Reading Series 7

Light Reading Series 7 - Marcel Schwierin and Stuart Comer - On America
Wednesday 24th October 2007, at 7pm

Please note the new venue for the 2007 series:
3rd Floor
316-318 Bethnal Green Road

Nearest tube: Bethnal Green

On America

In the 20th century American culture and media achieved a dominant position
internationally. American dreams and myths became those of the world, both
in the mainstream and in the counterculture. But with the Iraq war the image
of the U.S. shifted dramatically. The ensuing criticism goes far further
than either the war itself or the Bush administration, but turns more and
more into a general anti-Americanism. Remarks about Americans that would be
named racist if they weren¹t about America are quite fashionable.

The Berlin-based curator Marcel Schwierin invited Stuart Comer (curator of
film at Tate Modern) as an American living and working in London to discuss
anti-Americanism, American culture and its counterculture. The discussion
will be based on the work of two artists: Marcel Schwierin will present
ŒAmerica Sells¹ and an excerpt of ŒAuto Center Drive¹ by the German video
artist Bjørn Melhus, who works nearly exclusively on U.S. American media in
a very personal way, reflecting the huge influence of this culture in
Germany after 1945. Stuart Comer will present the rarely seen ‘ITSOFOMO’ by
David Wojnarowicz, which is a personal and highly political statement from
the New York underground.

Marcel Schwierin is a curator and filmmaker living in Berlin. He works
predominantly on the relation between ideology and image including his
documentary on National Socialist film aesthetic ‘Eternal Beauty’ (2003) and
‘The Fallen Curtain’ a series of themed programmes presented at Oberhausen
2005). In 2008 he will be the artistic director of the 8th Werkleitz
Biennial in which the U.S.A. will be a major theme.

Stuart Comer is Curator of Film at Tate Modern, London, where he oversees
the Collection and Displays of film and media works, and runs a regular
programme of screenings and events. He has contributed to numerous
publications and periodicals, including Artforum, Frieze, Afterall, Parkett
and Art Review.

Recent freelance curatorial projects include a project with Hilary Lloyd for
the 2007 Lyon Biennial, ‘An American Family’ at CASCO, Utrecht and
Kunstverein Munich; ‘America’s Most Wanted’ for The Artists’ Cinema at the
2006 Frieze Art Fair, London; and ‘Double Lunar Trouble’ at the Whitechapel
Art Gallery, London. He has contributed to monographs on artists including
Tom Burr, Bik, Van Der Pol, and Gillian Wearing, published an interview with
Andrea Fraser in After Thought: New Writing on Conceptual Art, contributed
to Vitamin Ph, Phaidon¹s recent survey of contemporary photography, and is
editing a forthcoming publication on film and video for Tate.


America Sells, Bjørn Melhus, Germany 1990, U-Matic, colour, sound, 7 min

Auto Center Drive, Bjørn Melhus, Germany 2003, 16mm, colour, sound, 28 min
[an excerpt will be presented on video]

ITSOFOMO (In the Shadow of Forward Motion), David Wojnarowicz (in
collaboration with Ben Neill), US 1991/2004, 22 min

Light Reading is an ongoing series of critical dialogues that engage
artists, writers, and curators in conversation around a selected artists’
body of work. To be included on the mailing list for future events, please
email: courses at

Tickets £5 on the door or £4 advance.
To book please call 0207 372 3925 or email courses at
Booking is essential as places are limited.