Underground Film Between Punk and Art Academy
Tue, September 19 – Sun, October 22, 2017
Georg-Knorr-Auditorium, Lenbachhaus
Admission free

The film series "Normalzustand"—titled after a film by German artist Yana Yo—brings together a selection of experimental films made in Germany between the late 1970s and early 1990s. During this time, various local film scenes formed from Bielefeld, Bonn and Düsseldorf to West- and East Berlin.

Filming happened, attentively or absent-mindedly, at home or at friends', on the street, in the car, during performances and concerts. What connects the films gathered here, which differ so starkly in content and style, is a DIY ethos that was characteristic of Punk. With Punk—an amorphous phenomenon with ramifications such as Post-Punk, New Wave, Neue Deutsche Welle, a.o.—a new attitude entered the picture: whether in music, in fashion, in language or in art, Punk broke with common ideas of expertise and fixed genres and offered improvisation, provocation and volume at its place. From local squats to the context of art schools, alternative ways of living, co-habiting and working emerged.

The Super 8 film technology, that was as cheap to acquire as it was easy to handle, became the medium of choice for many. While soon the first movie theatres for Super 8 and other experimental formats emerged in West-Berlin and, at times, art institutions served as venues as well, the true site of underground film remained the more casual context of bars and night clubs.

Seen together, the films shown here in their digitalized form (most of them originally Super 8) help grasp a form of filming (and artmaking) that was masterfully unprofessional as well as impossible to group under one label or category: narrative at times, abstract at others, provocative or poetic, the films draw on a wide variety of sources reaching from Soviet avantgarde film to the more burlesque and hysterical style of the American underground scene, to music videos and horror movies.

With Alte Kinder, Anarchistische Gummizelle (AGZ), Jörg Buttgereit, Die Tödliche Doris, Knut Hoffmeister, Notorische Reflexe, PELZE-multimedia & LÄSBISCH-TV, Schmelzdahin, Schwarze Schokolade, Teufelsberg Produktion und Yana Yo.

The films are presented in a loop. The first series is on view from September 19 through October 8; a second series follows from October 10 through October 22.

Curated by Stephanie Weber


Talk and Screening
Subculture in Westberlin in the 1980s: Die Tödliche Doris and the formative years of the extra-, over- and amusical
with Wolfgang Müller

Tue, September 26, 2017, 7pm
In German
Admission free

Talk and Screening
PELZE-multimedia and LÄSBISCH-TV: Initiatives for the encouragement of female sexuality
with Mahide Lein

Wed, October 11, 2017, 7pm
In German
Admission free


Open Zine-Workshop
Tue, October 3, 2017, 3-7pm
Wed, October 4 – Sun, October 8, 2017, 2-5pm

PLEASE NOTE: All art education program is currently only offered in German.
For more information please visit our German homepage.



Public guided tour
BODY CHECK. Martin Kippenberger – Maria Lassnig

Keep up to date!


Please enter your search term here