TURBIDUS FILM #15 presents POST-COLONIALISM AND ANTHROPOLOGY: Elke Marhöfer and Mikhail Lylov

1 Sep 2016 - 19:00

TURBIDUS FILM #15 presents POST-COLONIALISM AND ANTHROPOLOGY - film screening and Q&A with the film makers Elke Marhöfer (germany/cuba) and Mikhail Lylov (russia).

See also:
Experimental Ethnography II - Urban Gardening and Ecology: Elke Marhöfer and Mikhail Lylov

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Aby Warburg Institute in London, England, 2012-2015, 16mm, b&w, silent, 10'22
"Nobody knows, when it was made and why" takes a close look at Aby Warburg’s prominent "Mnemosyne Atlas". Reflecting on the fact that research, be it art or science based, is a historical and anthropological procedure that is closely related to colonialism, the film rethinks how Warburg creates a relational and trans-cultural methodology. Inhuman and animating forces of images, things, animals, people, minerals, amulets and dices, solar and lunar eclipses, intestines, magic stones and starry heavens stemming from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Jordan suggest exploring "Mnemosyne Atlas" outside of European cultural history and the imagination of itself.

{each part welcomes the other without saying}
Germany/Cuba, 2014, 16mm to digital file, color/sound, 26'00
How we can connect the more-than-human with the historical, specifically the postcolonial space without deepening violations already inflicted on both humans and nonhumans? The film gathers affects and modes of activity of plants and animals whose ancestors were moved to the New World and “had to colonize the new land [with the humans] as a team.” The Spanish brought sheep, cows, and horses along. The first horses arrived in 1540 in the Americas. In present-day Cuba animals such as cows, horses, goats, pigs, sheep and chickens provide food and labor, and often move around freely, almost without any confinement. Much like extended family members (comparable to pets in the western hemisphere) some animals share close relations with humans. Some entered the intermediate state between domesticated and wild, others return to the forest to fully reverse their domestication and to become something else entirely. What at first sight seemed to be a pristine ecosystem turns out to be created by human and nonhuman practices interacting and circulating matter. The ‘wilderness’ of Yateras is informed by a long and layered history. On the mountainsides we found gardens cultivated in the manner used by Amerindians. The mango tree or bamboo that grows in the primeval looking forests originally migrated from India and China to Cuba. The electrified Hershey train, once a frontiers of capitalism and built by the Hershey Chocolate Corporation of Pennsylvania is today subjected to a very different logic that corresponds to an understanding of reality not as a undivided whole, but made of fragmentary moments and discontinuities. The film, by giving space to a splintered narrative and a disunited audio-visuality sets out to relink adamantly separated concepts of human and animal bodies, vegetables and history as translocal, pre-individual assemblages. Connecting the other-or-more-than-human with the postcolonial space might make it possible to understand how nature transverses history, and vice versa, on every level without turning to ‘grand narratives.’ Nature might be both, historically situated, evoking testimonies of past events, while recognizing their specificities, and at the same time continuously growing, surpassing and escaping historical formatting with its unique and machinic mode of constantly evolving, changing and creating something new. Tracing past processes through transformations of biological, geological and ecological matter turns history into a very actual and concrete movement that is able to include the nonhuman too.

Q&A with Elke Marhöfer and Mikhail Lylov

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Born in the year of the goat in Baracoa/Cuba, Elke Marhöfer is an artist living in Berlin. Via the potentialities of moving image and suppositious writing she works with notions of self-admitted foreignness and radical othering. She collaborates with dear friends and things, revising notions of animals, vegetables and objects. Within distant environments she investigates specific events and practices that traverse binary oppositions. Linking for example, the nonhuman with the postcolonial, she discusses how nature cuts across history, being simultaneously historical situated, evoking human and nonhuman testimonies of past and current events, recognizing their specificities, and at the same time surpassing and escaping historical formatting with its unique and machinic mode of constantly evolving, changing and creating something new. Elke tests nonhuman perspectives, translating a technology like the camera, from a human cultural and technical device into an extension of the intensive forces within the surrounding environment, so that the camera becomes a tool, which is in principle not different from nonhuman animal tools, similar to orangutans using leaves to make squeaky kiss noises.

Elke studied Fine Art at the University of the Arts in Berlin, at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago and at the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York City. Since 2010 she pursues a PhD at the University of Gothenburg. Elke has received fellowships, grants, and generous support from IASPIS Residency Sweden, Akademie Schloss Solitude Stuttgart, Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris. Her art exhibitions include the Palais de Tokyo Paris, Manufactura’s Studio Wuhan, FCAC Shanghai, the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, NGBK Berlin, Kunstverein Hannover, Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen and The Showroom, London. She lectures in conferences such as DARE, Deleuze and Artistic Research Conference Ghent, Deleuze’s Cultural Encounters with the New Humanities, Hong Kong and Daughters of Chaos, Deleuze Studies International Conference Stockholm. Her films have been screened at the BFI - Film Festival London, Berlinale Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Courtisane Festival Ghent and Images Film Festival Toronto.


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Mikhail Lylov was born in 1989 in Russia, Voronezh. Studied Economics in Voronezh state university. In 2008 in cooperation with other artists co-established Voronezh CCA.
In 2008 moved to Moscow, studied in ICA Moscow, where developed interdisciplinary approach to his films, installations and performances which deconstruct traditional figures of knowledge and subject. In 2010 moved to Goteborg, Sweden to finish MA in arts. In 2013-14 participated in the Le Pavillon programme at Palais De Tokyo. Lives and works in Berlin.



Entrance: 60 kr, card is queen




Member production: Daniel Swarthnas