Edit Film Culture! Exhibition

In the late 1950s and early '60s, a countercultural scene took shape around Film Culture magazine, a periodical founded in 1954 in New York City by two Lithuanian immigrant brothers, Adolfas and Jonas Mekas. This community of Beat writers, avant-garde artists, underground filmmakers and other societal dropouts and contrarians established itself in opposition to conventional understandings of art, dance, literature, criticism, cinema and society. A diversity of voices within the pages of the magazine articulated the aesthetic, social and cultural significance of film. More importantly, they called for a new kind of film culture, one marked by a revolutionary zeal to develop independent modes of film production, distribution and exhibition.  

EDIT FILM CULTURE! zeroed in on selected aspects of the history of Film Culture magazine, including key protagonists and associated institutions over four decades of somewhat regular publication. Organized as an installation of eleven tables, it highlighted such subjects as the magazine's founding; the development of the New American Cinema; innovations in graphic design; and interconnected avant-garde scenes (including Fluxus and Andy Warhol's Factory). The final table provided a sneak preview of documents and page proofs from the magazine's first issue in over twenty years, Film Culture 80: The Legend of Barbara Rubin, which will be published by Spector Books.

Acrylic glass reproductions of the covers of all seventy-nine issues and excerpts from select articles provided material proof of Film Culture's programmatic and editorial concepts. Original photographs, documents, magazine layouts and advertising material supplied contextual information and highlighted Fluxus founder George Maciunas's graphic design. A sampling of Jonas Mekas's diary entries offered a personal perspective on moments in the magazine's history. A selection of films marked key stages in the development of the North American cinematic avantgarde, from Maya Deren to Joyce Wieland. At the heart of the exhibition, all original issues of the magazine were available for perusal in a temporary library.  

From Film Culture magazine to film cultures today...  

The multimedia installation UNITED SCREENS made use of interview material to depict the multi-faceted challenges faced by alternative filmmakers, distributors, and cinema exhibitors in the Global South today. UNITED SCREENS also examined the systems, strategies and successful deviations - between micro and macro politics – that individuals and institutions presently employ and will mobilize in the future in order to sustain this alternative film culture.

July 6 – 22, silent green c/o SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin

Opening hours:

July 6 – 8
11:00 – 20:00

July 9 – 22
14:00 – 19:00 (Mon – Fri)
11:00 – 19:00 (Sat – Sun)