Poetics of the Real, Politics of the Self
Peter Weiss and experimental cinema, 1949 – 2016
A three-part film program curated by Florian Wüst

Moderated by Sezgin Boynik
Organized by Kari Yli-Annala/Nomadic Academy of Experimental Arts

13 August 2017
Harakka Island Auditorium, Helsinki

Studie IV (Frigörelse), Peter Weiss, 1954

Peter Weiss (1916–1982) is best known for his writings and theatre plays, with his novel The Aesthetics of Resistance being one of the major works of German literature of the 20th century. Weiss, however, started his artistic career as a painter, and in the 1950s he was primarily a filmmaker. His filmic oeuvre comprises experimental and documentary shorts as well as two feature length films. Marked by personal economical crisis and an exhausting search for artistic expression and recognition, this period in the life of Peter Weiss characterizes the transition from a introspective view inspired by surrealism to the engagement with social and political reality.

Weiss' interest in film began with writing reviews for Swedish newspapers. His theoretical reflections resulted in the 1956 book Avantgardefilm, which is among the first books of its kind: Through the analysis of a subjective choice of experimental films—from the 1920s to the post-war avant-garde—Weiss elaborates on the poetic power of the medium and its capacity to discover new audiovisual worlds.

Poetics of the Real, Politics of the Self takes Weiss' work with film as a direct and discursive vantage point. By thematizing inner conflict, alienation and family relations, time, space and social discipline, body and identity as well as modern urban living and resistance, the selection of Swedish and international short films from 1949 to 2016 discusses the relationship between aesthetic and political subjectivity.

Each of the three programs is followed by a conversation with the audience. In the breaks between the screenings drinks and snacks are provided.

Studie II (Hallucinationer), Peter Weiss, SE 1952, 6'
The Lead Shoes, Sidney Peterson, US 1949, 17'
Studie IV (Frigörelse), Peter Weiss, SE 1954, 9'
Red Shift, Gunvor Nelson, SE 1984, 50'

Enligt lag, Peter Weiss, Hans Nordenström, SE 1957, 18'
Metro Means of Conveyance, Olle Hedman, SE 1977, 7'
Es gibt Bilder, weil es Wände gibt – Ein Prolog, Sasha Pirker, AT 2013, 11'
On the Threshold of Liberty, Heidi Tikka, FI 1992, 11'
Schicht, Alex Gerbaulet, DE 2015, 28'

Bag de ens facader, Peter Weiss, DK 1961, 27'
Aliena Kadabra, Åke Karlung, SE 1969, 6'
Ici rien, Daphne Hérétakis, FR/GR 2011, 30'
The Ceremony, Lina Selander, Oscar Mangione, SE 2016, 16'