Geopolitics and Bodies: Three moving images

Opening of the program
Wed, May 11, 2016, 7pm
at Kunstbau, Lenbachhaus
Anja Kirschner, Moderation (2016)
After the screening the director will discuss her film.

As part of a cooperation with Munich-based DOK.fest, Lenbachhaus presents the film series Geopolitics and Bodies: Three moving images. Three positions, differing greatly in their approaches and formats – reaching from performance documentation to feature film, and documentary – outline a space, in which consequences of abstract geopolitical interests become manifest in concrete bodies.


Thu, May 12 – Sun, 15 May, 2016
All screenings take place at Lenbachhaus's Georg-Knorr-Saal. Admission is free. 


2 pm
William Pope L., The Great White Way, 22 Miles, 9 Years, 1 Street (2001–2009)
English, 5 min.

To be on the ground, to be horizontal in a "vertical society", to crawl in the filth of the street: it is with this simple, yet imposing gesture that William Pope L.'s Crawl performances operate as a analogy to the conditions of class difference. Departing from the standpoint that racism is not an outcome of race, but race one of racism, the work of Pope L., who also calls himself "The Friendliest Black Artist of America ©", hauls ideological constructions of 'whiteness' and 'blackness' into the larger arena of social class and its signifiers. William Pope L. (b. 1955) lives in Chicago.

Clarisse Hahn,  Notre corps est une arme (2011)
(Our Body Is a Weapon)
France / Turkey / Mexico
Kurdish, Turkish, French, Spanish with English subtitles, 43 min.

This three-part video series shows different instances in which bodies act as tools of political defiance and resistance. 

In Prisons, two Kurdish women speak about their past imprisonment in Turkey. In 2000, the women, alongside hundreds of other prisoners across the country, went on a hunger strike to protest the unbearable conditions of their confinement. In response, police and military forces stormed several prisons and struck down the strike with extraordinary violence. The title of the series – Our Body Is a Weapon – stems from a quote of one of the interviewed women, who lives with the physiological consequences of the hunger strike until today. 

In Los desnudos, hundreds of Mexican farmers march through the streets of Mexico City to denounce the expropriation of their land by hand of the government.

In Gerilla, Hahn films members of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) at the border between Turkey and Iraq as well as in her hometown Paris, where many Kurds live in severe poverty. Clarisse Hahn (*1973) lives in Paris.

Anja Kirschner, Moderation (2016)
Greece / Italy / Egypt / Great Britain
English with German subtitles, 149 min.

Moderation, set in Egypt, Greece, and Italy, revolves around a female horror director and her screenwriter, whose latest collaboration is haunted by encounters with its ‘raw material’ and the escalation of conflicting desires.
Faced with the disintegration of their project, the director becomes more and more drawn into conversations with the actors she has cast, who reflect on the way horror traverses the affective and material realities of their lives on and off screen. As the movie horror increasingly crosses the threshold between reality and fiction, lo-fi special effects are combined with HD camcorder, Skype, and mobile phone footage to heighten the sense of immediacy and interplay between fictional, factual, and genre elements.

Moderation references and pays homage to the horror cinema from cold-war Europe, Infitah-era Egypt, and post-junta Greece, neither naturalistically representing lived experience nor sublimating it by recourse to the irrational. Rather, the ‘irrational’ is used to externalize and to de-subjectify what haunts the protagonists, in order to reground the possibility of rational agency operating at its limits. (Text: Anja Kirschner)

Moderation was commissioned by the curator Nadja Argyropoulou for Polyeco Contemporary Art Initiative (GR), co-produced by Beirut (EG) and Nomas Foundation (IT) and supported by the Elephant Trust (UK) and the Greek Film Centre (GR). Anja Kirschner (b. 1977) lives in Athens.