Master Project

Beatrice Fontana

Out of Hand

17 January 2020

Out of Hand

Event #8 – Choreographing the Public
at Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst

Screening (ca. 60.min) and Q&A
Curated by: Beatrice Fontana

Screening (ca 60 min.) and Q&A with the film director Claudius Gentinetta and the film scholar Laura Walde


Bab Sebta (Ceuta’s Gate), Randa Maroufi (France/Morocco, 2019, 19′ Arabic and Spanish with English subtitles)
In Ur Eye, Ayo Akingbade (UK, 2015, 1’30“, English)
Freedom & Independence, Bjørn Melhus (Germany, 2014, 15’, English)
Selfies, Claudius Gentinetta (CH, 2018, 3’44“)
The Swimming Club, Cecilia Golding, Nick Finegan (UK, 2016, 10’, English)
All Inclusive, Corina Schwingruber Ilić (CH, 2018, 10’)

Participation biases will be the subject of this screening, as they embody glimpses into imperfection, creative strategies of survival, to face the condition of „participating“ as new moral drive. For then, they carry lightness, irony, and a first-hand look at authentic humanity.

The shorts explore stories of people and their grand design to fit in or to withdraw from this alternative hierarchy of needs. Their plots interlace with performative narration, sense of humor, and visual atmospheres, with the purpose of swiftly glancing at an exquisitely human way of dealing with belongingness.

Whether listening to Ayn Rand latest uncanny predictions, or challenging European border control at Ceuta, this short cinematic trip will unfold between a grotesque sequence of human features, and the deck of a cruise ship. Pleasantly floating along a stream of polonaise bangers or in the sacred space of a swimming hall. Through the richness of the novels and the lyric of the images, it serves as an attempt to oppose choral practices to the poignant and universal interrogative of how we cope.

Whilst the phenomenon of participation is not entirely new, two decades of neoliberalism fostered the need of reacting as a community and triggered the proliferation of new forms of collective behaviors. Participative policies being tested, brought forward, and experienced, call attention to participative democracy, participative management, urbanism, agriculture, or participatory art with its demand for public entanglement and viewer activation. This globalized scenario of commonality changes, in some measure, the set of rules and establishes a model, where the matrix of relationships and connections becomes crucial. Pursuing different forms of social engagement grows into a necessary practice in daily life, in order to confront and reject the dissolution, the dislocation, or the conflagration of community (Nancy). Taken to the extreme, participation appears like the only expedient allowing individuals to converge into this newly shaped, democratic experience of existence. But under the pressure of such high expectations, also this cherished dictate gets sometimes out of hand.

Social gray areas emerge, in which participation becomes the final need for fulfilment. Staged comedies for social acceptance, loudly fought with weapons of hilarious mass consumerism or decadent cult of the image. But also, darker areas are revealed. Political borders, neutral zones of humans traffic, geographic obstacle to intimacy, where participation is unwanted, disapproved. Areas of exclusion or compelled inclusion, where curiously devoted behaviors or ancestral human fears, clash with the established routine of everyday acceptance. Queerness or disappearance, gentrification or mental illness, boosted identity or mainstream religiousness as borderline bugs cracking the surface of participation desire. In reality expanded social spaces where human interactions reach unexpected and inspirational forms. And of those spaces of interaction we would like to talk, as an inevitable presence. “About the real consequences, intervention, creative possibilities and responsibilities of intra-acting within and as part of the world (Barad)