Queer cowboys and builders are invited by Kerstin Honeit (b. 1977, Germany) in my castle your castle (2017) to the debate about the reconstruction of the Berlin Palace on the foundations of the Palace of the Republic, the seat of the former GDR. The stage-like setting on the construction site resembles a television talk show as a variety of stakeholders debate the castle’s history and relevance to contemporary Germany.
Where are you from and how did you become interested in moving image work?
I was born and raised in Berlin where I grew up watching a lot of television. It was the 1980s and I was able to flick between images of capitalism and socialism. The meeting of these two opposed worlds in the same television set, disgorging their mixed messages into my living room, fascinated me from early on and shaped my interest in the production of moving images.
What inspired you to make the work?
I still live in Berlin and I usually find the stories and political issues I am interested in literally outside my front door. The drastic changes this city has experienced during the last 30 years since the wall came down, for example, are impossible to overlook and have almost rendered the city unrecognisable. Neoliberal urban planning policies, gentrification as well as large reactionary building projects like the resurrection of the Prussian city palace, create a city exclusively for tourists and the rich, while long established communities are pushed out. Nevertheless, there is still a lot of activist energy left in the city to fight against investors and rampant privatisation. There is currently a huge campaign for a referendum to de-privatise 240,000 apartments, bringing them under public control. These gestures of resistance–and also solidarity– inspire me.
What are you working on at the moment?
My next project will investigate the aesthetics of poverty based on my own background, seeking forms of representation which examine economic discrepancy and structural classism (in the cultural sector as well), without being exploitative or exoticising.
Kerstin Honeit (b. 1977, Germany) works as a filmmaker and artist with different forms of staging. Honeit’s artistic research focuses on the investigation of representational mechanisms in the production of hegemonic imagery in connection with cultural and linguistic modes of translation, especially in the cinematographic context. Her works have been shown at HMKV Dortmund, International Short Film Festival São Paulo, Ruhrtriennale, Kunsthalle Rostock, Off Biennale Cairo, Videoart at Midnight, MMOMA – D’EST, HKW Berlin, SixtyEight Art Institute Kopenhagen, Kunstmuseum Bonn and many more.