16 / 11 / 02 – 15 / 12 / 02
Exhibition / Films / Talks / Performance

Coming Attraction
X Characters in Search of an Author
Constanze Ruhm (A)



(4) Character

A set of female characters is drawn from films belonging to, and set in, different time periods. Thus they establish a range of specific moments in postwar cinema history. They represent icons bridging from 1960s modernist cinema onto the borderline of the postmodern 1980s. In this universe of female characters, they are both lead and supporting actors at the same moment. They slip in and out of their roles, as the scriptwriter demands that they embody the notion of ”woman as symptom,” and at the same time they are required to maintain what is expected from a lead character. Moreover are they all entangled in a specific relationship with the terminal – being murdered, suicidal, sacrificial, non-human, extra-terrestrial, or simply walking dead women.

These characters suggest a societal and cultural transformation occurring within the modernist paradigm represented in cinematic discourse, which did not manage to free up a female-character potential outside the conventional modernist canon. The characters are sent into even more fragmentary states of bodies and minds. As the author’s agencies of narrative, they are transported to his main fixation, flowing outwards and inscribing a fundamental condition of anxiety and distress into a modernist universe defined by internal discord, psychological conflicts and the breakdown of communication.

And then the fiction ends. Still, these unfulfilled characters remain in the memories of some of us, suggesting the possibility of return in a different manner.


back to "Coming Attraction" Intro