Serpentine Gallery Program

The Serpentine Gallery (founded 1970) is an art museum for modern and contemporary art in Kensington Garden in the center of London. The gallery is financed by the British government and private sponsors. Since 2000, leading architects (among others, Rem Kohlhaas, Frank Gehry, Peter Zumthor, Ai Weiwei, Sou Fujimoto) have the chance to build a pavilion on the grounds and present it to the public. For this space, Kluge put together in September 2006 a 2-hour-program, which for the most part (100 min.) consisted of television features from 1995-2005. They all lean toward the absurd and can best be summarized under the title Facts & Fakes.

It is a fact that every few years, a food safety scandal hits Europe – so an interview with an entrepreneur who knows all the secrets of European subsidiary law and talks about it, is of high public interest. Peter Berling, former producer of R.W. Fassbinder, has already played the role of arms distributor, bull fighter, the Kennedys’ valet, a lawyer involved in the trial about the insurance of the Twin Towers, and entrepreneur in the space funeral business for Kluge. Here, he stars as bone meal producer in the first interview, and as Nietzsche fan and Major in World War I in the last. The second feature shows Kluge himself reciting ballads, that is, texts of a genre that recounts the scandalous. The following video tells one of Kluge’s own stories, which sticks close to the motto: “He who is always hopeful, dies singing” (Tuscan saying). He tells the story of the greatest treasure and at the same time greatest credit of the human species: basic trust. The second to last film shows the brilliant opera singer Alexandra von der Werth in the role of Bellini’s Norma, and the equally brilliant John Fiore, musical director in Düsseldorf, who explains Bellini’s music from behind the piano.

Title (English)(asc) Title (German) Date
The Officer as a Philosopher Als Offizier und Philosoph 2005
The Flexible Entrepreneur Der flexible Unternehmer 2001
Minute Films Minutenfilme 1998
He Who is Always Hopeful, Dies Singing Wer immer hofft stirbt singend 1999
Ballad Feature No. 9: "Cold Death Interrupts Love" Balladenmagazin Nr. 9: "Die Liebe stört der kalte Tod"
A Woman Like a Volcano Eine Frau wie ein Vulkan 2003