For the first time, with VIDEONALE.15, the Open Call for the Videonale competition featured a theme. THE CALL OF THE WILD, as thematic framework of VIDEONALE.15, addresses the topic of ›the Wild‹ as art and society have used it, since the colonial 19th century at the latest, to attribute to the untamed, not-civilised, primitive or anarchic a negative distinction, which demarcates them from the officially legitimated canon of norms values. Yet the concept of ›the Wild‹ holds much greater potential when one uses it outside conventional categories which permit only black or white. Namely, as precisely that explosive in-between place where those categories find themselves in a state of dissolution, while new categories have not yet been found, and perhaps shall never be found.
This ›queer‹ approach to the concept of the wild, one which combines anarchistic and utopian in equal parts, to me seems an interesting model for approaching the quite different courses of action which are currently taking effect in society and art, questioning old ideas and throwing certainties overboard: The fragility of existing order is revealed, among others, by a monitoring scandal, which demonstrates how far the digital penetration of our environment has progressed, and confronts us with how closely the apparently endless freedom of the internet on the one hand is coupled with controls and monitoring on the other. It can be seen in the obvious and nevertheless incomprehensible reality of worldwide religious and/or territorial conflicts, which result in massive shifts of psychic and physical borders and lead to disturbances both in the geopolitical agenda and in individual biographies. It can equally be seen in the recurrent debates about gender politics among ›hetero‹, ›trans‹, ›inter‹, and ›queer‹, about role assignments and models of family and companionship which regularly make clear the instability of the system in and with which we daily move. The wilderness is the intangible and the, with our available vocabulary, indescribable. It repeatedly withdraws from us and challenges us to renegotiate order(s): »Wildness is not the lack of inscription, it is inscription that seeks not to read or be read but to leave a mark as evidence of absence, loss and death« (Jack Halberstam).
Janina Arendt, Udita Bhargava, Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz, Jenny Brady, Karolina Bregula, Wim Catrysse, Jos Diegel, Wojtek Doroszuk, Mahdi Fleifel, Christoph Faulhaber, Fabien Giraud & Raphaël Siboni, Shaun Gladwell, Philipp Gufler, Amina Handke, Constantin Hartenstein, Kerstin Honeit, Vika Kirchenbauer, Thomas Kneubühler, Ihra Lill, Lieux fictifs, Elin Magnusson, Rachel Mayeri, Marianna Milhorat, NEOZOON, Shelly Nadashi, Erkka Nissininen, Francois Nouguies, Alan Phelan, Christina Picchi, Florian Pugnaire & David Raffini, Mateusz Sadowski, The Otolith Group, Koen Theys, Gerhard Treml & Leo Calice, Anna Zett, Mikhail Zheleznikov, Tobias Yves Zintel
Competition Jury: Carla Donauer (curator), Julia Draganovic (director Kunsthalle Osnabrück), Jennifer Gassmann (program manager Videonale), Sabine Himmelsbach (director Haus der elektronischen Künste Basel), Dennis Hochköppeler (director Galerie DREI), Tasja Langenbach (artistic director Videonale), Erik Martinson (curator), Jan Schuijren (curator)
Award Jury: Prof. Dr. Stephan Berg (director Kunstmuseum Bonn), Steven Bode (Director Film and Video Umbrella, London), Christian Jankowski (Artist and award winner VIDEONALE.14), Dr. Doris Krystof (Curator K20 Kunstsammlungen NRW), Mike Stubbs (Director FACT Liverpool)
Artistic director: Tasja Langenbach
Festival website: v15.videonale.org
VIDEONALE.15 catalogue cover, 2015. © Videonale