Tue17 Sep

Happy Hour "A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures"
Elske Rosenfeld

Elske Rosenfeld works in various formats on the history of dissidence in Eastern Europe and on the revolutions of 1989/90. Her ongoing project “A Vocabulary of Revolutionary Gestures” uses materials from 1989/90 and recent global protests and uprisings to explore how political events manifest and inscribe themselves in the bodies of their protagonists. The works of the series are centered around specific gestures – circling, standing still, repeating, interrupting – that serve as both content and methodical guidance of her investigation.

“A bit of a Complex Situation” (2-channel video, 2014) is an intervention in a recording of the first meeting of the Central Round Table of the GDR [German Democratic Republic/ East Germany] on December 7, 1989. In the scene, filmed by filmmaker and opposition member Klaus Freymuth, proceedings are interrupted by the sounds of a demonstration approaching outside. For ten minutes, members of the new movements and state representatives struggle to agree on a response. Rosenfeld amplifies and repeats movements, gestures, sounds, marking and intensifying the breaks and continuities between inside and outside, language and body, representation, and embodiment.

“Versuche / Framed” (1-channel-video, 2018) is based on video sketches by filmmaker Klaus Freymuth for an election spot for “Bündnis 90” [Alliance 90] – an alliance of some of the new groups from the Round Table. Freymuth positions and films two protagonists of the Round Table as they view his recording of one of these meetings, one year on. In her edit, Rosenfeld plays with the different filmic and corresponding temporal frames, drawing attention to the changing contexts in which political events are given meaning. In all of these nested frames, bodies come to the fore, as language meets its limits.

Related Project

Elske Rosenfeld

Elske Rosenfeld

Elske Rosenfeld, born in Halle/Saale, lives in Berlin, works in different media and formats. Her primary focus and material are the histories of state socialism and its dissidences, and the revolution of 1989/90.

Her works have been featured in international exhibitions, among others at f/stop Leipzig (2018), Gorki Herbstsalon III (2017), mumok kino, Vienna (2016), steirischer herbst festival, Graz (2015), Devi Art Foundation, Delhi (2013) and Former West, Utrecht (2010). Her texts have been published in/on eipcp.net, Reviews in Cultural Theory, Springerin – Hefte für Gegenwartskunst, and other publications; she recently began blogging on www.dissidencies.net.