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Normalzustand
Underground Film Between Punk and Art Academy
September 19 until October 22, 2017

Lenbachhaus

The film series "Normalzustand"—titled after a film by German artist Yana Yo—brings together a selection of experimental films made in Germany between the late 1970s and early 1990s. During this time, various local film scenes formed from Bielefeld, Bonn and Düsseldorf to West- and East Berlin.

Filming happened, attentively or absent-mindedly, at home or at friends', on the street, in the car, during performances and concerts. What connects the films gathered here, which differ so starkly in content and style, is a DIY ethos that was characteristic of Punk. With Punk—an amorphous phenomenon with ramifications such as Post-Punk, New Wave, Neue Deutsche Welle, a.o.—a new attitude entered the picture: whether in music, in fashion, in language or in art, Punk broke with common ideas of expertise and fixed genres and offered improvisation, provocation and volume at its place. From local squats to the context of art schools, alternative ways of living, co-habiting and working emerged.

The Super 8 film technology, that was as cheap to acquire as it was easy to handle, became the medium of choice for many. While soon the first movie theatres for Super 8 and other experimental formats emerged in West-Berlin and, at times, art institutions served as venues as well, the true site of underground film remained the more casual context of bars and night clubs.

Seen together, the films shown here in their digitalized form (most of them originally Super 8) help grasp a form of filming (and artmaking) that was masterfully unprofessional as well as impossible to group under one label or category: narrative at times, abstract at others, provocative or poetic, the films draw on a wide variety of sources reaching from Soviet avantgarde film to the more burlesque and hysterical style of the American underground scene, to music videos and horror movies.

With Anarchistische Gummizelle (AGZ), Jörg Buttgereit, Die Tödliche Doris, Knut Hoffmeister, Notorische Reflexe, PELZE-multimedia & LÄSBISCH-TV, Schmelzdahin, Schwarze Schokolade, Teufelsberg Produktion, Yana Yo, and others.

The films are presented in a loop. The first series is on view from September 19 through October 8; a second series follows from October 10 through October 22.



Fig.: Die Tödliche Doris, Wasserballett, 1984, Ton/Musik: O-Ton Hallenbad, Courtesy Wolfgang Müller © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2017.


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