PEEK/FWF: CONFRONTING REALITIES | 21-24

2021 – 2024
Institute for Film and Television – Film Academy Vienna, mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna
Funding by: FWF (Austrian Science Fund)/ Programme for Arts-based Research (PEEK)

PostDoc Project

Abstract
Confronting Realities. Working on Cinematic Autosociobiographies.

Wider arts-based research context/ theoretical framework
In relation to many recent literary works that move around the format of literary autosociobiography (A. Ernaux, 2008; D. Eribon, 2009; J.D. Vance, 2016) – an autobiography written in regard to and contextualised within the frame of social class and larger historical developments – Confronting Realities asks from an art practical and theoretical point of view how the format of cinematic autosociobiographies can be explored, described and produced, especially focusing on the fundamentally collaborative character of filmmaking.

Hypotheses/ research questions/ objectives
The projects’ main objective is the art practical and theoretical exploration, description and production of cinematic autosociobiographies.

Approach/ methods
The project is designed on four levels: Level (1) of Autosociobiographical Exploration that will create three exploration groups over the course of two months embedded in half year cycles – the “Laboratory of cinematic autosociobiographies” (LAFA). LAFA tries to probe, explore and search, to make accessible and to contextualize one’s biography from an art-based perspective. Level (2) of Cinematic Forms and Techniques intends to develop and create narratives and cinematic techniques of cinematic (auto)sociobiographies and translating them into cinematic formats. Level (3) of Interdisciplinary and Theoretical Contextualization wishes to build a strong foundation and interconnection between art-based, theoretical and interdisciplinary research about sociobiographies, cinematic forms and collaborative strategies of art production. Level (4) of Reflection and Evaluation intends to build a reflective framework around the project. During all these stages the “Digital Archive of Cinematic Autosociobiographies” (DAFA), a website-based representation and documentation platform, will ensure an ongoing dissemination and documentation of the project.

Level of originality/ innovation
So far, the field of cinematic autosociobiographies has not been explored neither theoretically nor practically, though several related cinematic formats exist. Confronting Realities therefore promises a pioneer work in this field. Furthermore, in times of a worldwide shift to the right marked by a rise in nationalism and populism, the question of social classes and its cultural, economic and political changes as well as their inscriptions into the individual have once again become topical.

Primary staff involved in the project
The Institute for Film and Television – Film Academy Vienna / mdw – University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna will host the project. The main contributors are Claudia Walkensteiner-Preschl (project leader), Nina Kusturica (filmmaker), Barbara Wolfram (theatre artist and media and film studies & psychology scholar), Christina Wintersteiger (curator and media and film studies scholar) and Elena Meilicke (senior media and film studies scholar).