Sarah Morris: 1972 / Beijing

Film program
14/12 2016 7 pm

Introduction: Juliane Bischoff

1972, 2008
35mm/HD, 38 min. 12 sec.
© Sarah Morris, Courtesy White Cube

1972 is an intimate portrait of an individual in the city of Munich. Dr. Georg Sieber was the head psychologist of the Olympic Police. Sieber was present on Connolly Street on the tragic morning of September 5th, 1972, when members of the terror group Black September attacked and took hostage the members of the visiting Israeli Olympic Team. Later that morning he resigned from his position. Sieber was hired by the International Olympic Committee and Munich Police to project possible scenarios that would jeopardize the safety of the Olympic Games and prepare the security training that they would require. One of the scenarios written by Sieber was an almost exact prognosis of what was to fatefully play out in reality.
In 1972, Morris mixes police surveillance footage of demonstrators and archival photos of the 1972 Summer Olympic Games, with shots of the Munich Olympia-park and a candid interview of Sieber who has a long-standing career as a psychologist and is an expert on international security matters.
The film, shot on 35 mm, investigates the issue of projection and planning and its potential failures through this specific instance in history. It exposes a subjective parallel view radically different than the widely received ideas surrounding the events of the 1972 Olympics.

Beijing, 2008
35mm/HD, 84 min. 47 sec.
© Sarah Morris, Courtesy White Cube

Beijing, focuses on one of the most intricate and ambiguous international broadcasted events of past years – the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. The film observes the overwhelmingly perplexing and contradictory economy and authority of China, made all the more resonant in current climate of global crisis.
The Olympics – with their sense of historical urgency and unconditional trust in the future and nationalism – embody a system that marks the modern confluence of capitalism and mass media by means of an unprecedented mastery of technology, the mass migration of people, and a hyper-mediated event culture. In Beijing, Morris plays with the notion of duality, coupling it with the constant presence of the spectacle or the event and its constant multiple interpretations.
Morris’s film is a surreal portrait of an authoritarian state of turbo-capitalism, during a period when the International Olympic Committee effectively took over sovereignty of the capital. Beijing depicts a hitherto closed country at a moment of apparent and possible theatrical openness, a hidden culture at a moment of extreme visibility. Consequently – and this is perhaps why we are made to think of conspiracies – the film questions the authorship of the spectacle, who is in control, and ultimately, the role of the artist.

Admission EUR 2
Free with entrance ticket or annual ticket