12 JAN - 27 FEB, 2011

Fear in the Black Box

Participating artists:
Roy Andersson, Martin Brand, Dominic Gagnon, Valeriya Gay Germanika, Paul Harrison & John Wood, Leopold Kessler, Krzysztof Kieślowski, Andree Korpys & Markus Löffler, Theo Ligthart, Anne Robertson, Jay Rosenblatt


Curated by:
Edit Molnár, Marcel Schwierin


In contemporary mass media, fear has a growing tangible presence. But how can we distinguish which represented fears are well grounded, and which are deliberately generated by the media? Through the language of the moving image, the exhibition investigates sources, mechanisms and effects of fear in society.
In migrating a tight selection of experimental films and videos screened at Werkleitz Festival 2010 into the exhibition space, Fear in the Black Box seeks to reflect on the existing discourse on the colonialization of the white cube by "cinema".The space of the black box - a metaphor for an archive of our collective fears - is dark but not sinister. It invites the audience to take a closer look, to analyze our contemporary condition, to revisit our social, political and existentional fears without the intention of generating them.


Fear in the Black Box forms a collaboration between the Werkleitz Association in Halle (Germany) and the Trafo Gallery.



Special Programmes:
Fear in the Small Town - A presentation by Marcel Schwierin & Daniel Herrmann
6 pm, 12th January, 2011
›Trafó Café


The director of Werkleitz Center for Media Art and one of the curators of the Fear in the Black Box will discuss the foundation and the early years of the institution Werkleitz (1993) that started the politically engaged Festival in a small village in the former East-German countryside. The first edition of the Biennial was in 1996 and already triggered a controversial reaction and critical acceptance by the local cultural scene. The conflict between the contemporary curatorial strategies – applied by the young and enthusiastic western intellectuals invading the countryside – and the local rural community were shaped by a mutual lack of trust and fear that dominated the atmosphere of the currently united Germany. This seemingly local story of cultural exchange and translation leads to the understanding how fears and mistrust shaped the political and social life of Post cold war Europe.


Film-Screening:
Stau - Jetzt geht's los
Thomas HEISE, 1992, 16mm, 82’ (in German, subtitled in English)
8 pm, 12th January, 2011
›Trafó Café


The first episode of a trilogy dedicated to Halle-Neustadt, an industrial model city of socialist Germany, where GDR citizens were once lured into by higher salaries. The movie caused a stir (both from Left and Right) for its approach to the Skinhead issue, a rather striking and worrying phenomena in the early 1990’s in the former GDR. Following the daily routine of the neo-Nazi youth in Neustadt, Heise meets the family of one of the boys: his father Heinz Gleffe, a worker at the Leuna refinery, and his mother Ingrid. The aim of this, one of the most audacious German films, was not to deny or simply to trigger fear or hatred by portraying the radicalized youth, but to understand their motivations, even to re-examine the situation of this once-prosperous industrial city of the GDR after reunification.


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