Tell It to the Stones. The Work of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub
What happens during our encounter (rencontre) with a film, what the film does and how it can be translated into theory and action – this technique is closely associated with the films of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, and yet is always in sharp contrast to the relatively sporadic visibility of the films themselves. In Rencontres – part of the programme of peripheral events surrounding the exhibition "Tell It to the Stones" – we would like to invite you to explore in depth the special characteristics implied by the term ‘encounter’.
For Huillet and Straub, speaking about, arguing over and travelling with films has always formed an essential part of their practice. Now that their films have acquired an international presence, and have been published on digital media, approaches to them have also proliferated. During the Rencontre days at the beginning and end of the exhibition we shall explore as many different forms of discourse and approach as possible. Participants include: Renato Berta, for many years the Huillet/Straub cinematographer; Manfred Blank, former assistant, actor and filmmaker; Peter Nestler, friend and filmmaker; Peter Kammerer, for decades a critical fellow-traveller; Giulio Bursi, their assistant director on several occasions; Christophe Clavert, cameraman on Jean-Marie Straub’s more recent films; as well as theoreticians and artists from a younger generation such as Luisa Greenfield, Nida Ghouse, Louis Henderson, Oraib Toukan, Ala Younis and the New Composers Collective, a spin-off project from the electronic duo Mouse on Mars.
The luxury you gain, when you’ve got nothing to lose.
15 – 17 Sep 2017
The three days of Rencontre I, which is closely related to the themes and issues of the exhibition, will open up a whole spectrum of varied approaches to the work of Huillet and Straub. Focal points will be provided by the films produced in Italy and the literary works on which they are based: Elio Vittorini, Cesare Pavese and Franco Fortini, as well as Brecht and Hölderlin. In connection with this, the concepts of ‘work’ and ‘worker’ will be subjected to scrutiny, along with the role and significance of peasants for Huillet and Straub and in relation to Heiner Müller. With reference to the film Communists, showing as an installation in the exhibition, Patrick Primavesi and Peter Kammerer will discuss the question of a (future) form of communism. Other themes of the exhibition which will be taken up in this weekend of discussions and presentation include: a special focus on the role of Danièle Huillet, and the key significance of places and landscapes and their history in Huillet and Straub’s politics of imagery. The artists of the exhibition will be in attendance on these days to speak about their work, as well as during the guided tour on Sunday, 17 September at 12 noon.
Recontre II takes place on 10 and 11 Nov 2017.