Lenbachhaus  MaY 19, 2015 — September 13, 2015

Facts & Fiction



Images of Catastrophe and Projections into the Future
Programs and Events May 19 – Sept 13, 2015

Apocalyptic notions have always been a central part of the human imagination and continue to influence our thinking today. As long as there has been art, creative minds have worked to visualize these scenarios. That is why images of violence and global catastrophe have deep roots in our collective memory. The contemporary mass media feed us such imagery on a daily basis. How we imagine catastrophic events is largely defined by how actual disasters are reported – and informed,  moreover, by the theatrical and aesthetic qualities filmmakers give their fictional cataclysms.

We experience catastrophes live and in real time. We are confronted with images that make us eyewitnesses at a distance. Filled with ambivalent feelings, we watch
from a safe remove. At the same time, “worst-case scenario” war games lend a
fictional air to our future that indirectly affects our present as well. Cataclysmic
fictions in the sciences, in literature, in art and on screen give concrete and tangible
shape to a latent and unfathomable menace. In that sense, imaginary-disaster
productions may also be read as scenes that afford room for reflection and experimentation with visions, utopian and anti-utopian, and widely different projections of possible futures.

The event series FACTS & FICTION inquires into the representation and perception
of disasters and dystopias: Why is it that the contemporary arts – from Hollywood to the fine arts and literature – are much more interested in catastrophes than in a vision of happiness? What makes the apocalypse so thrilling? Why are we so fascinated by the aesthetic of cataclysms and natural spectacles? What does an analysis of these images reveal, and what can we offer in reply to them?

Curated by Elisabeth Giers and Matthias Mühling

All filmic works are presented for two weeks each in the Georg-Knorr-Saal.
The series is accompanied by an additional evening program on every second
Tuesday. Admission to all events is free. Seating is limited; unfortunately, we cannot
make reservations. In the context of the exhibition films are presented for two weeks each in the Georg-Knorr-Saal.

Programmfolder (pdf)



Guy Ben-Ner: Soundtrack (2013, 11 min.)

May 19 to May 31, 2015, 10 am – 6 pm, Georg-Knorr-Saal

Based on an eleven-minute audio excerpt from Steven Spielberg’s movie “War of theWorlds,” Guy Ben-Ner worked with his children and friends to create a reenactmen scenario. The dialogue and sounds are transposed into the context of everyday family life, where the mood rapidly escalates toward a hysteric sense of menace.The work reflects on social structures and the roles assigned to the members of the domestic microcosm and, more importantly, on the power of the mass media, which only too often fan irrational fears and have repeatedly served as tools of political propaganda.

Allora & Calzadilla: A Man Screaming Is Not a Dancing Bear (2008, 11 min.)

June 2 to June 7 and June 13/14, 2015, 10 am – 6 pm, Georg-Knorr-Saal

Years after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans, bringing catastrophic flooding, the city has far from returned to normal, although the media and political debates have moved on. Allora & Calzadilla’s video piece vividly conveys how omnipresent the effects of the disaster continue to be some years later, highlighting the interplay of climate change, racism, and economic inequities.

Jonathan Horowitz: Apocalypto Now (2009, 13 min.)

June 16 to June 28, 2015, 10 am – 6 pm, Georg-Knorr-Saal

Jonathan Horowitz combines set pieces from Hollywood movies, documentaries, and found footage at the editing table, deftly interweaving narratives from very different contexts. “Heroes” like the scientist Stephen Hawking, the politician and activist Al Gore, and the ultra-Christian actor and director Mel Gibson make cameos in a film that reveals unexpected connections between the entertainment value of silverscreen disasters, the horror when they suddenly become real, and the apocalyptic visions of religious fundamentalists.

Ho Tzu Nyen: EARTH (2010, 40 min.)

July 7 to July 12, 2015, 10 am – 6 pm, Georg-Knorr-Saal

Shot in long takes featuring fifty actors, a post-apocalyptic tableau vivant unfolds on the screen. The scenery, a carefully choreographed heap of debris, resembles a gigantic vegetating organism. The lighting direction and composition quote paintings from European – especially Italian and French – art history.


Oliver Ressler: Leave It in the Ground (2013, 18 min.)

July 14 to July 26, 2015, 10 am – 6 pm, Georg-Knorr-Saal

Set in the picturesque landscapes of Lofoten, Oliver Ressler’s film portrays the climate crisis as a political problem, exploring the ways in which the ecological and humanitarian disasters caused by global warming will disrupt longstanding structures
of order and trigger profound social and political upheavals. Ressler demonstrates that climate change-related catastrophes are a fact of life today and not merely dystopian scenarios from a distant future.

Yael Bartana: Inferno (2013, 22 min.)

July 28 to August 9, 2015, 10 am – 6 pm, Georg-Knorr-Saal

The modern-day replica of Solomon’s Temple built by the Pentecostal Universal Church of the Kingdom of God (IURD) in São Paulo and the vision of its future destruction are the point of departure for Bartana’s film, which draws connections between the complex layered realities of life in the Brazilian megacity and Jerusalem.
Incorporating stylistic references to Hollywood epics into an approach the artist describes as “historical pre-enactment,” the film blends fact and fiction, prophecy and history.

Marjolijn Dijkman: Wandering through the Future (2007, 60 min.)

August 11 to September 13,  2015, 10 am – 6 pm, Georg-Knorr-Saal

A collage of around seventy excerpts from science fiction movies, this video surveys visions of possible futures set between 2008 and 802701. Scenes of natural disasters, utopian and dystopian cities featuring viruses, clones, and extraterrestrials add up to a timeline along which the future takes definite form. “Wandering through the Future” maps diverse flashpoints of ecological and ideological conflict and examines fictional scenarios to gain insight into our fear of the unknown.

MAy 19 to July 5, 2015 IN THE ATRIUM

Omer Fast: CNN Concatenated (2002, 18 min.)
Christoph Draeger: Un Ga Nai (1995/1999, 42 min.)
Lina Selander: Anteroom of the Real (2010-2011, 14 min.)

July 7 to September 13, 2015 iN THE Atrium

Gabriel S Moses: anything consumed must come out
motion sequence – 4 screen adaptation from the project ENHANC[=MENT – an augmented graphic novel (2015, 6 min.)

Forum für experimentelle Aktionen
Open Studio
Öffentliche Führung
Bildschön – Ansichten des 19. Jahrhunderts
Public guided tour
Picture Perfect – Views from the 19th century

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