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Wednesday, April 17, 2019


Ausser Takt

Auf der Suche nach dem Rhythmus des Lebens.

Contemporary Vinegar Syndrom was explosive at b_books in Kreuzberg April 8th. The Vagimule doll did a little performance recitation listing famed independent Afro American bookstores followed by the docu on Martin Sostre. Daniel Hendrickson the Jewish Muslim read a wonderful text he wrote about kollektiv’s over the Argentinian short subject Ollas Populares, 1968. Because of popular demand below is Daniel’s performance script:

In October of 1968, FBI director J. Edgar Hoover wrote a memo to COINTELPRO, the not exactly legal counter-intelligence program set up in 1956. He wanted to warn his fellow anti-communists of a dangerous new menace: black independent booksellers.

Tonight we’re bringing one collective into another to show films made by yet others. So there’s a lot of collectivity buzzing in the air tonight here at b–books.

In fact though, it seems to me that collectivity has been buzzing a lot lately, in politics, and also in the arts. Especially in the arts, collectives seem to be popping up everywhere. Our theaters, galleries, and museums are full of them. Even the grand institution of the documenta has been given over to a collective this time. Only music and film seem to be out of the loop. Generally, when there’s a collective making music, we still just call it a band. And what can it even mean to talk about collectives making film? After all, virtually every film, with only rare exceptions, is always already a collective product, whether anyone admits it or not.

So the question we’re asking tonight is: what is a collective? How are they different from any other grouping? Are they really a way to resist bourgeois individualism, structurally insisting on our interconnectedness? Do they muddy the neoliberal waters? And what about these so-called individuals that make up these collectives? When describing their collective work, Deleuze and Guattari wrote: “The two of us wrote Anti-Oedipus together. Since each of us was several, there was already quite a crowd.” But maybe it’s not all as glamorous as it sounds. No one who’s ever been in a collective, who’s sat through hours of tedious discussion, who’s suffered through the interpersonal dynamics and mini power struggles, can indulge in an overly romantic view of what it means to ‘work together.’ On the other hand, perhaps these struggles, learning how to work together, how to live together, are exactly the point. Isn’t the difficulty of the collective the very proof that it’s working? That we’re getting somewhere? Or am I over-romanticizing again?

These are of course questions that can never be answered, since there are probably as many ways of doing a collective as there are collectives. Collectives range from established groups with fixed roles down to fleeting and temporary alliances, coming together only for a particular purpose, sometimes only for a single moment, even sometimes even without the express consent or even awareness of the members. Perhaps we’ve formed a kind of collective here tonight to watch these films.

Tonight we’re looking at some older films made by collectives, such as this one: Ollas populares, made in 1968 by the Grupo Cine Liberación in Argentina. Both of the other collective films we’re seeing tonight were made in the mid ‘70s in the US, and ostensibly, both focus on individuals. But both of these individuals are deeply embedded in larger groups, those of the bookstore, the political movement, the family, the school, the neighborhood, the circle of friends. In fact it’s hard to make any sense of either Martin Sostre or Winnie Wright without placing them in the context of the groups that surround them. Groups that live as much from the similarities that hold them together as they do from the differences that keep them alive. Maybe something like a collective?

The packed house included the well endowed film scholar Marcuse Siegelstein,young super lovesexy Columbian neophyte scholar Camilo del Valle Latanzio with gal pal Tiago Pohl, Egyptial filmmaker Mohammed Shawky Hassan and his juicy new love interest, CVS regular and former prima ballerina Trixie Schonherr aka: Beatrice Cordua, Piero Bellomo, a radiant Michaela Wünsch, along with the other b_books officialle rock steady crew of: Stephan Geene, Karolin Meunier, Ariane Mueller, Astrid Schmidt, Cornelia Durka, Daniel Delhaes, Katja Diefenbach, Monika Baer, Kim Feser, Marietta Kesting, Mirja Reuter, Mirjam Thomann, Nicolas Siepen, Simone Schardt, Teodora Tabachi, Tommie Merkle and Zuebeyde Alvers.

Also seen set designer Şenol Şentürk and his friend Çiğdem, who is so famous she doesn’t need a surname.

Cinema Sweetie Pie Little Stephan Ahrens (formerly of Zeughaus Kino), everyone’s favorite girl Monday Nanna “Ninotchka” Heidenreich who brought Ms. D a new knitted scarf from her wonderful mother Theresa Heidenreich, Nanna was there with film scholar de rigeur, Natalie Lettenewitsch, who works on underwater films, and wrote beautiful pieces on cinema's beaches (and contributed to this year's Berlinale Retrospective Program-feminist /women's cinema. Kanchi Wichmann, queer filmmaker & series director, Yusi Etiman of Basso Kollektiv who these days spends most of his time living half of the year in São Paulo Brazil running with his hunky boyfriend Luís a growing community space in Centro, the rundown but now upcoming old center. Yusi would love Ms. Davis to come to Brazil for a residency, and there is nothing she likes better then South American dostado.

Also at the event was Tyler Oyer of Los Angeles who I’ve been told by several Angelinos that the youngish Mr. Oyer does natty 22 cent homages to living idols Kembra of Voluptuous Horror and Ron Athey among other things. I love messy performance art that skiddles about like a jalopy car backfire.

Tyler sent me a video of his collaboration with Max Boss of Easter fame that had a splendiferous vox bop pop sound. Its always a delight to see the gorgeous beauty of Monilola of SAAVY Contemporary, personable young stylish American artist/filmmaker Amelia Seymour, Arsenal projectionist Anselm, Empress Stefanie Schulte Strathaus who just celebrated her birthday recently with a terrace bbq at her sumptuous Wrangler Kiez compound.

The Empresses bbq guests included: Monika Rinck (writer, poet), Florian Zeyfang (artist, filmmaker), Kerstin Schroedinger (artist) Angela Melitopoulos, Nanna Heidenreich, Daniel Hendrickson, Sandra Schäfer (artist, filmmaker), Marc Siegel, Piero Bellomo, Trixie Schonherr, Anne Quirynen (artist, filmmaker) and Shawky Hassan.

Also seen and heard as they squeezed into the b_books space for CVS: Nora Molitor(Literarische Colloquium Berlin LCB, Grenzgaenger), Anja Lückenkemper curator, and great - secret ceramics artist, Ilker Abay, Petra Schierke(Intendanz Berlinale) with Johanna her kollegin, Lorin DeCarli(Emergency), Giovanni Lazzeri a super hottie trolley dolly, taunt titten Canadian film ingénue Beau Mirchoff with German/Arab movie star Elyas M’Barek and Gerrit Woltemath our expert Contemporary Vinegar Syndrom production manager.