Casting a Shadow A film series curated by Sabeth Buchmann and Constanze Ruhm
Viktoria Bayer, Soliman Lawrence, Selina Stritzel, from: In Four Inneracts, 2018 (production photo, actors: Isabella Jeschke, left, and Elisabeth Halikiopoulos), Courtesy Bayer/Lawrence/Stritzel
The practice of “casting” inherent to the logic of making theater and film often transpires to be a prism for the relationships between directing and acting, as well as interpretation and representation in the light of questions of power and self-empowerment, or dominance and subservience, and in a frequently sexualized context. In the course of “ludic capitalism” (Alexander R. Galloway), casting as a show format has long entered private television and has also come to play a key role in the world of labour and the so-called social media: as the popular genre of the casting show exemplifies, this is on the one hand a matter of a competition between different (performative) “skills” and “talents,” and on the other hand a public act of (self-)evaluation and selection. This film series addresses relevant discourses in game theory, behaviorism, and cybernetics, and aims to explore exemplary artistic and cinematic works in terms of the conceptual and reflective implications of casting as a sub-genre of rehearsal. This is seen as an illustration of collective (re-)interpretations of normative role patterns and requirements for achievement, and also as a barometer for changing relations between reality and fiction.
For the third evening of the series Casting a Shadow, a program will be developed together with students from the Academy of Fine Arts in a project seminar of the same name. In various formats, these works further explore and expand analysis of casting situations and the precarious conditions inherent to their processes of (de-)subjectification. These tests of talent and authenticity for the needs of the moment raise issues of power relations, stereotypical images, coercion, and the consequences of a very direct use of the body.