Berlinale 2010: Forum Expanded

Forum Expanded, which explores the intersections between film and other arts, remains a programme on the move. Looking at the selection of more than 40 films, installations and performances from 20 countries reveals that this year’s Forum Expanded will be making room for new perspectives, both artistically and geopolitically.

"Cinema City", for example, an installation project initiated by Indian filmmaker, curator and activist Madhusree Dutta will be on display in several cinema foyers, exploring questions about the relationship between urban space and cinema. The omnibus film Embargo Project by young filmmakers from North America, New Zealand and Australia addresses the marginalization of indigenous artists; there will also be a panel discussion devoted to the conditions of artistic practice in today’s Iran.

With a thematic emphasis on the return of “structural cinema” in contemporary artistic and curatorial practice, Forum Expanded gives the moving image back its temporality. An exhibition of the early films of Heinz Emigholz, as well as a number of works in the cinema and in exhibition spaces employ contemplation as a means of countering the popular assumption that audiences have a limited attention span.

Concentrating on the relationship between time and space can turn the cinema into a stage. This is not only reflected in the practice of a luminary of structural film such as James Benning, who will be presenting a new work as a performance, but also in the engagement of performance artists with the medium of film. Consequently Forum Expanded will, for the first time this year, also be taking place in the theatre. We are particularly looking forward to Christoph Schlingensief presenting and providing a commentary for the silent film L’Inferno (Italy, 1911) at HAU – Hebbel Theater am Ufer.

A historical discovery in the programme is Flug durch die Nacht (Flight Through the Night, Federal Republic of Germany, 1980), a film by Ilona Baltrusch, then a German Film and Television Academy (DFFB) student. Two people wander through a highly staged West Berlin, their philosophical conversation looping endlessly and capturing the apocalyptic atmosphere typical of the 80s. At the same time, the film’s playful defiance of film and theatre conventions gives it a very contemporary feel.

The 2010 Forum Expanded programme will be presented at the Arsenal cinema in the Filmhaus, the Akademie der Künste on Hanseatenweg, the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart, the House of World Cultures (in cooperation with the transmediale), the Temporäre Kunsthalle (in cooperation with the artist Phil Collins), the HAU – Hebbel am Ufer, the DAAD Gallery, the Barbara Weiss and Tanya Leighton galleries, as well as the foyers of the Berlinale cinemas Delphi and CineStar Cubix at Alexanderplatz.

Forum Expanded
was curated this year by Stefanie Schulte Strathaus together with Anselm Franke, Nanna Heidenreich and Bettina Steinbrügge. Further information on the programme as well as a list of all the participating artists will be announced in a second press release.

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