The Double Feature sees itself as a platform for different currents and forms of expression in film and video art production. For more than eight years, the SCHIRN has invited national and international film and video artists to present a work from their own oeuvre, followed by a film of their choice. Films and video works by over 60 artists have already been shown at the SCHIRN. The videos and conversations with the artists involved so far are available on the SCHIRN's YouTube channel under the title "Video Art." The SCHIRN MAGAZINE also regularly provides discursive contributions with an editorial focus on video art to the Double Feature series
The Double Feature is a platform for very different tendencies and forms of expression in artistic film production
In her video works, Yalda Afsah explores the complex relationship between humans and animals. At the SCHIRN, she presents the film SSRC (short for"Secret Society Roller Club", 2022, 20 min.)," which is dedicated to the specific social environment of the Roller Pigeon Clubs in South Los Angeles, where pigeons are bred, trained, and domesticated for sport because of their mysterious backward rolls in flight. In her video works, Afsah highlights the ambivalence of interspecific relationships between care and control, physical strength and broken will, instinct and manipulation. In particular, SSRC focuses on the blurred line between care, attention, and identification with animals on the one hand, and discipline, subjugation, and human dominance on the other, and attempts to question and resolve these dichotomies.
Peng Zuqiang explores the affective aspects of stories, bodies, and language through films, videos, and installations. In the November issue of Double Feature, the artist presents his film Sight Leak (2022, 12 min.), in which he refers to notes made by Roland Barthes during a 1973 trip to China: "The moon, the sometimes dark street, the trees, it's warm [...], at last a certain eroticism is possible (that of the warm night)." The note would become part of the work Travels in China, never published during his lifetime, which outlines a subplot of desire in his imagination of the country. Peng's work responds to Barthes's troubling judgments about China and offers a possible subversion of a homoerotic foreign gaze
In her work, based on extensive research on the technological and aesthetic potentials of immersive media, Anja Kirschner deals, among other things, with the motif of catastrophic destruction in post-apocalyptic computer game worlds. At the SCHIRN the artist presents the film UNICA (2022, 35 min.), in which the traces of a latent catastrophe are uncovered in historical, simulated, and inner worlds. UNICA is named after the writer and artist Unica Zürn (1916-1970), whose illustrated text Das Haus der Krankheiten (1958) depicts her body and its institutionalization as a formation. In anagrams and fantastical representations of the body, Zürn provoked a rupture with normative anatomical, architectural, and linguistic assemblages to which she was exposed. Kirschner transfers Zürn's generative approach to digital forms of production and historical locations, linking them into a profoundly current and site-specific engagement
In his works, Igor Vidor explores mechanisms and symbols of political power and systemic oppression. In his installations and videos, he comments on the deeply rooted violence and social injustice in the everyday lives of people in Latin America. These conditions seem to be repeated by politics in Brazil and are discharged in perfidious police practices of paramilitary groups. In his video work "A PRAGA" (transl. The Plague, 2020), Vidor denounces Germany and other countries of the Global North for being partly responsible for the spread of violence and racism in Brazil through the production of weapons and their lucrative trade. In the film, he blends footage of police operations in Brazil with documentary footage in the small town of Oberndorf am Neckar in Baden-Württemberg, and examines the connection between the arms industry there and the export of weapons to the Latin American continent that has been going on for a hundred years
Born in Brussels in 1991, Eva Giolo works with the media of film, video and installation. She places a particular emphasis on the female experience, using experimental and documentary strategies to explore themes of intimacy, permanence, and memory, as well as the analysis of language and semiotics. Giolo uses her camera to capture the "mundane" moments of everyday life and reveal their hidden depths. She is the co-founder and artistic director of Elephy, a film and media arts production space in Brussels. At the Double Feature at the Schirn, Giolo will show her video work A Tongue Called Mother (2019, 18 min.). In a quiet cinematic montage, images of reading students are combined with everyday scenes of women from three generations of a family. A web of interrelations between language, gesture and belonging emerges
