Forum of 1989 and received global attention. That’s as much or as little as we know at the moment.

april 2019, living archive

Vaginal Davis präsentiert: Contemporary Vinegar Syndrome

On April 8, our archive researcher Vaginal Davis and Daniel Hendrickson are guests at b_books! b_books is a bookstore, publisher, film production company, and event space in Kreuzberg and on hand each year at the Berlinale with a stand in the Arsenal foyer. Two films produced in collective contexts will be shown. Kartemquin Films has been producing documentaries in Chicago for over 50 years: WINNIE WRIGHT, AGE 11 (1974) tells the story of a working-class family living in Gage Park, Chicago, where African-Americans are increasingly moving to the previously mainly white district. Pacific Street Films was founded in 1969. FRAME-UP: THE IMPRISONMENT OF MARTIN SOSTRE was made in 1972 about the Puerto Rican owner of a bookstore in Buffalo, who is wrongly sentenced for drug possession and assault and is incarcerated in Attica.

april 2019, living archive

Filmmakers’ Choice: Estonian Films in the Soviet Union

On April 11, Eléonore de Montesquiou will present a programme as part of our series Filmmakers' Choice: AEG MAHA (Time Out, 1984) is an animated film by Priit Pärn about a cat whose day transforms into a series of surreal dreams. PÔRGU (Hell, 1983) by Rein Raamat enters into the life of Estonian graphic artist and painter Eduard Wiiralt from the early 1930s in three steps (“The Preachers”, “Cabaret”, and “Hell”). In HULLUMEELSUS (Kaljo Kiisk, 1968), a Gestapo officer looks for a spy in a psychiatric hospital. The film, a critique of totalitarianism, was banned, but Tallinnfilm, who produced it, hid the archived duplicate. Today, prints of the film exist in Tallinn and in the Arsenal film archive. Thanks to the Eesti Filmi Instituut.

march 2019, living archive

Public Screening – The Harun Farocki Institut presents

On March 13, another public screening will be organised by the Harun Farocki Institut: Ethnographic film was a constant point of reference for Harun Farocki and offers an example of how film and research are intertwined. Of Jean Rouch’s 12 films in Arsenal’s archive, we will screen one of the least known. FOLIE ORDINAIRE D’UNE FILLE DE CHAM diverges from traditional ethnographic work and is instead a multi-layered media translation. “Taking a text by Julius Amédée Laou, a young author from Martinique, that was staged in the theater by Daniel Mesguish, Jean Rouch transposed the plot to a hospital to give it a “scientific” frame: A psychiatrist named Charcot presents a spectacular case to his colleagues so that they can themselves evaluate it. The viewers are the witnesses of this presentation alongside the doctors.” (Forumsblatt) The film will be preceded by a film in which Raymond Depardon and Jean Rouch film each other filming.

march 2019, living archive

Public Screening re-selected: American Experimental

The next public screening as part of the Arsenal and Oberhausen Short Film Festival re-selected project will take place on March 10.

Karola Gramann was the director of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen from 1985 to 1989. Her leaving gift was a retrospective entitled “American Avant-Garde and Experimental Films of the 1960s” curated by Alf Bold and Christine Noll Brinckmann. Alongside Heide Schlüpmann, Gramann has compiled a “reprise” of the program, which made a statement at the time, from the archives of the Arsenal and the Oberhausen festival where experimental films had to be fought for. When they were screened, they polarized audiences like nothing else. Films by Kenneth Anger, Bruce Baillie, Bruce Conner, Larry Gottheim, Standish Lawder, Marie Menken, Robert Nelson, Ron Rice, Lee Savage, Anita Thacher. Guests: Karola Gramann, Heide Schlüpmann and Christine Noll Brinckmann.

The re-selected project is part of Archive außer sich.

february 2019, living archive

Filmmakers’ Choice: Maman: Mother-daughter relationships revisited

Our series Filmmakers' Choice is to be continued on February 18. The program’s curators - Eva Heldmann and Katja Wiederspahn - are linked by a deep friendship and working relationship, which from the start involved watching and discussing films together, especially – in the 1980s - those made by lesbian and/or feminist filmmakers. A central concern was the critical exploration of their own relationships with their mothers, particularly regarding their mothers’ experiences during the Nazi era, as well as the relationship between sexual taboos and maternal love formulated by Louise Bourgeois.