“That primal and refined social-aesthetic urges are inseparable is never more obvious than with the sexual contract. As Silvia Federici once argued, “We cannot go back to nature simply by taking off our clothes.” Kopfkino (literally “head cinema”) refers to those images that confront us from the uncensored edge of the mind’s eye, where affects and associations are left alone to run wild, or indeed, purposively commissioned.
Drawing connections between auteurism, the cinematic aspects of thought, and sadomasochistic practice, the artist and filmmaker Lene Berg developed the script for Kopfkino from interviews with a number of women who work as dominatrixes or slaves in the BDSM industry. Eight of them sit dressed in character (as a grand dame, rococo madam, schoolgirl, burlesque artist, businesswoman, butch dom etc.) facing the camera behind a long table on an obvious film set, resembling perhaps a sacrilegious Last Supper or reversioning of Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party. The camera moves above and below the tableau while they speak, taking a slow, shifting interest in figures, dresses, and accoutrements in accordance with the formal logic of S+M scenemaking.
Sacher-Masoch possessed his female objects of desire by elevating them into ideal cinematic types. Pier Paolo Pasolini dramatized prostitutes as allegorical figures for societal detachment and disruption. Berg’s choreography shows the mistresses’ capacity for self-valuation. Condensed from eight hours of raw material shot over two days the film presents a condensed series of unique and candid chapters, giving access to the juxtapolitical appropriations of female desire internal to the changing affective labor history of S+M.”Rent this work for public screenings