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What Weakens the Flesh Is the Flesh Itself

Art Metropole
Event organized by Art Metropole

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What Weakens the Flesh Is the Flesh Itself by Steve Reinke and James Richards
Sunday April 15, 7:00PM
Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave.

Co-presented in partnership with Art Metropole, Toronto Queer Film Festival and Vtape

Before the Information Age we had three components to worry about: the mind, the body, the soul. Now we have a fourth—the archive—that we don’t yet know how to worry about. The mind fades, the body rots, the soul is a fiction, but the archive persists and grows stronger. We are only learning how to relate to it now.

The auto-erotic photography of Albrecht Becker (1906-2002) can serve as a model for this. Becker was a production designer, actor, and photographer imprisoned by the Nazis for homosexual behaviour. He recorded his life, his travels, and the people around him fanatically.

The Schwules Museum* holds a portion of his private archive: a series of staged self-portraits that demonstrate a profound exploration of genital modification and esoteric body tattooing. Over four decades, Becker obsessively produced and then reworked these photographs through collage and darkroom manipulation, duplicating and transforming.

This extraordinary series of photographs serves as the starting point for What Weakens the Flesh is the Flesh Itself (2017), the second collaborative video by Steve Reinke and James Richards. This work is an extended meditation on the archive, masculinity, photography, and the body. The double self-portrait is redoubled, repeatedly: a mise en abyme. Self is lost as flesh proliferates, escaping death, returning as a thin image resonant with desire and possibility.

Preceded by:

Voce di Testa
Chris McCormack
UK, 2017
Reading performed by Jean-Paul Kelly and Chris Curreri

Love and Torment—Albrecht Becker
Rosa Von Praunheim

$12 general admission
$6 students, seniors, underemployed

Steve Reinke and James Richards will be in attendance



Steve Reinke is an artist, writer, and queer Nietzschean best known for his monologue-based film essays. He was a video artist in Canada until video died. Now he lives in Chicago and teaches at Northwestern.

James Richards is a British artist living and working in Berlin, Germany. Recent solo exhibitions include: Requests and Antisongs, ICA London (2016); Crossing, with Leslie Thornton, Rodeo, London (2016); Crumb Mahogany, Bergen Kunsthall (2016); Radio At Night, Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux (2016); and James Richards, Kunstverein München, Munich (2015).



Established in 1987, the Images Festival is the largest festival in North America for experimental and independent film, video and other time-based media. Images Festival is excited to announce its 31st edition, taking place from April 12 - 20, 2018 across Toronto. Focusing on local, national, and international contemporary moving image culture, Images Festival continues to present vanguard projects across cinematic, exhibition, and live platforms.

Images Festival acknowledges the generous support from our public funders. The Canada Council for the Arts | Conseil des Arts du Canada, Ontario Arts Council - Conseil des arts de l'Ontario, Toronto Arts Council, the Department of Canadian Heritage, Telefilm Canada, the Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport, and TD Bank.