22 September 2012
Peckham Artist Moving Image Festival, London
Inheritance Projects will present Margareta Kern’s film GUESTures/GOSTlkulacije (2011) as part of Peckham Artist Moving Image. The double-screen projection will be followed by a Q&A with the artist and Laura Guy.
Double-screen HD video, 33 minutes, Margareta Kern 2011
GUESTures / GOSTIkulacije, is part of a series of works that stem from artist’s long-term ethnographic, archival and historical research and interviews with the migrant worker women in Berlin, who were part of an organised mass labour migration, from the socialist Yugoslavia to West-Germany, in the late 1960s. Inspired by the principles of the verbatim theatre and its political potential, the video GUESTures | GOSTIkulacije was filmed with actress Adna Sablyich in artist’s studio in London, basing her performance on audio-recordings of conversations between migrant workers and the artist. The resulting work though subverts the verbatim impulse to achieve a certain ‘ideal’ authenticity of expression through careful re-staging of not only the interviews but the space of the film itself.
On two equally sized screens we can simultaneously follow two complexly linked contents; on one we see the artist creating the film-set, a kind of ‘fictional’ framework for the women’s stories, intervened occasionally by archival footage from German factories in which these women worked, whilst on the other we are solely focused on the actresses performance. The desired effect of the Brechtian ‘distancing’ of the narrative is additionally achieved through occasional subtle interventions, from significant pauses in the actresses’ interpretation of the text, to the sudden inclusion of the artist’s voice.
Each part of the video is as much a portrait of the women interviewed, as it is an experiment with the questions of voice, testimony, document/ary, performance and historical imaginary.