Fillip — News & Events

Next: Documentary Perspectives in Contemporary Art
May 19th, 2008 – May 26th, 2008

In recent years, films and video installations have sought to shed light on and capture social, cultural and political events, historic moments and private details in a permanent and educational way. In doing so, art focuses on the “testimonial” aspect, while taking on a position that reveals, points out, and makes determined comments. Documentary practice in contemporary art is characterized by an acute sense of reality, by the desire to remain entirely factual. It reveals how an artwork has been created. The following works by renowned European-based artists—rarely screened in a theatrical context—invite the spectator into an artistic universe that closely follows the creative method, or focuses on the relationship between art and reality. The selection focuses on underlying motivations, on the crucial issues at stake, and on the salient features of a documentary attitude. Curated by Bettina Steinbruegge and Tine Fischer for Hot Docs International Documentary Festival, Toronto.

Vancity Theatre
1181 Seymour Street
Vancouver BC, V6B 3M7 Canada


Drama Queens (Michael Elmgreen/Ingar Dragset, 42 min, 2007, Denmark/Sweden)
A Muenster theatre is the setting for a performance by the Superstars of Sculpture, such as Giacometti’s “Walking Man” and Jeff Koons’ “Rabbit.” As psychological dramas unfold on the bare stage, it becomes clear these sculpture superstars are fickle creatures.

Concrete Abstractions (Forms & Meanings) (Falke Pisano, 25 min, 2005-2007, Netherlands)
In videos and lecture performances, Pisano attempts to work out the “essence” of her models through the use of language and text constructions.

The Artist’s Song (Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, 4 min, 2007, Denmark)
Cuenca sings about (in)famous works which have influenced the concept of art; the video also deals with an artist’s dream of fame and immortality as an incentive.


Rodakis (Olaf Nicolai, 12 min, 2008, Germany)
The portrait of a person in the form of an architectural documentary. A house built during the end of the 19th century on the Greek island of Aegina becomes the screen for a narration allowing a ghostly absence to become the starting point for a biography.

Der Speigel (Keren Cytter, 4 min, 2007, Israel/Netherlands)
Cytter’s work analyzes the way in which mainstream films are constructed, the narrative devices and editing tricks they employ. In Der Spiegel, her characters refer to these devices, commenting on their own subtitles or congratulating each other on a smooth edit.

Time Lines (Runa Islam, 17 min, 2005, India/UK)
Time Lines focuses on three early 20th century structures in Barcelona: the once iconic cable car of Montjuic, now used primarily as a tourist excursion; and two rides in the antiquated Tibidado fairground—a plane that moves in a fixed circle overhead and a crane that rotates upwards to what was formerly the highest point in the city.

The Great Message (Omer Fast, 27min, 2007, Israel/Germany)
The borders of the documentary genre begin to melt when Fast links and manipulates collective imagery and the individual unconscious, presenting the overlapping and simultaneously contradictory narratives of four Flemish couples caught in a time loop.

The New Terrorism (Dani Gal, 11min, 2006, Israel/Germany)
“The New Terrorism” was an educational kit from the 1970s used to teach US high schoolers about the threat of terrorism. Gal taped the slide images and slowed the footage to match the length of the accompanying record, resulting in an unsynthesized presentation that makes the process of creating historical narratives evident.


On Translation-Transparency/Architecture Acoustique (Aleksander Komarov, 30 min, 2007, Russia/Germany)
Komarov translates and morphs images of glass façade architectural spaces—Berlin’s Bundestag and Rotterdam’s Van Nelle Factory—into a mesmerizing audio-visual experience, where images and meanings, and past and present, become layered.

Metropolis / Report from China (Clemens von Wedemeyer/Maya Schweizer, 42 min, 2007, Germany)
In 2004 von Wedemeyer and Schweizer travelled to China to research an adaptation of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. The result was not a remake, but an interpretive documentary, shot in Beijing and Shanghai.

Desniansky Raion (Cyprien Gaillard, 29 min, 2007, France)
Galliard’s video constantly alternates between order and chaos, from a pitched battle between two gangs to a grandiose show of fireworks on the facade of a housing block before it is torn down.


