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DNCB by Oliver Husain, Kerstin Schroedinger

Kunst- und Kulturwissenschaften
Mumok Cinema, Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien

Presented by Moira Hille, followed by a conversation with Oliver Husain and Kerstin Schroedinger in cooperation with mumok.

The history of the chemical substance DNCB is the starting point for our project. DNCB was used in film and photo labs to process color. Up to the 1990s, it was still easy to order from Kodak in the USA. In 1986, during the so-called AIDS crisis, doctors and patients in San Francisco conducted experiments on themselves that showed that the application of DNCB to the skin had a positive effect on the immune system and was a good method of treatment for kaposi sarcoma. They campaigned for medical research on DNCB and founded the first independent guerilla AIDS clinics. We (Kerstin Schroedinger and Oliver Husain) were fascinated by the contact between film and medicine in this specific constellation. From today’s perspective it seems both comforting and powerful that just at the moment that technological progress was making the chemical development of analog film obsolete one of the components of this process gained another use not associated with film. In addition, the radical and independent actions of AIDS activists and artists in the late 1980s and early 1990s and their approach when compared with today’s reactionary political climate are gaining new relevance. Based on our research, we have created an experimental artistic installation that links explorations with material, historical research, and performance, and makes connections between self-medication and independent film developing studios.

Oliver Husain lives in Toronto. He is a filmmaker and artist with a particular interest in theatrical and film concepts of the nature of the audience and enactment. Husain’s video installation Isla Santa Maria 3D was shown in 2017 in the Forum Expanded at the Berlinale and at Kunstverein Nuremberg. In 2018, his works were shown in solo exhibitions at Remai Modern, Saskatoon, the Susan Hobbs Gallery, Toronto, the Republic Gallery, Vancouver, and Galerie Clages, Cologne.

Kerstin Schroedinger works in film and video, and sound and performance. Her historiographical practice questions the means of image production, historical continuities, and ideological depictions of representation. Her most recent works include Blueness (video) and The Alleged Body (performance), shown in 2017 at the Images Festival, Toronto, and at Les Complices*, Zurich. Exhibitions and screenings (selection): Anthology Film Archives, New York, Berlinale Forum Expanded, Kunstpavillon Innsbruck, MIT List Visual Arts Center, Boston, PhotoCairo #6, Toronto International Film Festival, Whitney Museum of American Art.