film stills from top: 1+2 Richard Kern and Nick Zedd "The Manhattan Love Suicides: Thrust In Me", 1985; David Wojnarowicz and Phil Zwickler "Fear of Disclosure: Psycho-Social Implications of HIV Revelation", 1989; Richard Kern "Fingered", 1986; Richard Kern "X is Y", 1990; courtesy the artists
Already the first hall shocks in every possible way: In "The Manhattan Love Suicides: Stray Dogs" the visitors are received by a frankensteinish David Wojnarowicz, who bursts and splashes of blood, loosing an arm due to the lack of love that he passionately seeks from a painter; Tessa Hughes-Freeman's "Nymphomania" shows a dancing fairy, who is raped to death by a devilish creature. After one trembles passed the extremely irritating flicker light that dominates the stairs, the hall on the first floor presents six movies, out of which Kern's "Sewing Circle" and "Fingered" are pretty much unbearable. Floor two and three, similarly, have a night club atmosphere with screenings, painted walls and comfy seats, where one can enjoy looking at all kinds of super-sized private parts.
"You killed me first"( a title borrowed from Kern's corresponding film that I attached below) doesn't only show violence for the violence sake. It questions everything - religion, society, habits, establishment, prejudices - and it is political too. Zedd's piece "Police State" and Wojnarowics's "Fear of Disclosure: Psycho-Social Implications of HIV" confront issues without indulgence. Like their cathartic slogan "We propose transformation through transgression" these movies were and are to give a harsh wake up call - a request to live here and now, to be aware of what is censored and tabooed and to fucking enjoy our lives and our sins.
YOU KILLED ME FIRST
The Cinema of Transgression
with works by Karen Finley, Tessa Hughes-Freeland, Richard Kern, Lung Leg, Lydia Lunch, Kembra Pfahler, Casandra Stark, Tommy Turner, David Wojnarowicz and Nick Zedduntil 9th of April 2012
KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Opening Hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 12-19h, Thursday 12-21h
images by artfridge