Here Is Always Somewhere Else: The Life of Bas Jan Ader (Rene Daadler, 70 min, 2006, Netherlands)
In 1975, landmark Dutch/Californian conceptual artist Bas Jan Ader disappeared at sea while attempting to cross the Atlantic Ocean in a tiny boat as part of his artwork In Search of the Miraculous. This film traces Ader’s life and work and evolves into an epic saga of the transformative powers of the ocean. Featuring the works of Tacita Dean, Rodney Graham, Marcel Broodthaers, Fiona Tan and many others.


The Head (Deimantas Narkevicius, 13 min, 2007, Lithuania)
Narkevičius was studying sculpture in Vilnius when the Velvet Revolution halted the genre of socialist realism. Within just a few days, almost all of the monuments from the Soviet era had been removed. The Head presents people’s reactions to the monuments, then and now.

Sand Quarry (Raphael Grisey, 6 min, 2006, France)
A group of friends trip into the forest to unearth a slumbering history. The video explores the publicly manifesting forms of remembering: it looks in an urban environment for traces of the historical events of left-wing resistance and their participants.

Rosa’s Letters—Telling a Story (Pia Rønicke, 44 min, 2006, Denmark)
Rönicke’s film is centred on the letters of Rosa Luxemburg, but rather than documenting a historical personality, she appropriates the letters in a deliberately subjective manner. The voice in the film is embodied in an investigator, who contemplates and acts out the scenario.

Sand Quarry (Raphael Grisey, 6 min, 2006, France)
A group of friends trip into the forest to unearth a slumbering history. The video explores the publicly manifesting forms of remembering: it looks in an urban environment for traces of the historical events of left-wing resistance and their participants.

Alles wird wieder gut (Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger, 20min, 2006, Switzerland)
Taking Lenin’s “Farewell Letter to the Swiss Workers” as its starting point, this video looks at the question of utopias today in a society that is witnessing a decline in solidarity and the rise in the power of the media and economic manipulation.

A CRIME AGAINST ART / May 23, 7:30

A Crime Against Art (Hila Peleg, 2007, Israel/UK/Germany)
A Crime Against Art is a recording of a trial staged at an art fair in Madrid in February 2007. Inspired by the mock trials organized by André Breton, this award-winning video playfully raises a number of polemical issues in the world of contemporary art: collusion with the “new bourgeoisie,” instrumentalization of art and its institutions, the future possibility of artistic agency and other pertinent topics.

JEFF WALL: RETROSPECTIVE / May 19, 7:30; May 23, 9:30

Jeff Wall: Retrospective (Michael Blackwood, 58 min, 2007, USA)
Jeff Wall is widely recognized as one of the most adventurous and inventive artists working anywhere in any medium. His current touring retrospective debuted at the Museum of Modern Art and surveyed his photo-based work from the late 1970s to the present. Peter Galassi, co-curator of the exhibition and Chief Curator in MoMa’s Department of Photography, speaks with Wall about the artist's influences and working process as they tour the exhibition.


Jeanne Faust’s film and photographic works are examinations of authenticity, all playing with our patterns of expectation, playing on our familiarity with stories told by film images. Her small-scale, very meticulously portrayed stories are not really stories at all—they only become so through what we anticipate as viewers. Each film features a small about-turn: The interviewed film star reverses the roles and starts interrogating the interviewer, the hands onscreen follow the instructions we hear off screen, or the action is shown twice from different angles. Asking people to act out their actions in front of the camera makes it clear just how great our desire to continue to believe that what the camera records is “real.”

Rodeo (Jeanne Faust, 9 min, 1998, Germany)
In her debut, Faust shows how our usual way of looking at film can serve to intensify reality. Two young men have a boring job counting passers-by on a remote road. How they speak (and stay silent), their description of an exciting adventure that will probably never take place, even the way in which one of them orders drinks in a bar, seem to bring a life as a film hero within reach.

My Own Private Satellite (Jeanne Faust and Jörn Zehe, 9 min, 2001, Germany)
In a soulless suburb, the actors—real area inhabitants—turn their circles. They play on the grass, they cycle on the smart paths, they steal a car. Originally intended as a loop, the film provides a view of a routine that has lost all function.

