Collective Fictions

Experimental filmmaker Loretta Fahrenholz often combines a range of genres, creating work that defies categorisation. From documentary characteristics to tropes from disaster movies, the director fuses elements in a potent juxtaposition of mediums. The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, is showing the German artist’s latest composition, Two A.M (2016). The 40-minute fantasy film has its roots in Irmgard Keun’s novel Nach Mitternacht, translating to After Midnight, a darkly humorous novel about the rise of the Nazis; the prophetic text was written after Keun’s escape to the Netherlands in 1937. With this foundation, Fahrenholz addresses contemporary forms of surveillance and social control, following a group of people and the complex intersections of emotions.

Two A.M documents a contemporary reality that is shaped by collective fictions. The protagonist, Sanna (Theadora Davis) becomes indignant with her adopted family, a peculiar collection of information-obsessives with abnormal telepathic abilities and social pretensions. She leaves her family home, and partner, for the city, a dreamy ideology which quickly falls flat. With Sanna’s half-sister Algin (Emily Sundblad) lamenting over a declining singing career, to Hedy (Jim Fletcher) a paranoid journalist; the characters that inhabit the protagonist’s projected utopia are wrapped up in their own dramas and affairs. The return of Sanna’s partner Franz (Andrew Kerton), accompanied by her adopted sisters, casts her world into further turmoil. However, the final scenes are more upbeat, with the group indulging in the metropolitan night-life, bringing the characters together and casting off ennui and world-weariness for a celebration of youth. Corresponding with the screening of the film, an artist’s book of the same name is also released, produced by Fahrenholz, Fridericianum Kassel and Kunsthalle Zürich.

Shown at The Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, until 5 March. For more information:

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1. Loretta Fahrenholz, Two A.M (2016) (film still).