Incursions into Cosmic Fear

by Caroline Koebel

June 5 - August 1, 2015

Caroline Koebel is one of experimental film’s most gifted and fearless provocateurs. Often using found-footage and a visceral, contrapuntal editing style, she has developed a visual language that responds directly and forcefully to some of the most pressing issues of our times—the horrors of war, privacy issues, displays of power, feminist methodologies—while remaining conversant with the classics of avant-garde cinema.

Her exhibition, Incursions into Cosmic Fear, will feature a concise selection of works from the past two decades including her latest effort, Viewing Blind: Sniper’s Burial (2015), which uses the military funeral for Chris Kyle (American Sniper) to explore, as the artist says, “the encounter between politics and aesthetics in cinema.” Another of the exhibition’s films, Inflorescentia (1997), is called by critic Jennie Klein “a sensorium of taste, touch, sight, and sound.”

The title of the exhibition is drawn from the French cultural theorist Paul Virilio’s 2012 book, The Administration of Fear, which traces our culture’s move away from a “democracy of opinion” as the author describes it, toward a “society of emotion” caused in part by the instantaneity of communications.

Koebel’s work has shown internationally, including retrospectives at Festival Cine//B (Santiago), Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle (Warsaw) and Directors Lounge (Berlin), as well as at Anthology Film Archives (New York), Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center (Buffalo), Ann Arbor Film Festival, Pacific Film Archive (Berkeley), Los Angeles Filmforum, Bangkok Experimental Film Festival, Moscow Museum of Modern Art, Camagüey International Video Art Fest (Cuba), Edinburgh International Film Festival, European Media Art Festival (Osnabrück), and LOOP Barcelona. Her essays have appeared in Brooklyn Rail, Afterimage, Jump Cut, and Millennium Film Journal. She received a BA in Film Studies at UC Berkeley and an MFA in Visual Arts at UC San Diego. On faculty at Transart Institute, Koebel teaches workshops in Berlin on such topics as “Wild Urbanity” and “Brecht’s Alienation Effect.”