Despite carrying a city name in its title, LaborBerlin has always invoked other places. Places of origin and possibility, of partnership and ongoing collaboration. For many, Berlin is but one of a multiplicity of places that defines their everyday lives, and its importance in relation to cities from A to Z is ever changing. In Berlin and its laboratory, the factual presence of these other places remains at times unseen or unacknowledged, unless they become objects of films or direct artistic exchanges. Philip Widmann has invited artist and filmmaker Siska for a cine-conversation on the universal periphery that these place relations constitute. Siska was a member of LaborBerlin for a brief time around 2010, when he was still commuting between his native Beirut and Berlin. He continues to work on Super 8 and 16mm, moving between amateurism, cinema screens and exhibition spaces, exploring the visual and spatial histories of Beirut and Berlin, among others.
Independence Day: A work in progress
Siska, 2011/2012, 7 min. Super8
with live audio by Christian Blumberg
Latent Border(s) - (Extract)
Siska, 2019, 5 min, 16mm
In the Ruins of Baalbeck Studios
Siska, 2017, 47 min, 16mm & Super8 transferred to HD
Philip Widmann makes films, texts, and film programmes at the intersection of experimental documentary cinema, science, and visual art. His film and video work has been shown in various film festivals and art spaces, including Berlinale, IFF Rotterdam, New York FF, Yamagata International Documentary FF, FID Marseille, Videonale Bonn, Wexner Center for the Arts, and others. He has also selected film programmes for Arkipel Jakarta, Image Forum Tokyo, Kassel Dokfest and others. Philip has been a member of LaborBerlin since 2009.
Siska’s practice is often centered on archiveology examining sociopolitical narratives in relation to personal and collective pasts. His use of film language and cinematographic codes, as strategic mediations to activate archival material, allows him to experiment with new forms of storytelling and his own biography. Siska's work has been internationally exhibited, such as at Martin Gropius Bau, Paris 104, Beirut Exhibition Center, Mosaic Rooms London.