Tell It to the Stones. The Work of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub
Sounds of Resistance: Huillet – Straub – Schönberg
When Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub were invited to present some of their films at the Akademie der Künste in December 1999, the works they showed included their three “Schönberg films”, and they reminded the institution of its own history: Arnold Schönberg’s expulsion from the Akademie was the beginning of his exile in 1933. Alongside Bach, Pavese, Hölderlin, Brecht, and others, Schönberg belonged to those in whose work Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub found the resistance they were seeking for work on a film. By interacting with Schönberg’s composition style as well as his steadfastness, which made the politically conservative Schönberg into a radical innovator of music, they formulated central aspects of their own work. In her book, The Moses Complex (2014, English 2017), media theorist Ute Holl discusses the thorough permeation of musical composition, cinematic construction, and the scope of political possibilities, which she finds in Huillet/Straub’s second Schönberg film, Moses and Aaron (1974). The screening of this film on 7th October is framed by a two-day workshop with Ute Holl and guests (7th and 8th October).
On 9th October, the Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin will settle into the studio of the Akademie der Künste to rehearse a reworking of Arnold Schönberg’s Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene, which the composer Ming Tsao specially composed for this project under the title Refuse Collection. He takes up the challenge which Huillet and Straub also faced when they chose this short piece as the basis for their first Schönberg film. “Imminent danger, fear, catastrophe” reads Schönberg’s terse directing instruction for this musical score. The film Introduction to Arnold Schoenberg‘s ‘Accompaniment to a Cinematographic Scene’ (1972) becomes part of a multilayered performance, which takes its title from a poem by J. H. Prynne: “Refuse Collection” – garbage collection, yet at once also the retrieval of what has been discarded, ignored, and which resists the forces of homogenisation. Before this experiment premieres on 12th October, it can be viewed in a public rehearsal on 11th October. The third Schönberg film, From Today Until Tomorrow (1996), can be seen at the opening of the exhibition on 13th September, with an introductory lecture by the cultural theorist Diedrich Diederichsen.
For more detailed information on the Arnold Schönberg week, please visit huilletstraub-berlin.net.