Kirsi Liimatainen

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Comrade where are you today (documentary film, 2014), screenshot

 

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Comrade where are you today (documentary film, 2014), screenshot

 

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Comrade where are you today (documentary film, 2014), screenshot

 

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Comrade where are you today (documentary film, 2014), screenshot

 

In 1988 Kirsi Marie Liimatainen leaves the political squatting movement of her hometown Tampere in Finland and heads for the GDR. She and her fellow students were invited to East Berlin to study Marxist-Leninist theory for one year at the International Youth Academy Wilhelm Pieck. In the summer of 1989 the course ends and the students spread out over the entire world. A few months later the Berlin Wall falls… The documentary tells a story about the past, when dreams of a better world still seemed possible, about the present, where political visions look like having come to an end and about a future that´s uncertain to all of us. (press text)

 

Ad Reinhardt

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Red Painting, 1952 (oil on canvas, 275 x 102 cm)

It is not undisputed wether Reinhardt would have called himself a communist or not, and if he has been a member of the communist party in the US. However, the FBI found it worth to monitor him for being involved with illustrations and editorial work for radical leftist magazines in the 1950s. Art Historian Annika Marie suggests in her 1996 dissertation, that Reinhardt took anti-Stalinist, Trotzkist positions. Reinhardt is known for his minimalism in painting.

 

Jeronimo Voss

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Phantasmagorical Horizon (2013), single channel video, 15:00 min

 

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Phantasmagorical Horizon (2013), single channel video, 15:00 min

 

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Phantasmagorical Horizon (2013), single channel video, 15:00 min

 

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Phantasmagorical Horizon (2013), single channel video, 15:00 min

 
Phantasmagorical Horizon (2013) by Jeronimo Voss refers to the Laterna Magica projections onto smoke or moving clothes. To be found at fairs after the french revolution these projections were featuring ghostly imagery of revolutionaries such as Danton, Marat or Robespierre. Voss’ movie starts out with an interview about the phantasmagorical theatre of the 18th century to further develop into a montage of todays glass and transparent architecture, that represents post-modern design as an expression of late-capitalism.

 

Allan Sekula

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The Forgotten Space, Documentary, 112 min, 2010 with Noel Burch (film still)

 

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The Forgotten Space, (photography)

 

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The Forgotten Space, Documentary, 112 min, 2010 with Noel Burch (film still)

 

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The Forgotten Space, (photography)

Allan Sekula (1951–2013) is one of the few openly Marxist American artists. In his photographic and film work he researched the policies of depicting class and class struggle, labour and exploitation and the distribution of commodities. From that point is makes sense that he and his long-term collaborator Noel Burch have created a documentary (but wait, no… it is not a documentary) film The Forgotten Space to track the trans-national logistics and production logics of globalized capitalism as well as work force, and the worker’s individual stories, behind it. Sekula and Burch thus try to intertwine the depiction of two abstract entities that usually resist depiction – work and capital.

 

 

 

 

 

The Buried Alive Group

 

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Animation Chant for a Hybrid, featuring Igor Krutogolov and Lucy Dubinchik, (Screenshot) 2008

 

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Animation Chant for a Hybrid, featuring Igor Krutogolov and Lucy Dubinchik, (Screenshot) 2008

 

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Animation Chant for a Little Iron, featuring Igor Krutogolov and Lucy Dubinchik, (Screenshot) 2009

 

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Animation Chant for a Little Iron, featuring Igor Krutogolov and Lucy Dubinchik, (Screenshot) 2009

 

I can not help myself but interpret The Buried Alive Group’s Animation Chants as a comment on commodity fetishism. And I have to admit that never before I have seen such a humorous but pinpointed artistic reflection on how (most of) our thinking is structured through the exchange of commodities and money. While the Hybrid Chant is more of a shamanic group driven kind, in Animation Chant for a Little Iron we see two people at their kitchen desk singing a partly modernist chant for the iron before them. In the words of The Buried Alive Group:

“Your wire is your handsome tail, finely dotted white on black, But it is also your leash,
an umbilical chord, tying you to the wall and to your energy supply.
Your metallic nose is pointed and can be a mighty weapon, able skulls to crack
May it soon succeed to to smell, to smile, and lead you forward, upwards, to the sky!

Wake up, little iron
Live and Love, little iron
Move about little iron,
Please try, little iron.”

 

 

 

 

 

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