Symbolic Threats

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Wermke/Leinkauf,  Symbolic Threats , 2015

Wermke/Leinkauf, Symbolic Threats, 2015

signs and symbols presents a one-time only screening and US premiere of Symbolic Threats, the award-winning short film by artist duo Wermke/Leinkauf as part of artists & allies II.

Poetry or threat? An act of surrender or perhaps art? These were the theories that New York puzzled over in the summer 2014. How can one incident be interpreted in so many ways? By means of press reports, Symbolic Threats allows the public at large to express their extreme disparity of interpretation. Inspired by the heated debate over the two ‘White American Flags’ that suddenly appeared on the towers of New York City’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge, the film asks what kind of societal scope art has in the present day. What happens when threatened freedom reinstates art with the element of danger? Who or what makes it into a threat? Are we safe in the city? What is next?

Wermke/Leinkauf’s Symbolic Threats received numerous accolades for their work, including Best German Shortfilm & Audience Award at the International Short Film Festival Hamburg, as well as nominations for best Germans Short film of German Film Academy and European Film Award of European Film Academy, the Audience Award at Documenta Madrid, Spain, the Main Documentary Award at Art Film Fest Kosice, Slovakia, Main Award and Edward Snowden Award @ Festival international Signes de Nuit, among others.

Wermke/Leinkauf in collaboration with Lutz Henke
Symbolic Threats
New York City / Berlin, 2015
17min, HD-Video/Audio, English

wermke/leinkauf, the celebrated Berlin based artist duo, work on installations and performances/public space interventions dealing with the hidden possibilities of a city. Using various artistic strategies, the conversion of urban topographies and the exploration of its borders, they create temporary irritations that allow new perspectives on 'everyday' situations. In their artistic practice, crossing the boundaries of individual freedom serves as an extension of artistic and societal scopes. To question common standards and constraints, they "open" the city by using not only their bodies in performances but also the architecture and the tools of urban spaces. Their work often relates to the Genius Loci and the history of a space. The duo has received numerous awards worldwide, taking them to Athens, Tokyo, Cologne and several locations around Germany. Their work has exhibited internationally in various solo and group exhibitions at venues such as HAM Helsinki Art Museum Finland, Moderna Museet Stockholm, Kunstraum Niederösterreich Vienna, Akademie der Künste Berlin, Manifesta 11 Zurich Switzerland, Museum of Contemporary Art Tokyo Japan, Museum of Contemporary Art Denmark, KW Institute Berlin and Eyebeam New York among many others.