CineLab • Thematic Cycle

Judith Barry and Giovanbattista Tusa

Encounters between art, cinema and philosophy #7

The seventh and last edition of this series of conversations and screenings brings together the New York-based artist Judith Barry and the philosopher Giovanbattista Tusa, who will discuss Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s feature film Veronika Voss (Die Sehnsucht der Veronika Voss, 1982), the third episode of Fassbinder’s trilogy on Post-War West Germany, following after The Marriage of Maria Braun (1978) and Lola (1981). Veronika Voss tells the story of a once celebrated film diva unable to face the fact that her fame has faded away since the end of Hitler reign. Fallen into oblivion and denying the reality of which she was ‘the face’ – the Nazi-regime – she continues acting in a highly mannered way, drifts into drug addiction, and falls prey to a totally manipulative business-minded psychiatrist. Through an aesthetics reminiscent of American film noir, Veronika Voss captures the complex entanglements of collective and individual history, reality and its cinematic stylisation, the rough film business and the dream machine it represents.


Judith Barry (USA) is an artist and writer whose work combines a number of disciplines including installation and project-based research, architecture/exhibition design, film/video, performance art/dance, sculpture, photography, and digital media. She has exhibited internationally at such platforms as the Berlin Biennale, Venice Biennale(s) of Art/Architecture, Sharjah Biennial, Sao Paolo Biennale, Nagoya Biennale, Carnegie International, Whitney Biennale, Sydney Biennale, and Documenta, among others. Her publications include Body without Limits (2009), The Study for the Mirror and Garden (2003), Projections: mise en abyme (1997), and Public Fantasy (1991). Currently she is Director of ACT – the MIT Program in Art, Culture and Technology (Cambridge, MA).


Giovanbattista Tusa (Italy) is a philosopher and media researcher based in Lisbon, where he is currently a Researcher in Philosophy and Ecology at the Nova Institute of Philosophy (IFILNOVA), Universidade Nova de Lisboa. His latest work, De la Fin, co-authored with Alain Badiou, was published in France in 2017 and is currently under translation in English, Brazilian Portuguese and Spanish. His current multidisciplinary research examines radical politics, art, cinema, eco-criticism, ontological realism and animal studies, and contemporary practices.


Session duration: 150 Min. | M/16 | Entry is free and limited to the number of seats available.


For further information, please contact:
Tel: +351 21 352 11 55 |

is a series of projections and discussions that takes place in various cultural spaces in the city of Lisbon, starting in June 2018, in a partnership between IFILNOVA (CineLab) / FCSH / UNL, Goethe-Institut Portugal and Maumaus / Lumiar Cité and in collaboration with Apordoc / Doc’s Kingdom.

Films, especially those that are considered as documentary, appeal to our thinking of reality in a particularly challenging way. While their indexical link to the reality they approach grants the images and sounds a specific credibility, the position of the artist, her aesthetic, thematic and political choices, her subjective understanding and artistic sensibility, determine how this reality is mediated. While in mass-media, the mediation part is often omitted (and thus, the images are presented, ideologically, as objective representations of the factual reality), critical filmic artworks include the part of mediation in order to address it productively through their very aesthetic constitution, thereby raising a wide range of questions which are also central to philosophical thinking. For reflecting on the relation between the factual world and its subjective appropriation, questioning hegemonic claims to objectivity and authority, and problematizing the inherent contradictions of society, are immanently philosophical issues. Artistic documentary films and philosophical thinking, notwithstanding their very different forms, figures and aims, thus share the concern of addressing the complex relation between the empirical world and its mediation through perception, signs and concepts. What does it mean to approach reality critically through an artistic form? How do filmic constellations think and make us think, instead of generating an impression of obviousness and immediacy? How can a specific truth-content be disclosed through montage, rhythm or an arrangement in constellation? What is the agency of a particular artistic form in relation to its content? How can political, ethical or epistemological problems be addressed through an intelligibility of the sensitive? And how can philosophical thinking help us to seize its impact and unfold its different strata of meaning?

These encounters between film-artists and philosophers of international renown aim to confront these and other questions, starting every time from a particular film which will be screened in its entirety. In these encounters, film and conceptual thinking are considered on a par: instead of privileging one field over the other, these interventions focus on the very moments where film and philosophy enter into a productive dialogue. Thus, the point is not to elaborate general theories on film as a medium or aesthetic positions on art in general, nor is it to use films as an illustration of broader concepts of reality, rather, priority will be given to the singularity of a filmic moment embedding conceptual thought, or the singularity of a conceptual moment triggering an artistic form.
session 1: Renée Green/Ute Holl

session 2: Alberto Toscano/Simon Thompson

session 3: Maria Augusta Ramos/Patricia Mourão

session 4: Emily Wardill/Michael Marder

session 5: Albert Serra/Alexander García Düttmann

session 6: Jean-Gabriel Périot/Alain Brossat

session 7: Judith Barry/Giovanni Tusa
Tel: +351 21 352 11 55 |