Interview (Jeanne Faust, 9 min, 2002, Germany)
Faust interviews Lou Castel, the aging star of films by Garrel and Fassbinder. Is this a conversation or are they both playing a role—she the insistent female interviewer and he the grumpy old star on the wane? The extremely uneasy conversation is reminiscent of our need for authenticity and “real” answers.

Sonst wer wie Du (Jeanne Faust and Jörn Zehe, 9 min, 2003, Germany)
A field, a town—in the distance, mountains. In this landscape, a boy stands working in the field. He is addressed by someone offscreen, where the spectator is. What looks like an innocent conversation soon turns into an uneasy cat and mouse game, in which it is no longer clear whether these two really are strangers.

The Mansion (Jeanne Faust, 10 min, 2004, Germany)
A sound recording studio. It is not clear immediately whether the four characters (Lou Castel, father; Sandro Mabellini, son; Bill Parton and Jeff Turk, gangsters) are there to dub a script or to plan something nefarious. Since the setting hardly offers any possibility for drawing conclusions, their relationships are manifested through language alone. The rhythm of the dialogue, the way a single theme is revolved around, varied and reiterated is echoed in the subsequent musical composition, a canon.

Sonst wer wie Du (Jeanne Faust and Jörn Zehe, 9 min, 2003, Germany)
A field, a town—in the distance, mountains. In this landscape, a boy stands working in the field. He is addressed by someone offscreen, where the spectator is. What looks like an innocent conversation soon turns into an uneasy cat and mouse game, in which it is no longer clear whether these two really are strangers.

IV (Jeanne Faust, 9 min, 2005, Germany)
The woman on screen does her best to describe a film still from Olivier Assayas’ Irma Vep as objectively and completely as possible. Our observation, we discover, is so much more complex and more adequate than language can describe. And yet language is our only instrument to communicate what we see.

Repeter alba negra (Jeanne Faust and Jörn Zehe, 7 min, 2006, Germany)
A shell game has to be practised before it can be used to seduce tourists. Once again Faust uses real people who play out their daily routine in front of the camera, evoking a double game with reality.

Excuse me Brother (Jeanne Faust, 7 min, 2006, Germany)
On a work bench, a praying mantis is being prepared by a not very experienced taxidermist. A precious task, with instructions being handed over from offscreen by a more experienced and obviously very trusted person. Faust: “The everyday nature of the unravelling dialogue contrasts with the loaded pictures.”


Lovely Andrea (Hito Steyerl, 30 min, 2007, Austria)
In Tokyo, Steyerl looks for a 1987 photo series for which she posed as a “rope bondage” model. Inquiries with experts and authorities in the bondage arts lead to an examination of how the topic of bondage is conveyed by the media.

Je suis une bombe (Elodie Pong, 6 min, 2006, Switzerland)
A figure in a panda bear costume performs an erotic pole dance. On removing the panda’s head, a woman appears and steps up to the camera to deliver her own praises of a complex image of woman. The body becomes the carrier of communication.

Cock Fight Song (Lilibeth Cuenca Rasmussen, 3 min, 2007, Denmark)
Cuenca twists the documentary genre with her aesthetic intention, using split-screen and repetition. Her interest lies in socio-cultural relations, where she examines identity, gender and socio-cultural relations connected to different communities.

Time Flies (Frédéric Moser & Philippe Schwinger, 4 min, 2006, Switzerland)
A compressed portrait of a woman based on Monica Lewinsky who, having hosted a TV show, designed a handbag collection, and searched for God, is now reduced to walking around an empty theatre and reflecting on her situation.

Perfect/Growing Older (Dis)gracefully (Esra Ersen, 22 min, 2006, Turkey)
Acting as a kind of urban planner, transferring her methods from city to person, Ersen performs a makeover on a long standing resident of Liverpool, a city being radically transformed in the run-up to being the European cultural capital.

