Marcel Schwierin

Marcel Schwierin is a curator, filmmaker, and Co-director of the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art in Oldenburg. He has regularly curated for the Werkleitz Biennale, the Goethe-Institut, and the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, among others. From 2010 to 2015, he was Curator of Film and Video for transmediale in Berlin.

  • Zach Blas

    Zach Blas

    Unknown Ideals

    Edit Molnár and Marcel Schwierin

    On artist Zach Blas's wide-ranging practice that scrutinizes the relationship between digital technologies and the cultures and politics that animate them.

    Zach Blas: Unknown Ideals offers an inquiry into Zach Blas's singular practice, exemplary among his generation of digital artists, through a series of newly commissioned essays by Alexander R. Galloway, Pamela M. Lee, Mahan Moalemi, Kris Paulsen, and Marc Siegel; an interview with Ovül Durmuşoğlu; and writings by the artist himself. These insightful contributions expand on the technological, queer, filmic, and cultural inquiries that comprise the rich world of Blas's practice.

    Across his works, Blas closely engages the materiality of digital technologies while also drawing out the philosophies and imaginaries lurking in artificial intelligence, the internet, predictive policing, airport security, biometric recognition, and biological warfare. Blas embraces the media of computation, video, sculpture, and music in his installations that sharply confront biometric surveillance, the cult of optimization, and the reification of data bodies. 

    Blas uses research-based practices to scrutinize the relationship between digital technologies and the cultures and politics that animate them. Critical of today's corporate internet giants and their ideological fascination with Ayn Rand, Blas extensively considers the beliefs, desires, fantasies, histories, and symbols latent in technical systems, but he also dwells on the horizons and edges, or what he calls the “outside,” of dominant power structures. Reclaiming Ayn Rand's phrase the “unknown ideal,” Blas points to both liberatory potentialities and political challenges of the present: he imagines a proliferation of “unknown ideals” in order to dispute Rand's vision of the future. Refusing technological determinism, Blas's work makes space for escape through its celebration of queer ideality.

    • Paperback $37.95
  • Roee Rosen

    Roee Rosen

    Live and Die as Eva Braun and Other Intimate Stories

    Edit Molnár and Marcel Schwierin

    Live and Die as Eva Braun and Other Intimate Stories is a bilingual edition of short writings by Roee Rosen. At the heart of this collection are three provocative texts extracted from important artworks by Rosen, offered here as genre-defying literature at the intersection between reality and fiction, speculative narrative and historical-political critique, humor and eroticism.

    Live and Die as Eva Braun (1995–97) leads the viewer through a virtual-reality scenario in the role of Hitler's lover. The project stirred a public and political controversy when first shown in Israel. It was later recognized by many as a watershed work concerning the representation of trauma, Nazism, and the Holocaust. When the work was presented in New York, Linda Nochlin wrote, “The experience of Live and Die, both textual and visual, is unforgettable, like nothing else.” The film The Confessions of Roee Rosen (2008) offers yet another uncomfortable doubling of identity, in which three illegal female migrant workers serve as surrogates for the character “Roee Rosen.” As a text, these highly condensed monologues reveal themselves to be disorienting subversions of the tradition of literary confession. Finally, the script of Hilarious (2010) offers a torturously bad attempt at dysfunctional comedy, set in the Twin Towers as they collapse.

    These three texts are complemented by three of Rosen's short political-aesthetic essays, chosen to reflect the theoretical underpinnings of his approach. The volume concludes with a conversation between the artist and the historian Moshe Zuckermann, an insightful critic of the political instrumentalization of the Holocaust. Live and Die as Eva Braun and Other Intimate Stories is published on the occasion of Rosen's first survey exhibition in Germany, at the Edith-Russ-Haus for Media Art, Oldenburg, and was edited by its curators, Edit Molnár and Marcel Schwierin.

    Copublished with Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst

    • Paperback $29.95

Contributor

  • Želimir Žilnik

    Želimir Žilnik

    Shadow Citizens

    What, How & for Whom/WHW

    Explorations of the radical film praxis and extensive oeuvre of filmmaker Želimir Žilnik.

    Shadow Citizens offers insights into the radical film praxis and extensive oeuvre of filmmaker Želimir Žilnik (b. 1942). Since his beginnings in the lively amateur film scene of Yugoslavia in the 1960s, Žilnik has made more than fifty films, often in the genre of docudrama. Many of Žilnik's films have anticipated real-world events—the dissolution of Yugoslavia, the economic transition from socialism to a neoliberal order, the annihilation of workers' rights, and wider social erosion related to labor and migration.

    The title, Shadow Citizens, reflects Žilnik's lifelong focus on invisible, suppressed, and under- and misrepresented members of society. As a concept, “shadow citizens” is related to “amateur politics” as a form of political engagement—the imaginative and subversive non-normative knowledge and alternative sensibilities that lie dormant but occasionally push back against politics as usual. Courageous amateurism is prominent in Žilnik's films, both as a concept and as a method, and the texts in this book elaborate on the potential of shadow citizens and the pressures of the amateur undercurrent in emancipatory politics and artistic production. The notion of shadow citizens, conceived as different minorities that are increasingly becoming majorities everywhere, runs through Žilnik's oeuvre, where it is used to imagine a new concept of citizenship that pushes current limits and borders.

    Contributors

    Boris Buden, Greg de Cuir Jr, Ana Janevski, Dijana Jelača, Edit Molnár, Bert Rebhandl, Marcel Schwierin, WHW, Želimir Žilnik

    • Hardcover $34.95
  • The Fevered Specters of Art

    The Fevered Specters of Art

    Die fiebrigen Gespenster der Kunst

    Nataša Ilić

    Examining the theories and practices of radical leftist politics of the 1960s and 1970s and the relationship between politics and aesthetics.

    This is the final chapter of a long-term project curated by Edit Molnár, Lívia Páldi, and Marcel Schwierin that started with a group exhibition at Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst, Oldenburg, in 2016. The show looked back on the epoch of Cold War radicalism and anticolonial revolution—an era characterized by a proliferation of ideas about how radical social change could permeate the globe.

    The book, like the exhibition itself, presents a variety of approaches that, through specific events and historical contexts, survey the theories and practices of radical leftist politics of the 1960s and 1970s and the relationship between politics and aesthetics. It also investigates the ways in which artists rethink the possibilities of new political subjects and how complex sociohistorical connections can be questioned and revisited in the realm of art.

    Contributors

    Stefanie Baumann, Felix Gmelin, Ho Tzu Nyen, Rajkamal Kahlon, Sarinah Masukor, Kirill Medvedev, Edit Molnár, Lívia Páldi, Rachel O'Reilly, Ana Teixeira Pinto, Marcel Schwierin, Catarina Simão, Suzanne Treister, Jan Verwoert

    • Paperback $24.00