Dora García

Film Program

05/03/11 – 11/03/11

A ravishing film program will be shown at Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS. During a period of five weeks, 5 March – 16 April, the films of five renowned artists will be shown; featuring Dora García, Erkka Nissinen, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Falke Pisano, Maria Pask. The program includes never before shown films in the Netherlands and provides a unique possibility to explore the new and early works of the artists.

Saturday 5 March (Opening)
Burning Post-it’s, 2005, video, colour/sound, 14min.
Crowd (Poetry and Dream), performance on DVD, performed at “Actions and Interruptions” Live Program, Tate Modern, March 10 2007.
The Glass Wall, 2003, 30 min.
Film (Hôtel Wolfers), 2007, 35 mm black and white film on DVD, 11 min.

Sunday 6 March
Burning Post-it’s, 2005, video, colour/sound, 14min.
Crowd (Poetry and Dream), performance on DVD, performed at “Actions and Interruptions” Live Program, Tate Modern, March 10, 2007.
The Glass Wall, 2003, 30 min.
Film (Hôtel Wolfers), 2007, 35 mm black and white film on DVD, 11 min.

Monday 7 March
Gallery closed

Tuesday 8 March
Zimmer, Gespräche; Rooms, conversations, 2006, video, colour/sound, 31 min.

Wednesday 9 March
Zimmer, Gespräche; Rooms, conversations, 2006, video, colour/sound, 31 min.
BStU Archives, 8 videos, 2006, different durations.

Thursday 10 March
Premiere of The Deviant Majority, 2010 Video HD, colour, stereo, 34 min. Screening starts at 11am and continues until 5 pm on every hour.
Accompanying artist book Mad Marginal cahier #1: from Basaglia to Brazil

Friday 11 March
Just Because Everything Is Different It Does Not Mean That Anything Has Changed, 2008, video HD, 60 min.

A description of the films can be found here:

Dora García’s work investigates the parameters and conventions involved in the presentation of art, the notion of time – real and fictive- and the limits between representation and reality. Her work generates contexts in which the traditional scheme between the artist, the work and the viewer is modified. Dora García uses fiction as a tool to present reality as multiple and questionable, to disclose the mechanisms involved in perception processes and to propose an unconventional relationship between artwork and audience. Dora García intellectual acuity with a dose of black humour, characteristic in her work, is the reason why she is chosen to represent Spain at the Venice Biennale 2011. In this exceptional program her early works will be shown as well as her new films like The Deviant Majority (2010), which was made for the 29th Sao Paulo Biennale 2010.

Just Because Everything Is Different It Does Not Mean That Anything Has Changed, 2008, video HD, 60 min The stand-up comedian Lenny Bruce, one of the most fascinating and tragic personalities of the revolutionary sixties, visited Sydney on 6 September 1962. He was able to deliver only an one-sentence performance: after saluting the public with the words: ‘What a fucking wonderful audience!’ he was promptly arrested on the grounds of obscenity. Richard Neville, a young Australian who would become the guru of London’s counterculture, saw this brief performance and, understanding the importance of Bruce’s position within the generational revolution that was about to start, attempted to organise a new performance at the University of New South Wales. The Australian authorities would not allow Bruce to perform and he was asked to leave the country, never to return. García has imagined the performance that never took place and for the Biennale of Sydney 2008 she ‘lets’ Lenny Bruce finally speak in Sydney.

Film (Hôtel Wolfers), 2007, 35mm transferred to video, 11 min.
In Film (Hôtel Wolfers), sound and image are independent but strangely connected. We hear a male voice discussing the principle of the subjective camera employed in different ways in three films: Samuel Beckett’s Film (1965), Moustapha Akkad’s The Message (1976), and John Carpenter’s Halloween (1978). In each film the camera is assigned a distinctive role by the director, as if embodying a character. Shot first on a black and white 35mm film, the video presents Henry Van de Velde’s celebrated Wolfers House in Brussels, as if in an architectural documentary. But García uses conventions of the subjective camera, which—with a furtive and distracted eye—scans the decaying walls of the building, suggesting the detached attention of the historical gaze.

Zimmer, Gespräche; Rooms, conversations, 2006, video, colour/sound, 31 min.
The encounter in a Leipzig apartment between a Stasi officer and a civilian informant is the chosen setting for Zimmer, Gespräche (‘Rooms, conversations’). The Stasi was the all-powerful East-German political police until the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. However, neither the Stasi nor the city of Leipzig are ever mentioned explicitly. The video is thus set in an undetermined time and space, only discernible through the accent of the actors, the clothes they wear, the furniture and the architectural backdrop. Constructing a realist scene or reconstructing a historical situation is not Dora García’s intention, and Rooms, conversations is neither a documentary nor a documentary fiction. What García seeks is to use the parameters of a given historical situation in order to communicate abstract notions such as fear, control, authority, dependency, obedience, absurdity, and power. All notions that are closely connected to issues of secrecy, archiving, the community, or the codes of human behaviour. The video was shot in the spring of 2006 in one of the most representative social housing projects of the 80’s in Leipzig, the Grünau neighbourhood. The script is based on the research the artist carried out for over a year on the photo, video and audio archives of the Stasi in the Leipzig and Berlin headquarters, now managed by the BStU (

