Screening of Straub-Huillet’s Class Relations, with a talk by Annett Busch

Screening of Straub-Huillet’s Class Relations, with a talk by Annett Busch

Aesthetics of Resistance

Straub-Huillet and Contemporary Moving-Image Art

Screening of Straub-Huillet’s Class Relations, with a talk by Annett Busch

Admission starts at $5

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Date
February 21, 2023, 7pm
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172 Classon Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205
USA

Join us at e-flux Screening Room on Tuesday, February 21 at 7pm for a screening of Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub’s Class Relations (1983, 130 minutes), preceded by a talk by writer and curator Annett Busch.

The evening constitutes the opening event of “Communities, Labor, and Class Relations,” the third chapter of the four-part series Aesthetics of Resistance: Straub-Huillet and Contemporary Moving-Image Art taking place at e-flux Screening Room in monthly chapters between December 2022 and March 2023. Read more on the series here.

Aesthetics of Resistance: Straub-Huillet and Contemporary Moving-Image Art is produced and organized by e-flux; with the support of the German Film Office, an initiative of the Goethe-Institut and German Films. 

Straub-Huillet, Class Relations (1983, 130 minutes)
Straub-Huillet’s brilliant distillation of Franz Kafka’s incomplete first novel Amerika is perhaps the most authentically German treatment of Kafka ever made. An ecstatic and haunted fever-induced dream of the United States—the place where Kafka longed to disappear, if only in his imagination—Amerika is told from the perspective of a young German immigrant who encounters a strange new world, with its violent lies and quixotic optimism, like a modern-day Parsifal. Straub and Huillet took pains to render the German mannerisms and dialect of Kafka’s novel faithfully, and shot their film almost entirely in the port city of Hamburg. But their depiction of injustice and exploitation transcends historical specificity; as Straub said in 1984, “Kafka, for us, is the only major poet of industrial civilization, I mean, a civilization where people depend on their work to survive.”

For more information, contact program@e-flux.com.

Accessibility            
–Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue. 
–For elevator access, please RSVP to program@e-flux.com. The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space.          
–e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the Screening Room and this bathroom.

Category
Film, Literature, Labor & Work
Subject
Class, USA, Germany, Industrialization
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Aesthetics of Resistance: Straub-Huillet and Contemporary Moving-Image Art

Annett Busch is a curator, writer, and translator and is currently teaching at the Trondheim Academy of Fine Art / NTNU. She was an editor at the pop-culture magazine Spex (1997-2002), and has co-edited the book Ousmane Sembène: Interviews (University Press of Mississippi, 2008). She co-curated (with Florian Schneider) Of a people who are missing, an exhibition and ciné-club on films by Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub in Extra City Kunsthal, Antwerp (2009). Together with Anselm Franke, she co-curated the exhibition After Year Zero at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt – HKW, Berlin (2013) and an extended version at the Museum of Modern Art Warsaw (2015). Her focus has also been on audacious female artists, administrators, philosophers, and fighters, co-developing Women on Aeroplanes (since 2017, with MH Gutberlet, Magda Lipska, and The Otolith Collective), and co-editing the accompanying Inflight Magazine. She is co-curator (together with Tobias Herring) of the 2017 retrospective project on Straub-Huillet’s work titled Tell it to the Stones, and co-editor of the eponymous book published by Sternberg Press in 2021.

For over four decades, the films of Danièle Huillet (1936–2006) and Jean-Marie Straub (1933-2022) have been woven into the history of modern cinema as a continuous thread. While both were French, they worked mostly in Germany and Italy, and made two dozen films between 1963 and 2006. Their films, often adapted from theatrical or literary works, are distinguished by their deliberate use of Brechtian distancing techniques and strong Marxist political overtones. Aesthetically their work has been described as austere with minimal camera movements, long takes, simple, stark settings and restrained acting performances. Rare documents of aesthetic and political resistance to the world’s conditions, their works are characteristic of a great lyrical beauty and radical social formulas. when regarded today, Huillet and Straub’s oeuvre is an always fresh, exciting, and inimitable succession of films on history, painting, nature, politics, music, language, bodies, rhythms, and forms.

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