International Project for Low and High Technics in Contemporary Media Art

Critique of Pure Image – Between Fake and Quotation

A project of the Art Today Association
in collaboration with Code Flow
written and curated by Dimitrina Sevova


Karin Michalski

Pashke & Sofia
(video film between documentary and fiction, 28 min., 2003) and

Monika M.
(documentary video portrait, 20 min., 2003)

Karin Michalski, born 1966 in Frankfurt, lives and works in Berlin as an independent filmmaker and producer. Her films are in the realm of the experimental documentary and documentary-fiction. Since 1990 she has done the programming for a number of film festivals. “monika m.” and “pashke and sofia” are examples for portraits of ‘women’ and of those situated in a queer position in different societies and communities – a useful way to create a space for a feminist and queer critique that is much too often left out in mainstream and also alternative media? can portraits like “monika m.” and “pashke and sofia” be understood as a sort of speaker’s position that is a personal and emotional standpoint with strong political and social impacts? Pashke (62) has lived as a “sworn virgin” since the age of thirty. This means that she lives the social role of a man. This is part of an Albanian tradition in which women take over the rights and duties of men when the family situation requires it or when they don’t want to get married. On the one hand, when Pashke decided to dress and live as a man she was forced to do so in order to keep her house and land. But on the other she also had a desire to express and live her own masculinity. In Monika M. a woman is performing her own reality in its various layers. She claims that her personal injuries and her living conditions have to be seen in a broader political context. She draws parallels between her state of being in this society and the killing of the trees. Monika M. is telling the viewer her opinions on topics like nuclear families, sexual violence, pornography etc. Her speeches are very direct and intense but also humorous and sarcastic. “We live in a polymorph, perverted, paradoxical, patriarchal and paedophiliac society!”


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art today lab 2005