The Dead Weight of a Quarrel Hangs Walid Raad (USA/Lebanon, 1998, video, 11:00)
This video triptych investigates the possibilities and limitations of reporting about the Lebanese civil war. Each of the three sections is a fake documentary about an event which has been completely constructed out of innocent everyday material. The first part has to do with the diary of a Mrs. Fafhouri, the wife of the civil war’s most important historian. The second section was inspired by the discovery of a number of photos in the headquarters of the local militia. And a bizarre little film, found amongst the personal belongings of Lebanon’s former president, is the subject of the third and final section. The Dead Weight documents not what happened, but rather what is imaginable.
True Stories (no. 1) Sandra Sterle (The Netherlands, 1998, video, 4:53)
Hiking around different locales, a process which continually coaxes different demeanors and recalls different memories, is the concept on which Sterle’s four videos are based; this is one example. Dressed up like Minnie Mouse, she leads us into the forest towards her hidden secrets. We are only privy to her world of experience to a certain degree, a world dominated by a tone which is at once playful and threatening.
November, 9 (Ende) – 13 Jan Peters (Germany, 1998, 1s mm, 12:00)
In November of 1996, Jan Peters shot a three-minute film every day, filling the soundtrack with a corresponding amount of narration. He edited together the films made between November 9 – 13 into a kind of film diary. A man wearing plastic gloves dumps a garbage bag into the trashbin of a rest area along the Belgian highway, thereby alerting Peters lo widespread child abuse. Or is his reaction paranoid, and is he, just like the media, allowing the abuse to continue by using photos of the victims in his film?
Drama, Strings and Horns Gunter Krüger (Germany, 1998, video, 7:30)
“In 1995 I found a small only 60 seconds long film which provoked me particularly by its virulent title: ‘POIW-NO 8575 Another report on the terror in Western-Germany: police beats demonstrators, 16.4.68, 21.45.’ By means of repetition and omission I try to build up a tension step by step – a tension caused by the sampling of reactions to an unknown reason.’
Fanal! (March Radau II) Sluik/Kurpershoek (The Netherlands, 1998, video, 22:30)
Sixty-five years ago, Marinus van der Lubbe, a simple bricklayer from Leiden, set course for Russia and China to see if paradise was in fact to be found there. Yet his ramblings through Europe landed him in Germany, where he was arrested and sentenced for burning down the Reichstag, the Nazi p.irli.iment building. Even today it is still uncertain if he actually started the fire, or if he was simply the victim of the fascists or the communists. Based on unique audio recordings of this controversial trial, the fourth chapter in Sluik/Kurpershoek’s March series was created, a journey along European landscapes. These landscapes contain our mutual past much like scars from that era.