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March 14th–20th, 2016 / Cinema Muzeul Țăranului, Cinema Elvire Popesco, Universitatea Națională de Muzică / the 6th edition


Directed by: 
Cinema Muzeul Țăranului - Tuesday, March 15, 2016 - 20:30
Cinema Muzeul Țăranului - Friday, March 18, 2016 - 17:30
Written by: 
Vika Kirchenbauer
Vika Kirchenbauer
Martin Sulzer
Vika Kirchenbauer
Vika Kirchenbauer
Vika Kirchenbauer
Bucharest Premiere
With the support of

“In direct address, Vika Kirchenbauer invites you to Please Relax Now. You’re about to experience liberty and desire, under the guiding voice of the artist. Calm and composed, Kirchenbauer breaks down the cinematic screen’s barrier of distanciation as she methodically lays bare (pun well-intended) the power-relationships at play between art and its consumer. As spectators, we are encouraged to subvert passivity and reclaim our position within the space we occupy. How? By exploring, here and now, the pleasure principle of art to its extreme. Abandon all preconceptions, democratize the space and fully submit to - and indulge in - the communal experience. Political and playful, Please Relax Now’s deceivingly simple premise will become one of your most challenging viewing experiences. Should you resist? No, just relax. (Andrei Tănăsescu, BIEFF)
(present in Bucharest during the festival)

Peter Tscherkassky

Vika Kirchenbauer is an artist and writer currently working and residing in Berlin. In her work she explores opacity in relation to representation of the ʻotheredʼ through ostensibly contradictory methods like exaggerated explicitness, oversharing and perversions of participatory culture. She examines the troublesome nature of 'looking' and 'being looked at' in larger contexts including labour within post-fordism and the experience economy, modern drone warfare and its insistence on unilateral staring, the power relationships of psychiatry, performer/spectator relations, participatory culture, contemporary art display and queer representational politics as well as the everyday life experience of ambiguously gendered individuals. Her work has been exhibited in a wide range of contexts in about forty countries and has won prizes at numerous festivals.

Festivals, awards: 
  • Honourable Mention - European Media Art Festival 2014
  • Jury Award - FLEXfest Florida Experimental Film/Video Festival 2015
  • Lolly Award - XPOSED International Queer Film Festival 2015
  • Hamburg International Short Film Festival 2014
  • Timishort Film Festival 2014
  • Queer Lisboa International Queer Film Festival 2015
  • Queer City Cinema: Media Arts Festival, Canada 2015
  • Tel Aviv International LGBT Film Festival 2015
  • Queer Arts Festival, Vancouver 2015Helsinki Short Film Festival 2015
Statement-ul regizorului:
Please Relax Now uses the screen as a source of light and darkness drawing attention to the issue of art consumption as individual vs. collective experience and extending the video piece into physical space. Motivational language is interwoven with metaphysical gestures of salvation characteristic of economics as well as of what is considered 'Political Art.' The piece examines the overlap of current developments in performance art, art display, economics, marketing and the participatory nightmare of life and work as theatre. The striking similarities between Experience Economy – the rendering of memory as a source of profit - and the eventisation of art are deconstructed and ironically reassembled in an artwork made possible only through the social element of spectatorship as a form of immaterial and affective labour. Staging a darkroom as a promise of intensity and using transgression in its sexual and economic sense, the art space is portrayed as a transformation business. By addressing the spectator as a passive consumer, collaborator, client, spiritual follower, raw material and immaterial worker questions the capacities of art as a social and political field within ever-evolving capitalism. (Vika Kirchenbauer)