In August 2020, we invited video artists from Canada and Germany to submit their ideas on the topic "The City in Times of the Virus": Will nature reconquer the inner cities? How do social rules and medical hygiene rules affect our bodies? How will we move in the urban space? How will we interact in the era of social distancing? - The eight selected videos will be projected after dark onto screens placed in the storefront windows of the Goethe-Institut Montreal on Boulevard St. Laurent until March 2021.
Why or Why not ?
Directed by Kerstin Honeit
About the film
The work Why or Why not?
was commissioned by the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Lars Henrik Gass, the festival director, asked filmmakers during the lockdown in Germany to make a video contribution to negotiate the question: Can and should one make films now?
The challenge of producing a film without a crew in front of or behind the camera was less interesting to Honeit than examining the massive shift in perspective of one's own actions in the face of a worldwide pandemic. That is why she reduced the question to Why or Why not?
, which is less about the possibilities or impossibilities of continuing an (artistic) practice in a lockdown, but more about questioning in general a continuation of life 'as before' in the age of the Capitalocene.
The camera, which was set up in the streets of Berlin during the first lockdown in March 2020, frames several tableaux vivants of the new Corona everyday life, commenting via analogue text panels that are held into the picture. Two opposing narratives are presented in uncanny familiarity.
About Kerstin Honeit
Kerstin Honeit studied fine arts and stage design at the Berlin-Weissensee Art Academy. She lives in Berlin and has been teaching media art at the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig since this winter semester. Previously, she was an artistic co-teacher working together with Bjørn Melhus at the Kunsthochschule Kassel, where she researched the voice as a queer event within moving images.
In her practice as an artist and filmmaker, she works at the interface of different forms of staging. Her artistic research focuses on the investigation of representation mechanisms in the production of hegemonic image worlds, especially in connection with cultural and linguistic modes of translation in the context of the moving image. Since 2006 she has been showing her work in exhibitions and at festivals.
In pandemic times the "new normal" shouts at society. Kerstin Honeit analyzes the imperatives of (post) Covid-19 logics by deconstructing the new reality through a (self)reflective work. A Filmmakers point of view which shows the ambiguity of daily affirmations that affect artistic creation (or not). (Peter Haueis)