Art & the City
When Wilfried agreed the collaboration with Cinema Perpetuum Mobile Film Festival in 2011 for 2012, he had particularly in mind to visit Minsk – being aware, however, of the particular political situation, that a dictator was ruling since long time over the closed country. Because the festival was scheduled for 16-18 January 2012, and the winter in Russia (Belarus was part of the Sovjet empire) Wilfried decided to visit Minsk not during the hard winter, but in spring 2012, when Vera Antipova, the curator of the festival told him, the festival would schedule the screening of CologneOFF VII- Art & The City during Urban Culture and Fire Festival, taking place today, 18 May until 20 May 2012.
But as a kind of compensation for the plan to travel to Minsk later, Wilfried accepted the invitation to become part of the festival jury, whereby Wilfried received via a special courier the films to be juried on DVD, it was a particular experience to review all the films produced in the former Sovjet countries and compare them with films and videos from Western film makers. What Wilfried experienced already before that there is a difference in the topics and the kind of film-making.
Of course, Wilfried saw also the chance to invite Vera Antipova to prepare a selection of artvideos from Belarus in an exchange, being aware, that video art as the Western artists understand it probably would either not exist in Belarus or would not be selected because the film festival was rather representing a kind of a-typical short film festival, and short films, generally have different rules by following certain narratives. So when Wilfried received the curated contribution by Vera Antipova, he wansn’t surprised to receive short shortfilms closer to shortfilms than videoart, but it was OK, because the borders between both are blurred, and Wilfried is convinced, the audience has to decide. Wilfried is just offering options and chances.
In the end, however, the political situation in Minsk in May 2012 did not allow Wilfried to decide for a travel to Belarus on short notice. Such a pity!