Event History
  1. Offprint London 2024
  2. Seattle Art Book Fair 2024
  3. Ghent Art Book Fair 2024
  4. New York Art Book Fair 2024
  5. Multiple Formats Art Book Fair & Symposium 2024
  6. Reading Group: A Pragmatic Response to Real Circumstances with Anne Focke and Rhiannon Vogl
  7. Means of Production: Indigenous Patterns, Forms, and Letters with Kathleen and Christopher Sleboda
  1. Tokyo Art Book Fair 2023
  2. Offprint Paris Art Book Fair 2023
  3. Volume 6 Montréal Art Book Fair
  4. LA Art Book Fair 2023
  5. San Francisco Art Book Fair 2023
  6. Post-Capitalist Architecture TV
  7. Otis MFA Graphic Design Art Book Fair
  8. Acid-Free LA Art Book Market
  9. Joar Nango & David Thomas in Dialogue: Supplement 7 at the Venice Biennale of Architecture
  10. Offprint London Art Book Fair 2023
  11. Seattle Art Book Fair
  12. Multiple Formats: Contemporary Art Book Symposium & Fair
  13. Print Pomona Art Book Fair
  14. Reading Group: Can one move along a number line? With Brynn McNab
  1. Offprint Paris
  2. Tokyo Art Book Fair
  3. ACID-FREE Video Catalogue
  4. Two Hot Horses at the New York Art Book Fair
  5. Andrea Fraser and Helmut Draxler: In Dialogue
  6. Performance by Guillermo Galindo and Raven Chacon
  7. Volume Montréal
  8. Anthrozoology: Cats & Dogs
  9. Prairie Art Book Fair
  10. LIT LIT (The Little Literary Fair)
  11. San Francisco Art Book Fair
  12. Otis MFA Graphic Design Arts Book Fair
  13. The Unarius Academy of Science
  14. The Age of Unarius
  15. In Dialogue: Andrea Fraser and Pope.L
  16. Launch — S T R A Y . W O R L D
  17. E.S.P. — Parallel Transmissions
  18. Now Available: Services Working Group
  1. Now Available: Institutions by Artists: Volume Two
  2. Conversation — On Gaslight
  3. Vancouver Art Book Fair
  4. E.S.P. — Anthrozoology
  5. Means of Production: The Employee with Joshua Schwebel
  6. Makeready: What Makes a Book a Book?
  7. Shannon Ebner: Stray World
  8. Project Series: Ian Wilson
  9. The Services Working Group
  1. Moyra Davey: Two Hot Horses
  2. Kathleen Ritter: Gaslight
  3. Penny Slinger: Exorcisms
  4. E.S.P.: New Mineral Collective
  5. Means of Production: Sound, Silence, and Process with Guillermo Galindo & Raven Chacon
  6. Online Screening: Postmodern Times
  7. Means of Production: Community and the Work of Unworking with Am Johal
  1. Means of Production: (In)consequential Thinking with Jacquelyn Zong-Li Ross
  2. E.S.P.: BeDevil
  3. Launch: Supplement 5: Mr. Peanut Summit
  4. E.S.P.: Ecologies
  5. Reading Group: Rebecca La Marre in Conversation with Tiziana La Melia
  6. Reading Group: The Culture Game with Patrick Cruz
  7. David Reinfurt: A *New* Program for Graphic Design
  8. E.S.P.: Visible Language Workshop
  9. Means of Production: Value Systems with Sarah Williams
  10. Stagelessness with Grupa o.k.
  11. E.S.P.: Visual Fields
  1. Means of Production: On the Difficult with Jaclyn Bruneau
  2. Means of Production: Living as an Artist with Eli Bornowsky
  3. Means of Production: W.A.G.E. with Andrea Fraser
  4. Kandis WIlliams: Reproduction is Not a Metaphor
  5. Andrea Fraser: Museums, Money and Politics
  6. Means of Production: How to Make a Book with Steidl
  7. Means of Production: Photography as Tool with Winfried Heininger
  8. Listening Group: VWAM
  9. Means of Production: Research with Mercedes Eng
  10. Means of Production: Criticism with Steffanie Ling
  11. Reading Group: A History of Resistance with Grace Ndiritu
  12. Means of Production: Printing with Brick Press
