RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER
RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER
born on May 14, 1945 in Bad Wörishofen, is still considered today to be the most prominent director of the New German Cinema. He succeeded in bringing to the screen a rare synthesis of radical subjectivity, artistic demands and the fulfilment of the public’s need to be entertained. Brought up in Munich, Fassbinder learned acting when he was young and applied to the newly founded German Academy of Film and Television in Berlin in 1966 and 1967 – both times unsuccessfully. Notwithstanding these rejections, he made three short films in those years, as director, writer and actor, and joined the Action- Theater, a free actors’ group in Munich. There, in 1968, he staged Katzelmacher, his first play for the still young group; in the same year he and others founded the antiteater. The following year he had his artistic breakthrough with the filming of this play: Fassbinder received accolades, the press celebrated him as the ”prodigy of German film“. Alongside his work as director, screenwriter, actor and dramatist, Fassbinder wrote radio plays, song lyrics, poems, essays and prose. His extraordinary productivity and his charismatic appearance, as well as his work with a fixed circle of colleagues, with some of whom he also lived, served equally to gain him attention.
After the financially-mandated end of antiteater in 1971, Fassbinder founded the production company Tango-Film. In 1974 Angst essen Seele auf (Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, 1973) was a prize winner at the Cannes Film Festival and the Cinémathèque Française showed the first retrospective of Fassbinder’s films. In the same year, he became a member of Filmverlag der Autoren and became codirector of the Theater am Turm (TAT) in Frankfurt am Main. Here he produced his last stage play Der Müll, die Stadt und der Tod, which would unleash stormy debate. Often misunderstood as a commentary on political circumstances, his oeuvre stands consciously apart from ideological categorisation. His attitude is similar to that of a chronicler, his depiction of people and their lives consistently considerate. In the collaborative project Deutschland im Herbst (Germany in Autumn, 1977/78) Fassbinder reflects, in his episode, on the state of West German democracy and in the farce Die dritte Generation (The Third Generation, 1978/89) he comments on left-wing terrorism. In 1979 and 1980 Fassbinder shot his magnum opus for the Westdeutscher Rundfunk, an adaptation of Alfred Döblin’s novel Berlin Alexanderplat z in 13 parts and an epilogue; the series was broadcast in autumn 1980. For this project he interrupted the filming of his ”Federal Republic of Germany“ trilogy: Die Ehe der Maria Braun, (The Marriage of Maria Braun, 1978), Lola (1981) and then Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss (Veronika Voss, 1981). A further high point in his achievements was the international production Querelle in 1982; it would remain his last: on 10 June 1982 Rainer Werner Fassbinder died in Munich at the age of 37 of a heart attack. Many saw his early death as the end of an important era of German film history.
Barbara Baum gathered her first film-related experience as a trained seamstress and student of fashion design with German auteur filmmakers such as Peter Lilienthal and Reinhard Hauff. In 1972 Baum was hired by Rainer Werner Fassbinder to design the costumes for FONTANE EFFI BRIEST, and worked with him from then on until his death in 1982. As an internationally sought-after costume designer she contributed, for example, to Volker Schlöndorff’s HOMO FABER (1990/91) and Bille August’s THE HOUSE OF THE SPIRITS (1993). Most recently she was involved in elaborate television productions, such as Heinrich Breloer’s Speer und Er (2004) or Torsten C. Fischer’s Romy (2009). Baum has received numerous prizes and will be awarded the Honorary Award for Outstanding Services to German Film at this year’s German Film Award ceremony. She lives in Berlin.
(b. 1970 in Lier, Belgium) studied politics, theater arts and then directing at the City Lit Academy in London. For his film “You’re the Stranger Here” (2009), presented in the exhibition, in 2010 the filmmaker won the prize for Best Film at the 7th London Short Film Festival and for Best Short Fiction Film at the Lausanne Underground Film Festival. He completed his second feature film, “Couple in a Hole,” in 2014.Tom Geens lives and works in London.
