8 – 17 March | 14:00 – 19:00
Museum of Dance
in der German Dance Archive Cologne
Im Mediapark 7 | 50670 Cologne
Germany 2023 | 28 minutes
Director: Eszter Salamon
In the short film “Sommerspiele”, the artist, choreographer and performer Eszter Salamon confronts her speculative work around the work and life of the German avant-garde artist Valeska Gert with the Nazi architecture of the 1936 Summer Olympics – today places of tourism, professional sport, mass entertainment and leisure activities.
The film is set in various locations that were built for the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin: a football stadium, an open-air theater and a swimming pool. The architectural traces carry with them memories of the diverse relationships that art and artists entered into with the National Socialist regime, while others – including Valeska Gert herself – were regarded as creators of “degenerate art”.
The film addresses the failure of collective memory and imagines memory through fiction and embodiment, through film and performance. Salamon formulates a poetic resistance to the historical, cinematographic, choreographic, sculptural and architectural gestures and their totalitarian ideologies of body representation that are still present today. Her counter-narrative embodies the grotesque – a performative weapon that Valeska Gert also utilized. “Summer Games” reflects on the presence and absence of bodies in public space and the function that historical sites of collective trauma fulfill in today’s social and political imaginary.
The film can be seen in the Museum of Dance of the German Dance Archive Cologne as part of the current exhibition “IRGENDWAS FEHLT IMMER” (Something is always missing) daily, except Wednesdays, from 2 to 7pm. Moovy accredited visitors have free admission to the exhibition.