  13. Reading Group: On Kathy Acker
  14. Chris Kraus on Kathy Acker
  1. Reading Group: Nathan Crompton on Utopias
  2. Reading Group: Antonia Pinter
  3. Listening Group: The Red Krayola
  4. Supplement Launch: Berlin
  5. V-Girls: The Question of Manet's Olympia
  6. Hotel Theory Reader: Vancouver Launch
  1. Reading Group: Zanna Gilbert
  2. Mr. Peanut Summit
  3. Reading Group: Grant Arnold
  4. Reading Group: Martine Syms
  1. John C. Welchman: Joseph Kosuth's The Second Investigation in Vancouver
  2. SWARM XVI: Fillip, Punk 'til You Punk
  3. Eternal Network
  1. Christopher Régimbal on Institutions by Artists
  2. Fillip Office Open House!
  3. Fillip 19 Launch and Screening
  4. Screening: The Hart of London
  5. Triple Canopy
  1. Slide Shows at X Marks the Bökship
  2. Institutions by Arists Launch at Et al.
  3. Intangible Economies at Artists Space
  1. Institutions by Artists
  2. Institutions by Artists: Print Centre
  3. Intangible Economies at Art Berlin Contemporary
  4. Sumi Ink Club
  5. Grouper: Sleep
  6. Robert Ashley Speaking Thru Will Holder
  7. Fillip 16: Berlin Launch
  8. Fillip 16: Toronto Launch
  9. Pa/per View Art Book Fair
  10. It's a Book, It's a Stage, It's a Public Place
  11. Destroy All Monsters Screening
  12. Fillip at ARCO Experts Forum
  1. Intangible Economies
  2. Quiz Night
  3. David Horvitz: Room 129
  4. Recent Publications
  5. Of Times Recent and Distant
  6. Secondary Information: The Persistence and Absence of Criticism
  1. The AAAARG Library
  2. Everything is Dangerous
  3. Fillip 12 Now Available
  4. Unter dem Motto
  5. International Chilliwack Biennial
  6. Motto Storefront: Ooga Booga
  7. Motto Storefront: Working Format
  8. Motto Storefront: Metahaven
  9. Motto Storefront: Oscar Tuazon
  10. Motto Storefront: Andjeas Ejiksson
  11. Motto Storefront: Avalanche Launch and Screening
  12. Motto Storefront: Rob Giampietro
  13. Motto Storefront: Stuart Bailey
  14. Motto Storefront
  15. John C. Welchman on Paul McCarthy’s Pirate Project
  16. David Horvitz Artist Talk
  17. Ryan Trecartin: Screening and Artist Talk
  18. Mark Manders: Window with Fake Newspapers and Traducing Ruddle
  19. Getting Something Into One's Head
  20. Fillip Review Panel: Vancouver Art Gallery’s Offsite, Anne Truitt, and Expanded Literary Practices
  1. Autogestion Book Launch
  2. Antonia Hirsch at Space, London
  3. Silvia Kolbowski at Whitechapel Gallery
  4. Fillip Library and Reading Room Launch
  5. Fillip Summer Sale
  6. Corinn Gerber of Passenger Books
  7. Stockholm and Berlin Launches
  8. David Horvitz of ASDF
  9. Montréal Launch and Collaboration
  10. Issue Nine Vancouver Launch
  11. Judgment and Contemporary Art Criticism
  12. Fillip Review Panel: February 2009
  1. Vancouver Launch of Two Artist Multiples
  2. The Apartment Inhabits the Fillip Studio
  3. Nick Thurston of Information as Material
  4. Rotterdam Dialogues: The Critics
  5. Fillip Review Panel: October 2008
  6. Stuart Bailey of Dexter Sinister
  7. Next: Documentary Perspectives in Contemporary Art
  8. Paul Chan Screening
  9. Issue Seven Vancouver Launch & Talk
  10. 22nd KIOSK Exhibition in Rennes
  1. Fillip at castillo/corrales, Paris
  2. Fillip at the New York Art Book Fair
  3. LA Launch and Talk
  4. A History of Tokyo Art Speak
  5. Issue Five Vancouver Launch
  1. New York Art Book Fair
  2. Word on the Street
  3. The Invisible Reading Room
  4. Kiosk: Modes of Multiplication
  1. Fillip Issue 1 Launch
Folio EOut Now