In Focus Loretta Fahrenholz, Frieze

“Fahrenholz has made half a dozen films since graduating from the Academy of Visual Arts in Leipzig in 2007. The question of how to act filters through her films, as they suggest the power structures, economic necessities and social pressures that come to determine actions and define roles in daily life. This is perhaps most explicit in Implosion (2011), based on Kathy Acker’s 1983 play of the same name, a French revolutionary tale transposed to a 1980s Manhattan full of heroin, bankruptcy and sex. In Fahrenholz’s interpretation of the play, all of the characters – My Father, My Grandmother, Danton, Robespierre, Schoolmistress – are played by young gay men, their character names spelled out in subtitles. This skewing of gender relations, along with the actors’ unflinchingly monotonous intonation, suggests a disaffected inhabitation of the script, rather than a full-blooded performance – more re-enacting than acting. The actors’ behavioural slickness is reflected in the glossy interiors of the downtown Manhattan hotel in which the film was shot: all plate-glass windows and venetian blinds, accessorized with elaborate flower arrangements, MacBooks and iPhones. Oblique conversations and vapid sex scenes are performed with such detachment that the narration seems to consist only of gaps and slippages – between roles and characters, genders and sexual relations, meaning and actions, or the raw Manhattan landscape of Acker’s 1980s and the monied, networked veneer of the early 2010s.”
Kirsty Bell

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