Kestner Cinémathèque

In our Kestner Cinémathèque, as part of our educational programme, we show various short films that have been selected by the artists and curators as referential accompaniment to the exhibitions.

04.03. - 04.06.2023

Ausgewählt von / Selected by Rodrigo Hernández:

Jean Cocteau, The Blood of the Poet, France, 1930

The feature film The Blood of a Poet by Jean Cocteau, marked by surrealist influences and first shown in 1930, transfers stylistic devices of poetry into the medium of film and tells the fantastic odyssey of a poet through different worlds of consciousness and levels of reality. A summary of the content only gives an inadequate impression of the film, which is full of poetic ideas, bizarre contradictions and paradoxical inventions. Cocteau himself describes his first publicly shown film as "a realistic documentary about unreal events".

Ausgewählt von / Selected by Klára Hosnedlová and The Institute of Queer Ecology:

Todd Haynes, Safe, USA, 1995

The psychological drama film Safe, written and directed by Todd Haynes, revolves around a suburban housewife (Julian Moore) whose dull day-to-day life is turned upside down when she falls ill. The unusual disease seems to be generated by the environment the protagonist lives in. Safe has been labeled the scariest film of 1990 by critics and thematizes environmental illness, (interpreted by many as an allusion to the 1980s AIDS epidemic), immunity and isolation.

Ausgewählt von / Selected by Diedrick Brackens:

Marlon Riggs, Anthem, USA, 1991

Marlon Riggs Anthem is an experimental music video that embraces poetry accompanied by African beats, and provocative imagery. This combination of sexual, religious, but also political images is meant to confront the audience with dominating images of Black masculinity in an era of homophobe and racist discrimination and cultural repression in the United States. “When we kiss, the new world comes into existence”. Anthem is a bold vision of queer revolution, a demand to challenge and overcome especially prejudices against Black masculinity.

Ausgewählt von / Selected by [ɡəˈzɛlʃaft]:

Karol Radziszewski, Fag Fighters in Tallinn, Poland, 2007

Fag Fighter in Tallinn is part of Karol Radziszewskis project Fag Fighters, from 2007, where the artist himself is called into a fictitious gay gang with pink balaclavas as their trademark. The gang commits acts of crime, including vandalism and abuse. By that the “Fag Fighters“ embody the wide spectrum of homosexuality against the know conservative discourse and while also being an actual threat to traditional values and social orders.

David Wojnarowicz, Phil Zwickler, Fear of Disclosure, USA, 1989

The avant-garde short film The Fear of Disclosure by Phil Zwickler and David Wojnarowicz is known to be one of the first films to broach the issues in relationships between HIV-positive and HIV-negative men. Two dancers face each others mortality, while a queer man ruminates on psychosocial consequences of the disclosure of his HIV infection. The directors display the diminishing of sexual lust as a result of the fear of rejection, which stems from him being HIV-positive.

Ausgewählt von / Selected by The Institute of Queer Ecology

Celia Rowlson-Hall, Ma, USA, 2015

MA is Celia Rowlson-Hall's award-winning debut film. She wrote the screenplay, directed, choreographed and starred in the movie. The completely dialogue-free film is a modern as well as experimental interpretation of the pilgrimage of the Virgin Mary.

Ausgewählt von / Selected by Adam Budak and Alexander Wilmschen:

The Institute of Queer Ecology, Metamorphosis, USA, 2020

Metamorphosis by the Institute of Queer Ecology is a series divided into three parts. In these videos, the life cycle of holometabolous insects is proposed as a revolutionary paradigm for transforming ecology and capitalism. Queerness serves as a type of ecological visioning, a way of proposing an alternative, utopian world. Each video proposes new ways of becoming strange, becoming less human to create a multispecies world in which we all might survive and thrive.

Ausgewählt von / Selected by Robert Knoke

MJ Harper, Arias For A New World, Germany, 2021

The videos are a collage of an excerpt of a life performance of Arias For A New World at Reference Festival, Berlin and short clips from MJ Harpers Instagram Posts. These are short sequences that he creates, like sketches. With these sketches he builds a strange narrative that works parallel to his solo performances on social media. It is some sort of “dance theatre for the Algorithmic age“, that governs the way we behave on our social media platforms. It’s also a way for him to invite audiences into the psychology of the character he’s been building. A strange showgirl, from the American south.


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