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QUERELLE PHOTOGRAPHED BY ROGER FRITZ 12 JANUARY THROUGH 25 FEBRUARY 2012

VW (VeneKlasen/Werner) is pleased to present the first exhibition of Roger Fritzs production photographs from Rainer Werner Fassbinders 1982 film, Querelle. Rainer Werner Fassbinder is considered to be among the most important practitioners within the so-called New German Cinema. In March 1982, production began on what would become Fassbinders last film. With an international cast including Jeanne Moreau, Brad Davis and Franco Nero, Querelle debuted in Paris later the same year, only a few short months after Fassbinders tragic death. Based on Jean Genets 1947 novel, Querelle de Brest, with a screenplay co-written by Fassbinder and Burkhard Driest, the film tells the story of the handsome sailor Querelle, a thief and smuggler disoriented by a series of crimes, sexual encounters and depraved deals in the port town of Brest. The films imaginative exploration of violence and sexuality were quite unlike anything that had come before it. Fassbinders willful ambiguity toward these difficult themes at once dramatic and humorous signify an openness toward the taboos and vivid realities of Genets story, something few cinematic artists of the time would even dare to approach. Stylistically, Querelle surpasses even Fassbinders most outlandish visuals, with unprecedented use of lurid color, lighting and a highly symbolic set design, as well as a striking use of sound and voiceover to complicate the films already labyrinthine plot. Querelle was widely misunderstood by critics of the time. Often pigeonholed as mere camp a term Fassbinder bristled at and continually resisted careful examination of the film proves it to be something much deeper and complex. The themes Fassbinder tackled in Querelle are larger than life and his extreme visualization of the story is the only suitable manifestation of it. The images of Querelle on display at VeneKlasen/Werner were captured by Roger Fritz, a photographer, producer and performer who worked daily on Fassbinders set as an actor and production documentarian. Fritzs photographs were previously known to exist only as Querelle The Film Book. Published to coincide with the films release, the book reproduced Fritzs 119 production photographs in sequence. Their presentation at VeneKlasen/Werner is the first time they have been exhibited anywhere. Unlike film stills, which are taken directly from filmed footage, production photographs are by nature reenactments of filmed sequences; the production shot must be staged for the still camera. Fritzs photographs capture Fassbinders dynamic compositions, at times freezing the dramatic action, in other moments closing in on an actors face or odd prop. The resulting images evoke the surreal drama and atmosphere of the film. They are uncomfortably beautiful and somewhat puzzling: as instances of documentary photography, Fritzs photographs are thoroughly pure, honest and true; yet the scenes they portray were highly artificial, as false as anything seen in modern film. This exhibition is organized in collaboration with White Columns, New York, where it will be presented in the fall of 2012. Querelle opens Thursday 12 January with a reception from 18:00 to 21:00. A selection of film screenings will be presented at VW Cinema throughout the run of this exhibition. Please call +49 30 8161 60418 or visit vwberlin.com for more information.

VENEKLASEN / WERNER RUDI-DUTSCHKE-STRASSE 26 10969 BERLIN GERMANY T+49 30 8161 60418 F+49 30 8161 60409 WWW.VWBERLIN.COM