Arsenal – Institut für Film und Videokunst e.V. > living archive > news
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.

january 2019, living archive

Public Screening—the Harun Farocki Institute Presents

On January 9, the Harun Farocki Institure presents another public screening: Eliane de Latour makes documentaries and features, as part of her work as an anthropologist, which also involves texts and photographs. We are interested in this practice because it promises to redress or even dissolve the borders between disciplines. De Latour has said that she fixes her gaze on the closed worlds behind a geographical or social border. CONTES ET COMPTES DE LA COUR (Tales and Tallies, 1992) portrays the four wives of a marabout in Niger. They are enclosed in the eponymous courtyard of a building complex, but manage to develop micro-economic strategies to form relationships with the exterior world. “Through the circulation of objects, they continue to participate in social life,” wrote Latour who spent weeks with the women in the courtyard. “There was no difference between the moments when I filmed and those when I just listened.”

december 2018, living archive

This Month's Filmmakers’ Choice

Of parents and networks. Of looking back and of the present. 21.12. – Le jour le plus court – the day of short films and three days before Christmas. The question of the parent may be asked. Where are they, were they, will they be? How much dissent is allowed and desired, or even possible? How much of a coming together can be made to happen? The program narrates presence and absence, great longing and radical breaks. Ingmar Bergman, after having nine children and hearing that he apparently wasn’t a family guy, wrote of his longing for togetherness as follows: “I have a prayer that I repeat to myself in absolute stillness: May a wind come to stir up the ocean and the stifling twilight. May a bird come from water out there and explode the silence with its call.” The call for everyday life on the island! Presented by Maike Mia Höhne.

december 2018, living archive

Vaginal Davis presents Contemporary Vinegar Syndrome followed by Late Night Fermentation Salon by Wu Tsang

“It’s unclear whether the longing for a white Christmas is now being taken seriously, or whether it’s supposed to be denounced.” (Harun Farocki): On December 16, Vaginal Davis and Daniel Hendrickson present the agit-prop short WHITE CHRISTMAS (West Germany 1968) together with Michael Curtiz’s musical of the same name (USA 1954). While Farocki juxtaposes Bing Crosby’s mawkish Christmas song with footage of the Vietnam War, Michael Curtiz’ classic tells the story of two former war comrades who have now become a successful Broadway duo. They have to help their former general out of a jam. His hotel is chronically under-booked, with a Christmas show supposed to get business going again.


What’s special this time round: Contemporary Vinegar Syndrome is taking place at the Gropius Bau at the invitation of Wu Tsang, In House: Artist in Residence 2018! After the screening, Wu Tsang and Liz Rosenfeld will receive guests at their late-night fermentation salon with cocktails and other specialties. As always, we look forward to seeing members of the Arsenal Freundeskreis and those who maybe want to join!

november 2018, living archive

Public Screening –The Harun Farocki Institute Presents

For the next public screenin on November 1, Ali Hussein Al Adawy, currently a Harun Farocki Residency fellow, has chosen LE CHARBONNIER/EL FAHAM (Algeria 1972) by Mohamed Bouamari (1941–2006). “Belka-cem, a former resistance fighter for the ALN (Armée de Libération Nationale, this military arm of the National Front for Algerian Independence), works as a charcoal burner and lives out a daily battle with nature. He transforms wood into coal and tries to sell it at the big village markets so that he, his family, his wife and two children, can survive. After gas is introduced as a source of energy, he loses his job and flees to the capital in search of work. When these attempts fail, he returns to his village defeated and finds his wife has switched sides: dreaming of independence, she has now started to work in the textile factory.” (Ali Al Adawy)