Staging is Politics
Sandra Schäfer’s films explore forms of enactment of the political. The three films in this program each address the media presentation of a specific political scene or event. The earliest is the revolution that began in Iran in 1979—the film on the set of 1978ff looks at documentary material that was made in the region in the late 1970s. The media and discourse records are reviewed from the perspective of several conversation partners who were involved at the time, indicating the historical contingencies of the paths that the revolution did not take. The Making of a Demonstration is about events 23 years later in Afghanistan, where women were demonstrating against the Taliban’s prohibition of women—in a costly feature film on the subject. The Making of a Demonstration takes a close look at the making of this film. The third film in this program, Mleeta, is devoted to a very different kind of theme park—the fortress Mleeta in southern Lebanon. Once a place to which the Hisbollah retreated in the face of Israeli occupation, this is now a popular “Jihadi tourist site.” Schäfer explores the enactment of this place in her split-screen film.
Sandra Schäfer, The Making of a Demonstration, 2004, 12 min
Sandra Schäfer, on the set of 1978ff, 2011, 58 min
Sandra Schäfer, Mleeta, 2016, 12 min
Screening followed by a conversation between Sandra Schäfer and Christian Höller.
Sandra Schäfer lives in Berlin. Exhibitions / festivals (selection): Traversing the Phantasm, Berlinale Forum Expanded, Academy of Arts Berlin (2016), global aCtIVISm, Center for Art and Media (ZKM), Karlsruhe (2013), the shape of truth changes & shapes the truth, Depo, Istanbul (2012), Demonstrationen. Vom Werden normativer Ordnungen, Frankfurter Kunstverein (2012).
Christian Höller is joint chief editor of the journal springerin – Hefte für Gegenwartskunst.