The artists Marina Abramović, Sigalit Landau, Katharina Sieverding, and Shirin Neshat have been influenced and politicized by their personal experiences of war, violence, and oppression in their respective countries of origin.
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These experiences influence their works – and are transformed into art. These artists’ means of expression is the most intimate medium they possess: their own bodies.
In BODY OF TRUTH we accompany these four artists on an emotional journey through their biographies. The four women come from four different cultures. Their life stories are characterized by political conflicts, personal injuries and emotions, that all have an effect on their artistic work. They stand for the major conflicts of our time: Iranian exile Shirin Neshat examines the discrepancies within Islamic society; Marina Abramović, the daughter of Serbian partisans, has repeatedly explored the issues of violence, pain, and grief, as experienced indirectly in the Yugoslav wars; the German Katharina Sieverding examines the problem of fascist structures; and Israeli artist Sigalit Landau’s work draws on the quotidian fear of terror. These four artists counter a world characterized by profound uncertainty, the increasing threat of terrorism, civil wars, refugee crises, and new demarcations by staging their bodies in a language as precise as it is poetic: RADICAL, PAINFUL, SENSUAL, VIOLENT.
Their art challenges us to develop new perspectives and awareness, deepening our understanding of the issues of our times. Does history repeat itself? Are violence and the craving for power an imperative of human nature? Can art help us to better understand our highly complex world? BODY OF TRUTH aims to convey a clearer understanding of contemporary art within the context of its political dimension; beyond that, the film also seeks to make these works accessible to audiences on the emotional level.
Aided by the experience through their history, the women study complex topics such as “power”, “violence” and “sexuality” with us in a very human and sensual way.
Script / Director: EVELYN SCHELS
Director of Photography: BÖRRES WEIFFENBACH
2nd Unit Kamera: THOMAS FUNK
Sound: HELGE HAACK
Montage: ULRIKE TORTORA
Music: CHRISTOPH RINNERT
Producer Germany: AREK GIELNIK, SONIA OTTO, INDI FILM
Producer Switzerland: SONJA KILBERTUS
MARINA ABRAMOVIĆ, NEW YORK CITY
SHIRIN NESHAT, NEW YORK CITY
KATHARINA SIEVERDING, DÜSSELDORF
SIGALIT LANDAU, TEL AVIV