Artist Aziz Hazara, born 1992 in Afghanistan, works with different media such as video installation, photography, sound or sculpture. In his works he deals with questions of memory, identity and conflict. In doing so, Hazara explores the traces of the Soviet and U.S. occupation of Afghanistan in the context of power relations, geopolitics, and surveillance. At the Double Feature at the Schirn, he will show his latest video work Takbir (2022, 9:57 min.): in the 1980s, the inhabitants of Kabul used the darkness of the night to protest the ongoing Soviet occupation. After the end of the U.S.-led NATO invasion in 2021, they once again took to their rooftops and shouted takbir, the call of "Allah-u akbar," in the darkness as an acoustic act of defiance, a collective reclaiming of space. With Takbir, Hazara spans Afghanistan's recent history, from its independence to the violence perpetuated today by religious fundamentalism. Shot in Kabul after the Taliban took power, the video work explores the notion that darkness can also provide a refuge
In his multimedia works, Philipp Gufler questions the power structures of heteronormativity. Again and again, the artist draws on self-organized archives and places personalities of the recent past at the center of his work. He often slips into the role of these persons himself, thereby creating a new narrative. In the Double Feature, Gufler presents his video work "Lana Kaiser" (2020, 13 min.). It is dedicated to the media star of the 00s who became popular as Daniel Küblböck. Lana Kaiser, Küblböck's self-chosen name, was an essential identification figure for her fans as a queer person. Lana Kaiser disappeared in 2018 on a boat trip to North America. Philipp Gufler's short film can be understood as an homage, but at the same time it opens up a complex discourse on the controversial way the German media landscape deals with the representation of queerness as "otherness"
In her work, writer, director and artist Jovana Reisinger highlights entrenched behaviors, market-driven decisions and identifications formed by stereotypes. With her specific film language, the artist takes a critical as well as humorous look at consumption, gender roles and beauty standards in a meritocracy. At the SCHIRN, Reisinger presents her latest film "On the Road in the Name of the Empress. Prequel" (2022, 17 min.), in which she sends three hip young people into the mountains. Romy, Karlheinz and Magda-Gustav, named after actors and actresses from the well-known Sissi triology, set out under the motto "Forever young - no matter how!" in search of the legendary fountain of youth in which Empress Sissi and King Ludwig II are said to have bathed. With this video work, Reisinger not only presents the clichés associated with the Heimatfilm, but also addresses the attitude to life of a generation between youth mania, chic outdoor clothing and Instagram
JAMES GREGORY ATKINSON
James Gregory Atkinson's multimedia works respond to the extreme incompleteness of official archives regarding Black people, their narratives and cultures. To do so, he draws on the history of queer and Black people and brings them into a dialogue with contemporary conditions. At the SCHIRN, the artist shows two video works that refer to Detroit. The setting of "The Day I Stopped Kissing my Father" (2019, 3:54min.) is the Detroit Public Library and its Great Hall, whose murals depict American history to the exclusion of Black people. Atkinson has a young black rooster walk the hall as a symbol of sexuality, desire, and fear. Its youthfulness alludes to insights about normative notions of masculinity and patriarchy. With the ongoing project "Detroit Archive" (2019-present), Atkinson explores the idea of the body as archive. Members of the Detroit ballroom scene provide him with videos that he uses to build an archive for the community. Their performances are forms of nonverbal communication and gestural self-expression whose visibility is documented through the collection
Bani Abidi is known for her distinctive film aesthetic, which is characterized by subtle humor and the dark absurdities of everyday life. Her film "The Distance from Here" (2009) is about applying for a travel permit, the bureaucratic procedure and the nervous wait for the visa. For this, Abidi stages an anonymous crowd of people similar to an absurd theater in an undefined location. Seemingly only following a formality, the waiting for the individual acquires an existential dimension that decides on the continuation of life