LIVE N' ACTION: Edgar Arceneaux

On October 26 the American artist Edgar Arceneaux will present the Europe premiere of his film Until, Until, Until… in the Blickle Kino at the 21er Haus. Afterwards the performance A Time To Break Silence will be re-enacted with a live soundtrack by Detroit DJ Ray 7 from Underground Resistance and the Viennese musician Rupert Huber from TOSCA within the exhibition AI WEIWEI translocation – transformation. Both works deal with topics like black culture and its representation in the media, racial discrimination, censorship, as well as the complex relations between actuality, history, and serendipity.  

On October 26 the 21er Haus will be celebrating American artist Edgar Arceneaux’s Europe film premiere of Until, Until, Until…, which was produced from footage of his first live performance with the same title. The play was commissioned by Performa, New York City’s performance biennial, in November 2015 and won the biennial’s Malcolm McLaren-Price.

Until, Until, Until… investigates the infamous 1981 performance of Broadway legend Ben Vereen, televised nationally as part of Ronald Reagan's inaugural celebration. Intended as an homage to vaudevillian Bert Williams—America’s first mainstream black entertainer—the final 5 minutes of the performance were censored for the television audience, causing Vereen’s biting commentary on the history of segregation and racist stereotypes in performance to be lost on viewers at home. Until, Until, Until… is based on the footage that never aired that night. Arceneaux’s commission, a mise-en-scène of the inaugural party, foregrounds the past, illuminating the enduring presence and impact of history in the present. The piece questions the truth of past narratives, and creates an opportunity to reconsider our collective understanding of historic events. The performance immersed the audience in the scenery of the presidential celebration, where the relationship between past and present, experience and memory, and fantasy and reality are blurred as they are filtered through time and the television screen.

After the hour-long screening in the Blickle Kino, Claudia Slanar, Curator of the Ursula Blickle Video Archive, will converse on questions concerning topics such as historiography, censorship, black culture, and its representation in the media.

Following the screening, Arceneaux’s performance  A Time To Break Silence will be re-enacted within the exhibition AI WEIWEI translocation – transformation with a live soundtrack by the Detroit DJ Ray 7 from Underground Resistance and the Austrian composer Rupert Huber from TOSCA. In the feature-length film A Time To Break Silence, Arceneaux specifically links two events from the 1960s as a means to ruminate on their legacies and implications for the future of American cities. The work is titled after Martin Luther King’s last major speech Beyond Vietnam: A Time To Break Silence from 1967, in which he decries U.S. involvement in the war as an “enemy of the poor.” Dr. King was killed exactly one year later, two days before Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey premiered in Washington, D.C.

In Arceneaux’s film, Dr. King reprises his speech in Detroit’s Saint Anne’s church, which figures as a timeless ruin, while a prehistoric man named Stargazer aimlessly explores his alien environment. Both 2001 and Dr. King’s speech address technology in dual terms, as tool and weapon, a link amplified by Arceneaux’s collaboration with Underground Resistance, Detroit techno music innovators, who produced the musical elements for the film. With these intertextual references, Arceneaux’s work stages how the technologies we use are produced by the same evolutionary forces that produced us.


25 October 2016 | 7 pm
Beyond Time and Race: Edgar Arceneaux Rap Session with Dr. Renée Gadsden
Presentation of films and conversation (in English)                           
University of Applied Arts Vienna | free admission
26 October 2016 | 5 pm
Until, Until, Until…
Filmscreening with Q&A by Claudia Slanar (in English)
Blickle Kino at 21er Haus | Screening: 5 Euro
26 October 2016 | 8 pm
A Time to Break Silence
Performance with live soundtrack by Ray 7 (Underground Resistance) & Rupert Huber (TOSCA). With a guest appearance by Renée von Herzen.
21er Haus  | Performance admission free with valid ticket | Combined ticket: 9 Euro (Performance & Screening)
26 October 2016 | 10 pm
Afterparty with DJ-Set by Ray 7 (Underground Resistance)
FLUC | Ticket: 7 Euro or 5 Euro with 21er Haus ticket

In collaboration with Performa New York, University of Applied Arts Vienna and the Ursula Blickle Video Archive.
With the kind support of the US-Embassy and the U.S. Mission to the OSCE.
Medienpartner: Superfly