Tuesday, December 18, 2012
Video still of Hito Steyerl, November, 2004 Courtesy of the artist
Hito Steyerl has produced a variety of work as a filmmaker and author in the field of essayist documentary video. Her practice describes with uncommon precision the fluidity and mutability of images—how they are produced, interpreted, translated, packaged, transported, and consumed by a multitude of users.
Andrea Wolf was killed in Kurdistan as a foreign revolutionary in the PKK, and Steyerl’s acclaimed 2004 video essay November opens with Andrea’s role as a charismatic protagonist in an amateur film made by the two friends when they were in their teens. From a fictional badass feminist vigilante to a martyr for the Kurdish cause, the memory of a dear friend forms the axis of a meta-narrative on the persistent proximity, and even expansion, of political violence in spite of the distancing effects of images.
Watch the whole film here:
“An age that has lost its gestures is, for this reason, obsessed by them. For human beings who have lost every sense of naturalness, each single gesture becomes a destiny. And the more gestures lose their ease under the action of invisible powers, the more life becomes indecipherable”.
(Agamben 2000:53) Agamben, G (2000) 'Notes on Politics' Means Without End: (Theory Out of Bounds, V. 20), trans Binetti, V & Casarino, C University of Minnesota Press