Friday, 9 September 2016, 24:00 | midnight

#77: Eva Meyer and Eran Schaerf

Eran Schaerf (b. 1962 in Tel Aviv-Jaffa, Israel) is an artist with an academic background in architecture, urban planning and photography. Eva Meyer (b. 1950 in Freiburg, Germany) is a philosopher and writer. They collaborate on films since 1997. Their practice focuses on architectures of discourse in the intersection of fashion, mass media, language and the built environment and interweaves historical and contemporary political narratives. Their work has been shown widely in exhibitions such as the 54th Venice Biennale (2011), Skulptur Projekte Münster (2007), and Manifesta 2 in Luxemburg (1998). In 2013 Schaerf was awarded with the Käthe Kollwitz Prize of the Akademie der Künste, Berlin.

Eva Meyer and Eran Schaerf show three films:

Record: I Love You, 1999, 8:54 min
A couple, a man and a woman, dancing a tango. The man was holding a normal video camera within a sophisticated system made up of nothing but mirrors and complicated high-tech structures in such a way that the couple were sometimes visible and sometimes hidden, so that the dance itself was controlling the camera, making it very mobile and rhythmical in its movements. Nevertheless, the effect is never out of focus or crude, it is always a clear, perfect picture, probably filmed using auto focus. The image was controlled by the rhythm of the dance, but the dance itself remained hidden, because for once it was a silent video without any soundtrack at all. We wished we could hear the music that went with it all the time we were watching this reflected dance. And the very fact that it was not there made the music all the more powerful as something you wished for. […] A masterpiece about dancing. – Friedrich Kittler, CTRL [SPACE], international media art award 2001

My Memory is Watching Me, 2008/2016, 28:10 min
The press reports a speech by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, who – following the burning of a house inhabited by Turks in Cologne – declares assimilation a crime against humanity. For the sexual scientist Magnus Hirschfeld, however, assimilation is mimicry – the medium of change and of ambivalent sex. It casts a haunting silhouette upon the media coverage of the destruction of Hirschfeld’s Institute for Sexual Research during the 1933 book burning in Berlin, both the Nazi propaganda and the writings and images of the institute. My Memory is Watching Me traverses the interrelation between memory and the images and thoughts whereby reality is produced and passed on. Between materiality and mediality the film explores differentiation as our link to diversity, which alone can counter destructive homogenization.

Pro Testing, 2010, 11:45 min
Pro Testing shows actors and extras engaging with the dialectic of event and pseudo-event. [The film] stresses that today the event is, paradoxically, best viewed as a mutated pseudo-event. The pseudo-event delineates an arena in which an event might occur. This, however, obviously requires an intervention of some sort. Can the acting that goes into the pseudo-event become a political act, a momentary affirmation of autonomy? – Sven Lütticken, History in Motion

Indeed it is this problematic of ‘taking a position’ which the film explores and it does so from many different sides at once. This is one sense in which Pro Testing becomes ‘emblematic’ of the complexity of a political situation from which no actor or observer can easily extract him- or herself. — Eric de Bruyn, Allegorie