Elke Marhöfer: Shape Shifting


"Primate Colors," 2015


The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT) is pleased to present
Elke Marhöfer: Shape Shifting

Presented as part of THE FREE SCREEN at TIFF


2016 Goethe-LIFT Artist-in-Residence Elke Marhöfer in attendance


Rearticulating elements of anthropology and documentary, the films of Elke Marhöfer often explore the concept of affective ecology—a study that looks at the emotional relationships between human beings and the rest of the living and non-living world, and seeks to re-evaluate the hierarchal status of humans, animals, and things. Sometimes Marhöfer's investigations are microcosmic, as in Shape Shifting, which looks at a Japanese farming practice of controlled burns, which aids in the rotation of crops in highly fertile and naturally diverse land. At other times they explore wider terrain, as in Primate Colors, which follows one detail after another in the nocturnal commercial zones of Hong Kong. Following the natural movement of the people and things in front of her camera, Marhöfer records how her subjects are constantly buffeted by the forces of global capital, a ceaseless, invisible movement which creates an almost surreal air around the spaces she films.
Surrendering her own observations to the flow of experience, Markhofer rejects the ordering imperative of anthropology, stating that in her films "No claims are made about the lives of others." This statement is underscored by Nobody Knows, when it was made and why, a silent black-and-white film that records the Mnemosyne Atlas by Aby Warburg, an early 20th century attempt to map the life of metaphor — to see how proximate art and objects relate to each other and why.
Shape Shifting (dirs. Elke Marhöfer & Mikhail Lylov \ Germany/Japan 2015 \ 18.5 min. \ 16mm on video)
Primate Colors (dirs. Elke Marhöfer & Mikhail Lylov \ Germany/China 2015 \ 31 min. \ 16mm on video)
Nobody Knows, when it was made and why (dir. Elke Marhöfer \ Germany/UK 2012 \ 10 min. \ 16mm)
Co-presented with the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto (LIFT).
Supported by the Goethe-Institut Toronto.
This programme is rated G.


Sunday, October 16, 2016 - 6:30pm - 8:00pm
350 King Street West
Toronto, ON