Tell It to the Stones

Tell It to the Stones

Akademie der Künste

Shooting of Too Early/Too Late (1980/81) in Egypt. Courtesy: Maggie Perlado.

September 8, 2017
Tell It to the Stones
The Work of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub
September 14–November 19, 2017
Opening: September 13, 7pm

The Akademie der Künste is dedicating an extensive two-month programme cycle to the oeuvre of Danièle Huillet (1936–2006) and Jean-Marie Straub (*1933). Tell It to the Stones – The Work of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub opens up new perspectives on the cinematic work of both filmmakers by placing the films in an interdisciplinary context: The two-month exhibition highlights their working method, relating it to current artistic positions. To talk about and debate the films had always been an integral part of the practice of Huillet/Straub. During the exhibition, multi-day Rencontres will invite the public to take up diverse ways of speaking and forms of debate. The second week of October highlights the references to the composer Arnold Schönberg which are of central importance for several films. The programme is rounded off and accompanied by a complete retrospective of the films—the first in Berlin since 1990.       

In a collaboration lasting almost 50 years, Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub created one of the most influential and at once most controversial works of modern cinema. In the 1960s, some saw in its unconventionality the beginning of a new German cinema, while others were appalled by the alleged lack of respect towards traditional cinema. 

The oeuvre of Huillet/Straub today encompasses almost 50 films which are, amongst others, based on materials by Böll, Kafka, Hölderlin, and Brecht. The work has been shaped by its discussion on and often also its conflict with the textual source. The films give the texts a new topicality, which, in turn, makes the present acquire new urgency; they not only transform and translate text, but also music (Bach, Schönberg), and painting (Cézanne), as well as clouds, stones, wind, light. With the films of Huillet/Straub, the cinema becomes a space where something happens and becomes present sensually and politically, making film a medium for fundamentally calling into question the present as well as the conventions of cinema and its commercialisation. This makes the films of Huillet/Straub highly topical, and the oeuvre, whose anachronisms had often been intensely polemicised, today turns out to be open, playful, and radically contemporary.  

The objective of the two-month-long exhibition is to make visible the work on the films which typically remains invisible. It bears witness to the traces of translation and mediation between an idea and its technical implementation, thereby inevitably placing particular emphasis on Danièle Huillet’s contribution to the collaborative work. The exhibition space is structured by Jean-Marie Straub’s film Kommunisten (2014), a six-part retrospective and compilation of the collaborative oeuvre. Numerous documents from various institutional and private collections introduce the creative processes, specific locations, and a wide network of colleagues, friends, and supporters. At the same time, the exhibition also reflects the contemporary relevance of the oeuvre. Six international contemporary artists have produced new works which take up, continue, annotate, and redirect the aesthetic and topographic journeys in Huillet/Straub’s oeuvre.  

A programme of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin, curated by Annett Busch and Tobias Hering. In cooperation with BELVA Film, and the Zeughauskino, Brotfabrik, and fsk cinemas. Funded by the Capital Cultural Fund, supported by ifa. Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen, Cineteca di Bologna, Österreichisches Filmmuseum, and University of Gothenburg - Academy of Music and Drama; held as part of the Berlin Art Week.

Contact: T +49 (0) 30 200 57-2000


Wednesday, September 13, 7pm, free admission
Welcoming address: Jeanine Meerapfel, President of the Akademie der Künste and Alexander Horwath, Director of the Austrian Film Museum
9pm: Opening film Von Heute auf Morgen (From Today Until Tomorrow, Huillet/Straub, 1996, 62 minutes), Introduction: Diedrich Diederichsen.

Rencontre 1—talks, lectures, film programme
Friday–Sunday, September 15–17

Arnold Schönberg Week
Saturday–Sunday, October 7–8       
The Moses Complex, workshop with Ute Holl on Moses und Aron (Moses and Aron, film and opera)

Wednesday, October 11
Refuse Collection by Ming Tsao, public rehearsal, Kammerensemble Neue Musik Berlin, conductor: Stefan Schreiber

Thursday, October 12  
Refuse Collection, premiere, concert + film

Saturday, October 14               
Refuse Collection, concert + film

Sunday, October 15              
Opening of the retrospective

Thursday, October 19–Sunday, November 5 
Complete chronological film retrospective Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub (cinemas Brotfabrik, Zeughauskino, and fsk)

Rencontre 2—talks, lectures, film programme
Friday–Saturday, November 10–11    

Saturday, November 11               
New Composers Collective / Astrid Ofner
premiere, music performance

Exhibition with works by:
Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub as well as Harald Bergmann (filmmaker), Renato Berta (cinematographer), Wilfried Böing (photographer), Robert Bramkamp (filmmaker), Rinaldo Censi (film historian), Pedro Costa (filmmaker), Harun Farocki (filmmaker), Luisa Greenfield (artist), Louis Henderson (artist), Mike Jarmon (filmmaker), Michael Klier (filmmaker), Jan Lemitz (photographer), Armin Linke (photographer), William Lubtchansky (cinematographer), Volker Pantenburg (film scholar), Maggie Perlado (photographer, filmmaker), Ekko von Schwichow (photographer), Oraib Toukan (artist), Barbara Ulrich (philosopher and film producer), Antonia Weiße (photographer), Ala Younis (artist)

Rencontres and film programme

Guests and contributors:
Manfred Bauschulte (writer and translator), Renato Berta (cinematographer), Manfred Blank (filmmaker), Giulio Bursi (curator), Barton Byg (film historian), Paolo Caffoni (publisher), Christophe Clavert (cinematographer), Marcus Coelen (psychoanalyst), Pedro Costa (filmmaker), Giovanna Daddi & Dario Marconcini (Teatro Comunale di Buti), Diedrich Diederichsen (cultural theorist), Ted Fendt (filmmaker), Nida Ghouse (curator), Michael Girke (film journalist, curator), Luisa Greenfield (artist), Louis Henderson (artist), Ute Holl (media scholar), Rembert Hüser (film scholar), Volko Kamensky (filmmaker), Peter Kammerer (sociologist and translator), Claudia Lenssen (journalist), Armin Linke (photographer), Mikhail Lylov (artist), Elke Marhöfer (artist), Markus Nechleba (film scholar), Peter Nestler (filmmaker), New Composers Collective (Andi Toma, Jan St. Werner, Michael Rauter, Matti Gajek) (musicians), Astrid Ofner (filmmaker), Patrick Primavesi (theatre scholar), Werner Rehm (actor), Jean-Claude Rousseau (filmmaker), Susanne Sachsse (actress), Wim Schlebaum (film scholar and philosopher), Florian Schneider (filmmaker, curator), Rudolf Thome (filmmaker), Oraib Toukan (artist), Ming Tsao (composer), Barbara Ulrich (philosopher and film producer), Ala Younis (artist)

Further information on the programme at

RSVP for Tell It to the Stones
Akademie der Künste
September 8, 2017

Thank you for your RSVP.

Akademie der Künste will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.