Helke Sander, "Völlerei?", 1986, Filmstill.
Courtesy Helke Sander
Sieben Frauen - Sieben Sünden / Seven Women - Seven Sins
Chantal Akerman, Maxi Cohen, VALIE EXPORT, Laurence Gavron, Bette Gordon, Ulrike Ottinger, Helke Sander
Opening: Friday, November 12, 2004, 7 p.m.
Dr. Elisabeth Zanon, head of the Cultural Section of the Province of Tyrol will open the exhibition Prof. VALIE EXPORT, artist and filmmaker, professor for multimedia performance at the Kunsthochschule für Medien in Cologne since 1995, will speak some introductory words.
Press conference: Friday, November 12, 10 a.m.
In 1986, ZDF, the Second German Television program, commissioned the film project Sieben Frauen - Sieben Sünden / Seven Women - Seven Sins. Seven women filmmakers each produced a short film devoted to one of the mortal sins:
Pride Ulrike Ottinger, Superbia - Der Stolz, 1986 (D), 35mm, color, sound, 15' 55''
Gluttony Helke Sander, Völlerei - Völlerei? Füttern!, 1986 (D), 16mm, color, sound, 12' 56''
Sloth Chantal Akerman, Portrait d'une paresseuse, 1986 (B/D), 35mm, color, sound, 7' 45''
Greed Bette Gordon, Greed - Pay to Play, 1987 (USA), 16mm, color, sound, 18' 46''
Anger Maxi Cohen, Anger, 1986 (USA), 16mm, color, sound, 19' 43''
Envy Laurence Gavron, Il Maestro, 1986 (F), 16mm, color, sound, 14' 42''
Lust VALIE EXPORT, Ein perfektes Paar oder Die Unzucht wechselt ihre Haut, 1986 (A), video, color, sound, 13' 25''
Sieben Frauen - Sieben Sünden / Seven Women - Seven Sins gives very different answers to the question as to which meanings can reveal "something as untimely as a mortal sin" (Helke Sander) today.
The first film, Superbia - Der Stolz by Ulrike Ottinger, is dedicated to pride which was seen as the first of the Christian-medieval mortal sins and the root of all the others. The triumphant march of Superbia moves slowly by the camera, with figures with dragon and peacock bodies, tanks, and whips being presented. As Andreas Kilb, the film critic for the weekly DIE ZEIT wrote, "Superbia is on her way to her 'wedding with the world', a 'Bluthochzeit' (bloody'wedding): in a parallel shot one sees police and military marching, bomb explosions blending with the banging of fireworks, parade music with African bush drums. 'Superbia', pride, is a male delusion."
The second episode, Völlerei - Völlerei? Füttern! by Helke Sander reverses the idea of gluttony, namely the compulsion to feed. In Sander's reinterpretation of the biblical Fall of Man Eva chases Adam, "she wants to make it clear to him that there is nothing EVIL about eating the apple. She does not UNDERSTAND ADAM's refusal to do so. To this very day she has not understood it and thus continues to chase him with her apples." (Dörte Haak / Helke Sander).
Chantal Akerman deals with sloth. In order to make films you have to get up, get dressed and washed. In Portrait d´une paresseuse one can see the filmmaker struggling with overcoming her own laziness. The film is accompanied by Sonia Wieder-Atherton's cello music.
In Bette Gordon's film Greed: Pay To Play three women have a strange, claustrophobic encounter in the ladies room of a luxurious Manhattan hotel. The bathroom attendant is sure she'll win the lottery until a particularly condescending customer destroys her ticket by accident. Set in a timeless "twilight zone", where objects bear a menacing aura and seemingly harmless conversation carries a threatening subtext, Pay to Play is about greed, avarice and its victimization of women in a consumer society.
In Maxi Cohen's film Anger, one sees several persons who describe in a very personal and incisive way what causes their anger. This had been preceded by Cohen placing an ad in the New York weekly The Village Voice which read as follows: "Angry? What makes you angry?" The various tales convey a sense of powerlessness and disenfranchisement from society.
A conductor, Il Maestro, is the focal point of the episode by Laurence Gavron which is about envy. The conductor's talent in bringing to life music elicit the envy of his nephew who emulates him. Finally he kills the old master so as to be able to step on stages himself and to let the magic of music evolve - or at least to attempt this.
Lust in its modern guise is the theme of the video Ein Perfektes Paar oder die Unzucht wechselt ihre Haut (A Perfect Pair, or, Indecency Sheds Its Skin) by VALIE EXPORT. Whereas the sale of naked skin was once seen as being unchaste, EXPORT declares skin adorned with advertising logos - most noticeable in sports stars - to be a new form of obscenity. "I see this film as a continuation of my previous preoccupation with the body as a medium of social coding", she writes. "Whereas until now religion which dictated to women and men how to comport themselves, which was also manifested in their body appearance, now economy has assumed this role."
Film talk Sieben Frauen - Sieben Sünden
Saturday, November 20, 2004, 5 p.m.
Discussion: Prof. Gertrud Koch, Ulrike Ottinger, Prof. Helke Sander
(Innsbrucker Premierentage, November 19 - 20, 2004)
As part of the thematic project "The Seven Mortal Sins" initiated by the Museion - Museo d'Arte Moderna / Museum of Modern Art in Bolzano.
Co-financed by the European Fund for Regional Development / Interreg III
Astrid Gostner, press and PR Dr. Silvia Eiblmayr, director
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