(b. 1970 in Dhaka, Bangladesh) studied at the Royal College of Art in London and at the Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in Amsterdam. Her video works were exhibited, among other venues, at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C., in 2008, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles in 2005, and that same year at the 51st Biennale in Venice. The artist was nominated for the prestigious Turner Prize in 2008. Runa Islam lives and works in London.
(b. 1972 in Karachi, Pakistan) studied literature at Brown University, Rhode Island, and is a graduate of the Tisch School of Arts, New York. The media she works in are video, photography, and text as well as performance. In 2012 her works were exhibited at Manifesta 9 in Belgium, the 9th Shanghai Biennale, and at the Taipei Biennale. Her works can currently be seen in the Belgian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale. Maryam Jafri lives and works in Copenhagen and New York.
(b. 1952 in Berlin) studied at the Freie Universität Berlin and at the Berlin University of the Arts. He has been a professor for sculpture at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste München since 1990. His sculptural and graphic works were exhibited, among other venues, at the Hamburger Kunsthalle in 1992, at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart in 2006, and in 2003 at the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich. In his works, which he often produces for public , he has time and again critically intervened in current debates. Olaf Metzel lives and works in Munich.
JEROEN DE RIJKE
(b. 1970 in Brouwershaven, the Netherlands, d. 2006 in Takoradi, Ghana) and WILLEM DE ROOIJ (b. 1969 in Beverwijk, the Netherlands) worked together between 1995 and 2006. Both began their studies at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie, Amsterdam, and continued at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. Since 2006, Willem de Rooij has been a professor of fine arts at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. The work chosen for the exhibition, “Mandarin Ducks” (2005), was shown at the 51st Venice Biennale in 2005. Works by both artists have been exhibited at numerous venues, including the Frankfurter Kunstverein in 1999. In 2007 Willem de Rooij exhibited at K21 in Düsseldorf, in 2008 at the Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, in 2010 at the Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin, in 2012 at the Kunstverein München in Munich, and in 2015 at the Weltkulturen Museum in Frankfurt am Main. Willem de Rooij lives and works in Berlin and Frankfurt am Main.
(b. 1961 in Buenos Aires, Argentina) studied, among other places, at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, and the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. He became known in the 1990s for his “cooking performances”: he served exhibition visitors Thai meals that he cooked himself. He has been exhibited numerous times since 1990, for example at the Konsthall Oslo (2001) and at the Museum Bojmans Van Beuningen (2004). He is currently participating in the 56th Venice Biennale. The artist, who lives in New York, Berlin, and Bangkok, recently received the Silpathorn Award and the Hugo Boss Prize.
(b. 1946 in Vancouver, Canada) studied art history at the University of British Columbia, where he began teaching in 1987. He conceived and produced the first of what are now iconic transparencies in lightboxes in the late 1970s. His photographs are represented in the most important collections and have been presented, among other venues, at the Schaulager Basel (2005), the Museum of Modern Art in New York (2007), the Pinakothek der Moderne München (2014), and the Kunsthaus Bregenz (2014/15). He furthermore participated four times in the documenta in Kassel (1982, 1987, 1997, and 2002) and has received numerous awards, including the Audian Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts in 2008, and the Hasselblad Foundation International Award of Photography in 2002. Jeff Wall lives and works in Vancouver.
(b. 1971 in Singapore) studied fine art (Chinese art) at the Nanyang Academy in Singapore and fine art media at the Slade School of Art in London. He works primarily with the film medium, but also employs photography and installative elements in his works. In 2001 he exhibited, among other venues, at Tokyo’s Museum of Contemporary Art, the Museum der Moderne in Salzburg, and the Haus der Kulturen der Welt in Berlin; in 2012 at the REDCAT Arts Center in Los Angeles, and in 2015 at the nbk— Neuer Berliner Kunstverein. Ming Wong lives and works in Singapore and Berlin.