Welcome to Archive/Counterarchive

A/CA Distinguished Speaker Series: Stefanie Schulte Strathaus

York University
4700 Keele Street
Toronto ON M3J 1P3


Phil Hoffman, Janine Marchessault, Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, and Michael Zryd

Tuesday, September 17

3:00 - 5:00 PM

Nat Taylor Cinema, N102 Ross Building, York University

FREE | Facebook Event

Living Archive: Archive work as social and political practice

The film collection of the Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art encompasses around 10,000 titles from the international history of independent cinema. What the films share is their inherent critique of the mechanisms of exclusion and canonization. Such an archive cannot be described by organizational criteria: It is not a national archive; it does not depict any genre nor any historical era. It could be seen as an archive of the so-called “counter cinema” or “other cinema,” but even that can be questioned. This seems to contradict the idea of a defined community of heirs, which could be responsible for preservation and digitization. Hence, who is the addressee of this heritage? Such an archive becomes a laboratory for critically reflecting on the category of film heritage in relation to the history of political and aesthetic movements, but even more, considering its history of transnationalism, to colonial or migration history. It becomes a site where power relations are negotiated and challenged, but also produced and reproduced.

The Arsenal archive is a “Living Archive”: It does not only consist of 130,000 pounds of analogue film material, it is a series of interdisciplinary critical research, preservation, digitisation, restoration, presentation, and exhibition projects. It makes everyone an archivist who interacts with it.

The talk will introduce the concept and history of archive projects at the Arsenal - Institute for film and Video Art in collaboration with the local public as well as with archives in Egypt, Guinea-Bissau and Nigeria.

Stefanie Schulte Strathaus is a film and video curator who lives and works in Berlin. She is Co- Director of Arsenal – Institute for Film and Video Art (with Milena Gregor and Birgit Kohler) and director of the Berlinale program Forum Expanded which she co-founded in 2006 with Anselm Franke. From 2001-2019 she was a member of the selection committee of the Berlinale Forum. Her curatorial work comprises numerous film programs, retrospectives and exhibitions, among them Michael Snow, Guy Maddin, Heinz Emigholz, Birgit Hein, Ulrike Ottinger, Stephen Dwoskin and many others. She co-curated LIVE FILM! JACK SMITH! Five Flaming Days in A Rented World (2009, with Susanne Sachsse and Marc Siegel) and „A Paradise Built in Hell“ at Kunstverein Hamburg (2014, with Bettina Steinbrügge), an exhibition on the contemporary use of the 16mm format. From 2010-2013 she conceived and curated the project "Living Archive – Archive Work as a Contemporary Artistic and Curatorial Practice“. In 2016 the Arsenal Film Archive moved to „silent green“, a new Berlin based cultural space, where she co-curates the long-term research and exhibition project „Film Feld Forschung“ (with Bettina Ellerkamp and Jörg Heitmann). Since 2010 Schulte Strathaus travels regularly to Cairo. In 2018 she curated a film program and an exhibition in the framework of Tashweesh, a festival on gender in North Africa, Europe and the Middle East, organised by Goethe Institut.

Schulte Strathaus’ texts have been published in ‘Frauen und Film’, ‘The Moving Image’, 'Texte zur Kunst’, 'Ästhetik & Kommunikation’, ‘Schriftenreihe Kinemathek’ as well as in various festival and exhibition catalogues and monographs. She is the editor of: Kinemathekheft Nr. 93: “Germaine Dulac” (with Sabine Nessel and Heide Schlüpmann), Berlin 2002; “The Memo Book. Films, Videos and Installations by Matthias Müller”, Berlin: Vorwerk 8, 2005; “The Primal Scene: Christine Noll Brinckmann. Films and Texts”, Berlin: arsenal edition, 2008; “Who says concrete doesn’t burn, have you tried? West Berlin Film in the ’80s” (with Florian Wüst), Berlin: arsenal edition, 2008. Since 2016 she is member of the Administrative Board of the Harun Farocki Institut. Schulte Strathaus currently co-curates „Archive außer sich“, a project of Arsenal in cooperation with Haus der Kulturen der Welt as part of „The New Alphabet“ (with SAVVY Contemporary, Harun Farocki Institut, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, pong film production and the Masters programme “Film Culture: Archiving, Programming, Presentation” Goethe University in Frankfurt). ww- w.arsenal-berlin.de, http://www.archive-ausser-sich.de/.

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Accessibility Info

- Accessibility entrances to Ross: Student Centre South + Vari Hall South entrances.

- Accessible and gender-neutral washroom on Vari Hall 1st floor. 

- Accessible and gender-segregated washrooms in Ross South.