The scene is memorable like no other. A couple dances tango in an empty French bistro until the woman leaves the dance floor, affected because her partner has tried to kiss her on the neck for the second time. The scene is repeated several times: Really in the exhibition hall of the Hamburger Bahnhof, where two professional dancers move elegantly across the parquet until the scandal. Then in Ettore Scola’s famous 1983 film “Le Bal”, which can be seen as an excerpt, and finally as a remake with Zineb Sedira in the role of the coolly dismissive dancer.
This is her big performance, because with the immersive film installation “Dreams Have No Titles” the Algerian-French artist not only gives the central scenes in films that are important to her a multifaceted forum, but she also weaves her own story into it: the diasporic experience , the story of the Algerian struggle for liberation and racism, of attempts at decolonization and the happiness of friendship, dance and conversation.Live on your mobile You can get all the latest news about the Russian attack on Ukraine with the Tagesspiegel app. Download here for IOS and Android.
When Zineb Sedira’s installation premiered in the French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale last year, she herself had something of a dream about the recreated film sets and the artist’s living room furniture brought in from London. The audience felt immediately drawn in by the sounds, the atmosphere of a film studio, the magical moment when the tango dancers suddenly enter the scene. The French pavilion was immediately considered the favorite for the Golden Lion. He got at least one “Honourable Mention”.Visit to the Lyon Art Biennale Better fragile than frozen
Sam Bardouil and Till Fellrath, the two directors of the Hamburger Bahnhof who have been in office since January 2022, managed a triple strike in 2022. In Berlin, they got the Museum of Contemporary Art off to a good start, culminating in the ultimate salvation of the Rieck Halls. Starting in the summer, they staged a massive biennale in Lyon. And in Venice, together with exhibition organizer Yasmina Reggad, they curated one of the most acclaimed pavilions. Berlin is now benefiting from this again. The director duo has now brought the almost intimate version from the Giardini to their own institution as a major show.
It is touching how Sam Bardaouil emphasized, as before at other openings, that the Hamburger Bahnhof should be there for everyone as a place of tolerance. The central film of Zineb Sedira’s installation, which can be viewed on wooden cinema folding chairs, provides a lesson. Sam Bardaouil, a native of Lebanon, plays a small part shirtless with his arms raised. “Get up, Arabs!” he is snapped at off-screen.Film set in the installation “Dreams Have No Titles” by Zineb Sadira.© Thierry Bal
The scene could be from Visconti’s The Stranger or Gino Ponzecorvo’s The Battle of Algiers from the 1960s, which also appear in Zineb Sedira’s homage to the “cinéma militante”. Film served as a vehicle for the liberation struggle during this period. Zineb Sedira grew up with them. Her parents had emigrated from Algeria to France, where she was born. The artist went to London to study, where she still lives today.
To the exposition
Hamburg train station, Invalidenstr. 50/51, until July 30, Tue to Fri 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thu to 8 p.m., Sat/Sun 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Die Tango-Performances take place Tue 10.30am-1.30pm, Wed 1.30pm-4.30pm, Thu 2.30pm-5.30pm Fri to Sun 1.30pm-4.30pm.
If publication three newspaper editions appear in a slipcase with the titles “Algiers”, “Paris” and “Venedig” (Nero Verlag) €18.
The biennial version of “Dreams have no title” showed how these migratory movements make their mark on family life. It also featured the artist’s parents and her daughter, who no longer speak the same language and have communication difficulties. At her next exhibition stop in 2024 at the Whitechapel Gallery in London, other experiences and encounters are likely to be included in the film.
The end credits will remain unchanged with a dancing Zineb Sedira in a yellow vintage dress in front of a yellow background. For her, dance is a form of resistance to build community, and at the same time an opportunity to let go. Even the audience can dance and move like the two tango dancers to the sounds of an old radio behind the counter.
Like the shoes that Zineb Sedira wears with the yellow dress, the tango dancers, and the bar, this object also appears in the film and exhibition. And yet there is more at stake, because during Algeria’s struggle for liberation, radio was the only way to find out from foreign broadcasters how things were in their own country.Hamburger Bahnhof – off to the future The federal government and Berlin announce the successful purchase of the art location Berlin museum responds to energy crisis Hamburger Bahnhof switches off light art work by Dan Flavin Question of the day for Berlin Art Week Is art currently too political?
Film, setting, the fate of Sedira and her family are interwoven in the exhibition to form a poetic unit. The private and the political, the micro and the macro perspective are intertwined. The Franco-Algerian artist is open about her life, but at the very beginning of her film she distances herself with an appearance by Orson Wells, who declares that everything is a hoax, no story is true.
Suddenly the large film shelf at the beginning of the exhibition comes to mind, which is based on a backdrop from Orson Wells’ film “F for Fake”. The many tin film canisters in the archive are a promise. They do not hide the one truth.