Catalogue presentation "The Garden. Cinematics of the Soil"

Reading and Screening The Garden

At the end of this fortunately again somewhat culturally rich year, we look back on our Derek Jarman exhibition The Garden. Cinematics of the Soil, which took place this summer. At the end of our winter market on Sunday evening, starting at 6 pm, the curatorial team will present the complete exhibition catalogue that is now being published as part of the project, followed by a reading by the participating filmmaker Philip Scheffner, and we will once again show Jarman's film The Garden, which wanders between dream and reality, idyll and pain, beauty and transience.

Curator's statement

The exponential growth of visual diversity in film – to near-endless proportions – has revolutionized documentary film formats in cinemas and in the visual arts. Unfortunately however, there still is no place where this development is collected, reprocessed and reflected, in theory and in practice. To this day, institutional screening practices and exhibition culture differentiate between film and art. The silent green project Film Feld Forschung (Film Field Research) offers what’s missing: A centre for art film, with exhibition projects, discursive formats and performance formats. These focus primarily on the forms and margins of the documentary narrative, question the prerequisites for artistic documentary work, and discuss the status of the image in our society – especially valid subjects in a contemporary world whose images have become far removed from their production contexts.

We, the Film Feld Forschung team, want to create a space where the theoretical and practical research of the language of film is possible using the language of film. A space where the finished product is not the only thing that counts – where the examination of a subject, and the creative process that leads to an artistic work, are just as important. The focus is on the art film, released from the limitations of category and genre, as an individual expression and subjective take on the search for new formats for changing societies.

Today we live in a time of tension. Climatic changes are forcing people to leave their homes and flee into an uncertain future. We are globally connected and yet, as societies, torn and divided. In the midst of climatic and humanitarian catastrophes, further unsettled by a global pandemic, and longing for a just and supportive community of states on a planet worth living on. For us remembering Derek Jarman and The Garden at this time, taking him and his work as a starting point for a common discourse on the present and the future, means being allowed to immerse ourselves in the cosmos of a holistically thinking and acting human being and artist, and giving his work a voice. Derek Jarman, with his courage, radical imagery and unwavering love for nature and people, has shown us that it is precisely the reconnection with contaminated nature and our own wounded souls and bodies, as well as working collectively, that opens up new spaces for perception and action.

Berlin, November 2021

Bettina Ellerkamp, Jörg Heitmann, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus 

Sunday, December 5
Start: 6 pm
Free admission (a registration is necessary)