Film Programme

kuratiert von Florian Wüst

The film selection curated by Florian Wüst for the 2019 Werkleitz Festival examines the thematic tension between models and ruins, which in the nearby Georgengarten (Modernity as Ruin) and Bauhaus Meisterhäuser (Modernity as Model) is to be experienced with particular intensity and fascination in an urban setting. In the context of the acute societal upheavals of the 20th century, the point of departure for both the cinematic installation in the Mausoleum and the film programme at Kiez-Kino are historical documentary productions: In Stadtbild [Cityscape] (1981) Harun Farocki explores the criticism that emerged in the mid 1960s of modernist post-war architecture, which describes the functional city as an embodiment of desolation, ruins of the living spirit. The owners and employees of a masonry and monument preservation operation in the city of Magdeburg tell of the time of Germany’s reunification in Friede Freude Katzenjammer [Peace Joy Morning After] by Detlef Gumm and Hans-Georg Ullrich (1991). With a focus on social, economic and urban changes and a number of contemporary artistic videos, the selection offers an examination of both history and future with special emphasis on questions related to the present relationship between space and ownership, memory and representation.

 

Film Space Mausoleum

25. 5.10. 6. 2019
Mausoleum Dessau-Roßlau

Even certain major buildings fell victim to the modernization of cities in both West and East Germany in the 1950s and 1960s. During this period, a number of mansions, palaces and churches – some of which had been reduced to ruins during World War II – were demolished in the wake of urban planning or through ideological motives. Since then, the reconstruction and reproduction of historic architecture has become an international trend. The reconstruction of Brunswick Palace in the city of Braunschweig, which took place over ten years ago in the face of protest, now ranks as a forerunner: behind the new/old Classical façade stands an enormous shopping centre, while the remainder of the building serves as a city library, municipal archive and palace museum. Above all, it is the conflicts between the commercial and the cultural, as well as political and community interests that underscore just how contentious the design and planning of urban spaces has always been and continues to be –a field in which far more is at stake than merely the architecture constructed. The selection of films installed in the Mausoleum reflects the role of history and collective memory in the context of various European cities and contemporary social trends. Reinforced by a glimpse into the promise of the digital future and an exploration of a profoundly material problem stemming from the legacy of the modern era – the removal and clean up of asbestos – the five documentary and artistic films explore a wide range of social and economic themes reflecting in very different ways the ambivalent relationship between model and ruin.

Films
Stadtbild

Stadtbild, Harun Farocki, BRD 1981, 45 min

Asbestos

Asbestos, Sasha Litvintseva, Graeme Arnfield, UK 2016, 20 min

Bigger Than Life

Bigger Than Life, Adnan Softić, DE/MK/IT 2018, 30 min

koordinaten

koordinaten, Juliane Henrich, DE 2018, 11 min

Remapping the Origins

Remapping the Origins, Johannes Gierlinger, AT 2018, 42 min

Friede Freude Katzenjammer [Peace, Joy, the Morning After]

29.05. 20:00
KIEZ-KINO

Founded in Magdeburg in 1886, the firm Paul Schuster Ltd specializes in the preservation of historical buildings and monuments. Nationalized under the East German regime, it was renamed VEB Denkmalpflege and led by the founder’s grandson, Hans P. H. Schuster. In 1990, the family-run company was re-privatized and once again took on its original name. Schuster devotes his business skills and civic engagement to his native city’s artistic monuments, as he strives to rescue these and other artefacts from neglect. Yet Schuster is also an elected member of the German Bundestag for the Free Democratic Party. While he is out looking for West German investors, his company’s workforce feels let down by him and by many others. Featuring historical archive footage, Friede Freude Katzenjammer portrays this versatile businessman and politician, employees of his and other companies, as well as two unemployed youths who adopt a neo-Nazi stance thanks to their bleak prospects in the initial months following German reunification – the head-on collision of capitalism and socialism. The contradictions of the new united German reality are pulled into focus in the scenes in which employees affected by “staffing adjustments” are set to be motivated and retrained in order to “boost their employability in alternative professional fields”. Without recourse to polemics, Friede Freude Katzenjammer puts personal stories under the spotlight against the backdrop of the broader anonymity of grand-stage historical events.

Friede Freude Katzenjammer, Detlef Gumm, Hans-Georg Ullrich, 1991

Friede Freude Katzenjammer [Peace, Joy, the Morning After]
Detlef Gumm, Hans-Georg Ullrich, DE 1991, 90 min
A discussion with film directors Detlef Gumm and Hans-Georg Ullrich moderated by Florian Wüst will follow the screening.

Göttliche Lage [Divine Location]

5.06. 20:00
Kiez-Kino

Over a five-year period, a construction project was carried out in the working-class Hörde district of Dortmund. The former Phoenix-Ost steel plant, which once employed 18,000 people, was torn down to make room for an artificial lake – the Phoenix-See. With a surface area of 24 hectares, the Phoenix-See is larger than the Inner Alster lake in Hamburg. Luxury apartments and detached houses have been built, there is a marina and a plaza. The project descriptions of the Phoenix-See Development Company no longer tie the future of this part of town to the hard graft, steel production and environmental pollution of the past. The new buzzwords are recreation, relaxation and Mediterranean ambiance. In Göttliche Lage, Ulrike Franke and Michael Loeken do more than document the progress of the building work, they also let investors and builders, planners and residents have their say. The film thus presents a complex picture of gentrification and of the ever-widening social gulf in post-industrial society. For in the streets neighbouring the Phoenix-See, the very same residents still have their homes as they did in the heyday of steel production. They have not moved into the new lakeside houses because they could never possibly afford to do so. And the first cracks are already beginning to appear in this promised new residential paradise: the lake, which as a rainwater storage basin forms part of the ecological restoration project for the Emscher River, has had a bathing ban imposed; parties in the evenings are a noise nuisance and the urban mansions now appear to have been built too close together.

Göttliche Lage, Ulrike Franke, Michael Loeken, 2014

Göttliche Lage
Ulrike Franke, Michael Loeken, DE 2014, 104 min
A discussion with Stephan Gudewer, STADTGUUT, Bochum, and Patrice Heine, Chemiepark Bitterfeld-Wolfen, moderated by Florian Wüst will follow the screening.