May 22, 2020 - International Short Film Festival Oberhausen - From My Window / From Your Window
May 22, 2020

International Short Film Festival Oberhausen / e-flux

John Smith, Dirty Pictures (clip), 2007.

From My Window / From Your Window
Film #3, Response #3

e-flux and the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen are pleased to present John Smith, Dirty Pictures (2007) and Nicolas Wackerbarth's Vier Wände (Four Walls; 2020), respectively the third film and response in the joint series From My Window / From Your Window.

John Smith, Dirty Pictures
Palestine, 2007 
14:20 minutes

“To the question of how one travels and collects images without objectifying, John Smith answers by shooting the generic in place of the exotic. In Dirty Pictures, an Englishman travels to Palestine but instead of showing us the long lines at the checkpoints, the military artillery on display or the unbearable poverty inflicted on the general population, he elects to shoot the familiar interior of two common hotel rooms. But nothing is ever entirely banal in the West Bank, or so it seems. As the wind from the window of his room hits the ceiling, the tiles start moving up and down. Off-camera, Smith explains that this newly renovated hotel reopened recently after being requisitioned by the Israeli army in 2000 at the start of the second Intifada because of its strategic location on top of a hill. The surreal movement of the tiles becomes a poetic reminder of the building’s haunted past.” Frédéric Moffet, curator’s statement, “I don’t want to tell you who I am,” Cinéma Parallèle, Montreal, 2008

John Smith was born in Walthamstow, London in 1952 and was an active member of the London Filmmakers Co-op. Inspired in his formative years by conceptual art and structural film, but also fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word, he has developed an extensive body of work that subverts the perceived boundaries between documentary and fiction, representation and abstraction. Since 1972 Smith has made over 60 film, video, and installation works that have been shown in independent cinemas, art galleries, and on television around the world and awarded major prizes at many international film festivals.

Nicolas Wackerbarth, Vier Wände (Four Walls)
Germany, 2020
2:12 minutes

Berlin, April 21, 2020.
During times of social distancing, I encounter the unpredictable in memory rather than in public space.

Nicolas Wackerbarthis a filmmaker, author, and editor of the film magazine Revolver. His feature and short films were shown at festivals around the world and include Halbe Stunden (2007), Unten Mitte Kinn (2011), Halbschatten (2013), and the highly acclaimed Casting (2017). Wackerbarth teaches at art and film schools (HFBK Hamburg, HFF Munich, DFFB Berlin, School of New Cinema St. Petersburg). He publishes texts about film and regularly hosts the film talk series Revolver Live! at the Volksbühne Berlin.

About the series
Organized by e-flux and the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, this joint screening series is inspired by a film by Józef Robakowski titled Z mojego okna (From My Window), made in Łodż, Poland over a 20-year period from 1978 to 1999, as part of a project that Robakowski called My Very Own Cinema: “what I work on when nothing is working out.”
The series will present a short film every week—all of them freely available online—which started with Robakowski’s film and has since featured Marguerite Duras' Les mains négatives (Negative Hands). Alongside the films, we have asked artists and filmmakers to contribute a brief video-letter or video statement to this project: a small window into their current situation, and into how they are living through this moment. It is our hope that this collective record of the present will help us imagine a future that we want to live in. Responses have so far featured Emily Jacir’s 24 marzo (dalla mia finestra) (From My Window), and Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige's A Letter to Marguerite, with new responses presented every week or two.

The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is the oldest and most prestigious festival of its kind, founded in 1954.

e-flux is an online publishing platform and think tank, founded in 1999.

For more information contact

International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Share - From My Window / From Your Window
  • Share
Click to subscribe to e-flux and be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements
Subscribe to e-flux
Be the first to receive the latest news on international exhibitions and all e-flux related announcements.
Subscribe to architecture
Explore the most recent content from e-flux architecture and urbanism
Subscribe to e-flux programs
Keep up-to-date on all upcoming talks, screenings, and exhibitions at e-flux in New York