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MoMA PS1 and MoMA present the first comprehensive American survey of Christoph Schlingensief
Christoph Schlingensief. Kettensägenmassaker. 1990. Film still. Courtesy of Filmgalerie 451.
LONG ISLAND CITY, NY.- MoMA PS1 presents the most comprehensive survey of works by Christoph Schlingensief (German, 1960-2010) organized in the United States. The presentation includes Schlingensief’s films, political actions, opera and theater productions, performances, sound, video and art installations from his nearly thirty year career. The exhibition Christoph Schlingensief will be on view at MoMA PS1 through August 31, 2014. In addition to the main exhibition on the third floor, his Germany Trilogy and 120 Days of Bottrop – the Last New German Film, are installed on the second floor and will be on view at MoMA PS1 through May, 2014. A selective film program, organized in collaboration with MoMA’s Department of Film and Department of Media and Performance, will screen in MoMA’s Titus theaters from March 15-16, 2014 and May 21-28, 2014.

Christoph Schlingensief (Oberhausen, 1960 - Berlin, 2010) constantly challenged and transgressed boundaries in his life and art. His work included experimental and feature film, theater, opera, performance, installation, literature, TV shows, radio plays... His art anticipates, comments on and reacts to its social context, touching on topics such as German history, religion, the institution of the family and media representations of current events. His radical and provocative demand for action and reaction question what he viewed as a destructive sense of political and artistic complacency and secured his exceptional position in contemporary art.

Born in Oberhausen, Germany in 1960, Schlingensief worked internationally for more than thirty years until his death in 2010. Not beholden to any one medium, Schlingensief moved between genres and disciplines dealing with political extremism and social discontentment, history and the present, combining these issues with universal questions relating to faith and superstition, truth and deception, and life and death. Whether creating films, critiquing society, establishing his own political party, building a reproduction of his childhood church, performing on stage until imprisoned by local law enforcement, founding a functioning Opera Village in Africa, or installing museum exhibitions, Schlingensief engaged deeply with his cultural and artistic milieu. He also directed plays by William Shakespeare and operas by Richard Wagner, and was profoundly influenced by Joseph Beuys, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, and the Viennese Actionists.

Christoph Schlingensief was born in Oberhausen, Germany in 1960. He studied philosophy, German language and literature and art history in Munich but left before receiving a degree to work as an assistant to the experimental filmmaker Werner Nekes. After making several low budget films, Schlingensief came to public attention with his Germany Trilogy (1989-1992). Starting in 1993, Schlingensief produced a large number of theater works. From 1996 until 2006, he worked as an in-house director at the Volksbühne Theater in Berlin. During the early 2000s, he produced and starred in a series of television shows modeled after popular talk shows and reality series. Throughout his career he realized performances and actions, exhibitions and installations in galleries and museums. Schlingensief died of cancer in 2010 at the age of forty nine.

Schlingensief’s works has been included in several important international group exhibitions, including the Venice Biennale 2011, 54th International Art Exhibition, Venice (2011), for which he received the distinguished Golden Lion award; The Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2008); the Venice Biennale 2003, 50th International Art Exhibition, Venice (2003); P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (1999); The Berlin Biennale (1998); and documenta X, Kassel (1997). Starting in 2009, Schlingensief was on the jury of the Berlin International Film Festival.

Schlingensief’s works was featured in solo exhibitions at Haus der Kunst, Munich (2007); Migros Museum for Contemporary Art, Zurich (2007).





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