Part of Winter 2007
Presented in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the United States invasion of Iraq, Schadenfreude is a collection of recent international video which deal with the ambiguous pleasures and politics of watching other people’s discomfort. Also screening will be a new work by esteemed American artist Paul Chan, who presented his oeuvre at Pleasure Dome last year on the third anniversary of the invasion. Untitled Video on Lynne Stewart and Her Conviction, The Law and Poetry is a profoundly moving portrait of the first lawyer to be (unjustly) convicted of aiding terrorism in the United States, a champion defender of political prisoners, and, above all, a lover of poetry. For the full programme listing see www.lux.org.uk/touring/schadenfreude.htm.
“These days, projects reflecting on the present context of military violence constitute a dilemma very typical of political activism as a whole. It seems one has to choose between sentimentalized/didactic/(counter)propagandistic takes on the issue OR the even more depressing option of retreating to insular, strictly local navel-gazing. To de-spectacularize can hardly be a viable alternative either. The challenge here, I find, is not that of summoning selfless goodwill or progressive content, but that of finding intelligent forms of voyeurism, ie. a mode of visual production that faces up to the inevitable, to its own strategies of entertainment or objectification, without any apologetic back flips or self-reflexive mise-en-abÃ®me – strategies that are hard-hitting
without being retrograde, and that elude simple notions of solidarity and empathy in favour of an analysis of the very fascination for the outlandish, be it touching or violent or both.” (Tirdad Zolghadr)
A Touring Project of The Artists Cinema, A Frieze Projects/LUX collaboration