Christoph Schlingensief: Foreigners out

Screenings and Discussions

Time: April 25, 2014, 5 pm to 11 pm
Venue: Mayakovsky 102, the open office of tranzit. hu, 1068 Budapest, Király utca 102.


5 pm
Screening: Paul Poet: Ausländer Raus - Bitte liebt Österreich, 2000; Kurt Kren: 2/60 48 Köpfe aus dem Szondi-Test, 1960

6 pm
Introduction by Kathrin Rhomberg

7 pm
Roundtable discussion with Kathrin Rhomberggel and Andrea Tompa. Moderated by Dóra Hegyi

8 pm
Schlingensief-Marathon: Das deutsche Kettensägenmassaker, 1990; The African Twin Towers, 2009; My Wife in Five, 1985; 100 Jahre Adolf Hitler – Die letzten Stunden im Führerbunker, 1989

The introduction and the discussion will be in English. The films are presented in German, with English subtitles.

Conceptualized by Kathrin Rhomberg, the project Christoph Schlingensief: Foreigners out presents the documentary film of Christoph Schlingensief´s intervention into the public life, Ausländer raus—Bitte liebt Österreich, 2000 (Foreigners out—Please love Austria) by Paul Poet. It is accompanied by an introduction of Kathrin Rhomberg, and a discussion with Kathrin Rhomberg and theater critic Andrea Tompa, moderated by Dóra Hegyi, on how Schlingensief operated in the art world and within the context of film, how he used other media, and the way in which his work occupied public space—all in order not only to address but to influence social issues and matters of political relevance. The roundtable discussion will be extended by the presentation of further films by Christoph Schlingensief that provide a comprehensive insight into his filmic oeuvre.

With Foreigners out—Please love Austria Christoph Schlingensief radicalized the diagnosis of the current democratic constitution of our society. It is one of Schlingensief’s key works at the turn of the millennium where he looked beyond theater and film production and became more active in the public space. Imitating the format of the Big Brother show, Schlingensief "introduced twelve asylum seekers, who spent one week in a shipping container in the center of Vienna, next to the opera house. Blue flags representing Austria’s far-right populist FPÖ party were hoisted above the container." As onlookers applauded ambiguously, "a sign bearing the slogan 'Ausländer raus' (Foreigners out) was unveiled and then attached to the container together with the logo of the Kronenzeitung, Austrian’s biggest-selling tabloid newspaper. The asylum-seekers were documented live—twenty-four hours a day for six days—on TV and the Internet. The audience was asked to phone in and vote 'out' the person they liked at least. That individual was then deported to their native country." Schlingensief created with it a kind of hyper-reality, in which the neoliberal “Western society” and its cynicisms mirrored itself. "In this kind of 'pardoxical space' clear borders and appreciation were abolished and contradictions were integrated." Spectators transformed into actors, facts into fake, revolutionary attempts into contra-revolutionary attitudes, left into right ideas and vice versa. Schlingensief reflected with Foreigners out—Please love Austria not only the common disorientation and reluctance to take a stand, but also the manipulability of the public and the culture of resentment in which xenophobia and racism were rampant.

(Cf .Maria Hlavajova and Kathrin Rhomberg, “Ausländer raus—Bitte liebt Österreich [Foreigners out—Please love Austria], 2000,” in Christoph Schlingensief: Fear at the Core of Things, BAK Newsletter #1 (Utrecht: BAK, 2012), p. 28–29.)

The last segment of the one-night event the “Schlingensief Marathon” includes a film program of Das deutsche Kettensägenmassaker (The German Chainsaw Massacre), 1990; The African Twin Towers 2009; My Wife in Five, 1985; 100 Jahre Adolf Hitler – Die letzten Stunden im Führerbunker (100 Years Adolf Hitler – The Last Hour in the Führerbunker), 1989 as well as the film 2/60 48 Köpfe aus dem Szondi-Test, 1960 by the Austrian experimental filmmaker Kurt Kren. The film program is realized in cooperation with Filmgalerie 451, Berlin and sixpack Vienna.

Christoph Schlingensief (1960-2010), German filmmaker, stage director, artist, activist and author.

Kathrin Rhomberg is an independent curator. She lives in Vienna.

Andrea Tompa, writer, theater critic, contributor to the journal Színház [Theater], and adjunct professor at the Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj.

The project Christoph Schlingensief: Foreigners out, is realized in the framework of Art Under a Dangerous Star, a three-part event and exhibition series at between April and June, 2014. Art Under a Dangerous Star is part of the international collaborative project Beginning As Well As We Can (How Do We Talk About Fascism?), with What, How and for Whom / WHW and Alerta - Centre for Monitoring of Right-Wing Extremism and Anti-Democratic Tendencies in Zagreb. The project is a research on the turn towards far right-wing ideologies throughout Europe and contemporary forms and impacts of fascism, as well as possible forms of resistance and interventions to these very tendencies.

The project Beginning As Well As We Can (How Do We Talk About Fascism?) is supported by the European Cultural Foundation.

This reinterpretation of Ausländer raus—Bitte liebt Österreich [Foreigners out—Please Love Austria] was developed in the context of, and first presented in, the exhibition Fear at the Core of Things at BAK, basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, the Netherlands, 5 February–29 April 2012.

Image: Christoph Schlingensief, Ausländer raus—Bitte liebt Österreich, 2000
photo: Johann Klinger

Art Under a Dangerous Star