Crowd (Poetry and Dream), performed at Tate Modern March 10 2007
Crowd is a ‘performance in progress’ that started in 2001 as a choreographic collaboration with dancer and choreographer David Hernandez, and evolved as a more conceptual work. The title is like an umbrella that covers different performances, with a common use of several performers who infiltrate among the real public, and the aim of researching the patterns of behaviour of art audiences. From 2007 on, the performance has adopted the format of guided visit, like Actions and Interruptions at Tate Modern, where a fake guide takes a fake crowd of listeners to visit the Tate Modern Surrealism collection. New versions of this performance were made for the Sydney Biennial 2008, “What A Fucking Wonderful Audience!”, and for Art Basel Miami Beach 2008, under the title “Crowd. The Artist without Works: A Guided Tour Around Nothing”. The performance at Art Forum Berlin is specially created for this event.

The Deviant Majority 2010, Video HD, colour, stereo, 34min.
In The Deviant Majority (from Basaglia to Brazil) (2010) García addresses revolutionary reforms in psychiatry that grew out of the political foment of the late 1960s, and alternative treatment programs practiced today. The piece is structured around three meetings: with the Psychiatric Hospital of Trieste’s theater company Accademia della Follia (Academy of Madness), comprised of both patients and healthcare workers; Rio de Janeiro’s Freaked on the Scene Theater of the Oppressed; and activist Carmen Roll, former member of the German Socialist Patients’ Collective (SPC). In an interview, Roll expounds on the SPC’s antagonism toward asylums in the early 1970s, rooted in the group’s belief that the social relations initiated by capitalism were responsible for physical manifestations of madness. The contemporary theater programs use creative expression as therapy and revise divisions between normality and abnormality, attempting to erase the prejudice and social exclusion associated with mental illness. In this mesmerizing piece of cinema, radical thought that may seem far-flung is interlaced with practical programs achieving successful results.

Artist book curated by Dora García. From Basaglia to Brazil. Mad Marginal. Cahier #1.
This publication is part of a broader research project, originating from the writings by Franco Basaglia, the Italian psychiatrist who promoted the Law 180 and made Italy one of the first countries to shut down mental hospitals, and a pioneer in alternative mental health care. This tradition of anti-psychiatry and the “Basaglia revolution” are for García an occasion and an opportunity to investigate forms of artistic production that consciously decided to stay at the periphery of the mainstream.

The Glass Wall, 2003, 30 min.
The Glass Wall (2003) is a video in which we discover a young woman in her apartment. She has a telephone with earphones and is receiving instructions from a faceless voice which gets her to move, followed by the camera. She is surprisingly under the thumb of the orders as a result of some mysterious pact, but the film shifts when she tries to rebel, in vain. The voice seems to be a stand-in for her consciousness, spreading until it completely invades her and relieves her of all free will. Even when she tries to escape by running away down the street, the voice catches up with her and then completely overcomes her. Our thoughts stray inevitably to anticipatory books and films describing a society ruled by some dictator, projections of the fears of a democratic society believing that it is under total protection from its demons. We find this shadow through the reference to the work of Ray Bradbury in Fahrenheit 451 [1957], a work dated from 2002 that is part of the FRAC Burgundy collection.

Where do characters go when the story is over?(Part I &II), 2009, DVD, colour, sound, 14min.
In Where do characters go when the story is over? a fictional character is conversing with an art critic. Dora García continues to investigate the frontier between reality and fiction, between everyday and extraordinary things, to demonstrate that art can generate realities. This research conceals an interest in “ideas related to morality, conduct and rules,” in the artist’s own words. Where do characters go when the story is over? Is a framework of contradictions, games and upsets; a series of impossible proposals which induce the shifting of the spectator’s behaviour. As stated by Dora García: “The work of art has no purpose in being comprehensible or revealing in any way, but rather to expose something about ourselves.”

MASH (Adaptation: a Korean-Brechtian version), 2009, video HD, 40 min.
ASH, produced in collaboration with Green Pig and the Nam June Paik Art Center, could be described as the Korean-Brechtian theatrical version of the famous TV series by Robert Altman. Altman’s version of MASH is racist in his treatment of the Korean characters and superficial in portraying Korea. Not surprisingly, Korean people never heard of the film or TV series. The central question in Garcia’s version is how to make MASH presentable to the people of Korea?

Ellen de Bruijne PROJECTS
Rozengracht 207A
1016 LZ Amsterdam
The Netherlands