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Radio Death, Radio Love: Blonde Cobra & Christmas on Earth

Better Talked About Than Seen | The Andy Warhol Film and Discussion Program

Saturday, December 3, 6 pm

Better Talked About Than Seen
The Andy Warhol Film and Discussion Program

Almost thirty years after his death, Andy Warhol’s film oeuvre is still not completely catalogued. Since the 1980s, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art have been working continuously and tirelessly “on the largest archival research project in the history of American avant-garde cinema.” Warhol withdrew his films from the public in 1972, but he could still be persuaded to support this project by the two museums. It must be assumed that his films were only shown rarely and often only in very private contexts during his own lifetime, and this has hardly changed to this day. As Warhol himself so fittingly said: “They’re better talked about than seen” (Flash Art, April 1987). To accompany the exhibition ANDY WARHOL EXHIBITS a glittering alternative, the program Better Talked About Than Seen focuses on Warhol‘s films. A selection of films, based on approaches in recent research by experts such as Donna De Salvo, Neil Printz, Claire K. Henry, Maja Naef, as well as Susanne Sachsse and Marc Siegel, enables both an understanding of their historical context and their discursive potential for today. In other words: we do not just want to show these films, we want to talk about them.

Saturday, December 3, 6 pm
Radio Death, Radio Love: Blonde Cobra & Christmas on Earth

When Andy Warhol placed a small radio on the balcony to accompany early screenings of his 1963 film Sleep, he was engaging in an intermedial practice not uncommon in the pop art and underground film scenes. This program focuses on two very distinct examples of expanding cinema through the use of radio: Blonde Cobra (1959–63) by Ken Jacobs & Bob Fleischner, a tragicomic portrait of Jack Smith, and Christmas on Earth (1963–65) by Barbara Rubin , a devastatingly beautiful, sexually tantalizing, two-screen 16mm film performance. Live radio accompaniment by Susanne Sachsse.


Ken Jacobs/Bob Fleischner, Blonde Cobra, 1959–63, 16mm, sound and live radio accompaniment, 33 min
Barbara Rubin, Christmas on Earth, 1963–65, 16mm (2 films, one projected inside the other), b/w, color gels waved in front of the projector, live radio accompaniment, 29 min

Curated and presented by Marc Siegel & Susanne Sachsse

Susanne Sachsse is an actress. She starred in numerous films by Bruce LaBruce, including The Raspberry Reich (2004), Pierrot Lunaire (2014) and The Misandrists (2017). She has also worked in various performance, film, and art contexts with Yael Bartana, Jonathan Berger, Zach Blas, Phil Collins, Vaginal Davis, Heinz Emigholz, Laibach, Ligia Lewis, Josiah McElheny, Vegard Vinge, Ida Müller, and Xiu Xiu. She appeared as Helene Duldung in the context of Natascha Süder Happelmann’s project for the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019. Also in 2019, Sachsse’s radio play, Original Sin. Der Gang der Frau im Sozialismus was broadcast on NDR.

Marc Siegel is professor of film studies at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. His research and publications focus on issues in queer studies and experimental film. His book A Gossip of Images is forthcoming from Duke University Press. Recent publications include “Longing Is Your Own Affair (I Always Remained Underground),” in Werner Schroeter, ed. Roy Grundmann (Austrian Film Museum Synema, 2018), and the co-edited book Film Culture 80: The Legend of Barbara Rubin (Spector Books, 2018). Also forthcoming: Easier than Painting. Die Filme von Andy Warhol, co-edited together with Henning Engelke.


The program Better Talked About Than Seen was developed on the occasion of the exhibition ANDY WARHOL EXHIBITS a glittering alternative (September 25, 2020 – May 30, 2021), curated by Marianne Dobner.

Curated by Donna De Salvo & Neil Printz, Claire K. Henry, Maja Naef as well as Susanne Sachsse & Marc Siegel, together with Marianne Dobner & Naoko Kaltschmidt, Organisation: Barbara Schneider, projectionist: Wolfgang Konrad 

Part 1 on December 2, 6 pm: Public vs. Private in Warhol's Films




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€ 6,– / ermäßigt € 4,50