Still from Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Warnung vor einer heiligen Nutte (Beware of a Holy Whore), 1971

Raúl de Nieves &
Werner Schroeter

Performance & Screenings
Thursday, July 7, 2016, 7pm

Artists Space Books & Talks
55 Walker Street

$5 Entrance
Members Free, Guaranteed Entry

Beware of a Holy Whore, according to film critic Andrew Sarris writing in The Village Voice in 1976, is grounded in the "minimyth" of Werner Schroeter, and its "characteristically androgynous" opening monologue features Schroeter delivering an elliptical reading of a Disney short featuring Goofy the dog. The opening evening of Beware of a Holy Whore / Pride Goes Before a Fall / Mise en Abyme likewise takes the director as its diva and the minimyth as its devotional centerpiece. The films Maria Callas Portrait (1968) and Willow Springs (1973) will be presented in conjunction with a live performance by Raúl de Nieves.

A 1979 directory of German filmmakers listed Werner Schroeter as having "no fixed abode." A similar claim can be made of Schroeter's position within New German Cinema, a wave of filmmaking that emerged in the 1960s and that railed against postwar materialism, bourgeois morality, youthful alienation and the ethical insolvency of the Nazi legacy in West Europe. Enjoying equal parts prestigious and precarious institutional recognition, Schroeter's films are excessive yet pointed, and employ modes of montage, fragmentation, allegory and ambiguity within an oeuvre that is often as delicate and complicated as it is camp and political. Schroeter's primary subject was the diva—his earliest 8mm films were a series of short portraits of Greek-American soprano Maria Callas, consisting of still photographs of the singer set against a rich sonic tapestry. Callas' voice is woven throughout his output, and her persona through his characters, and his feature-length works frequently blend opera with pop music (for example, The Andrews Sisters' calypso "Rum and Coca-Cola") in a blurring of high and low sources, providing a rich lens through which to view gender, culture and performance to this day.

Raúl de Nieves (b. Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico, 1983) is an artist, performer, and musician based in Brooklyn, New York. His work encompasses narrative painting, decadent multimedia performance (often with his band Haribo), large-scale figurative sculpture, live music, ornamentally crafted shoes, and garments. De Nieves has exhibited widely, including at Mendes Wood DM, Sao Paulo; The Museum of Art and Design; Rod Bianco, Oslo; Shoot the Lobster, and elsewhere. He has also performed at Artists Space, BOFFO, The Kitchen, Performa 13, Real Fine Arts, and numerous other venues. In 2015, he was included in Greater New York at MoMA PS1. His exhibition El Rio is currently on view at Company Gallery through July 24, 2016.

Werner Schroeter (1945–2010) was born in Thuringia, Germany, and began his filmmaking career in the late 1960s. He worked primarily with film and documentary, and was known as an actor as well as a director of opera and theater. Maria Callas Portrait, his first 8mm short, was produced after he visited the Film Festival at Knokke, Belgium in 1967. Willow Springs was the only film he shot in the United States, and features a commune of three women (Magdalena Montezuma, Christine Kaufmann, Ila von Hasperg) who reside in a dilapidated house with a bar on the edge of the Mojave Desert, where they lure men in, and sacrifice them.

Raúl de Nieves & Werner Schroeter is the opening program of:

Pride Goes Before a Fall
     Beware of a Holy Whore
         Mise en Abyme

July 7 – July 26, 2016

For a schedule of programs and list of protagonists click here

Still from Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Warnung vor einer heiligen Nutte (Beware of a Holy Whore), 1971

Still from Werner Schroeter, Maria Callas Portrait, 1968