Followed by screenings Wednesday–Sunday
4 June–30 July, 12pm and 4pm
Künstlerhaus’ newly conceived cinema opens with Pinochet Porn (2008–16), an epic experimental film embodying the multifaceted work of the late artist Ellen Cantor (1961–2013). Cantor worked on this feature-length episodic narrative about the intertwined lives of five children and their maturation into adulthood for the final five years of her life.
The film originates in a suite of 82 drawings named Circus Lives from Hell, which subsequently developed into the dramatic storyboard. Produced using Super 8mm, archival footage, and animated drawings, Pinochet Porn takes the form of a soap opera, at once tragic and comical and marked by a subversive sexuality. The story weaves between personal, political, and historical circumstances, obliquely revolving around the political discord of Pinochet’s regime in Chile. In the film, each child becomes a container for their distinct and complex experience of dictatorship – structures, which the characters later carry in their lives as adults, pointing to the film’s central question: is tragedy a choice?
Pinochet Porn is a document of an extended moment in New York and London avant-garde art and culture, featuring a range of artists, curators, writers, filmmakers, fixtures of the underground, musicians, and their children. This screening marks the German premiere of the work and follows a more long-running engagement with the practice and approach of Cantor, culminating in the book A history of the world as it has become known to me (Sternberg Press, Summer 2017), edited by Lia Gangitano, Fatima Hellberg, and Jamie Stevens.
Pinochet Porn (2008–16)
Super 8mm transferred to video (black and white and colour, sound), 123 min
Directed by Ellen Cantor
Image: Ellen Cantor, Pinochet Porn, Courtesy of the Estate of Ellen Cantor.