ELA EIS, Miracle Whip [Befreit], 1979, Filmstill
© ELA EIS, 2024i

Circulating Copies: Film screening, live music, and discussion

Film screening, live music, and discussion with the artist ELA EIS

The emancipatory potential of the work Miracle Whip [Befreit] unfolds via a confident act of self-liberation, which ELA EIS celebrates in the performance as she furiously clears all obstacles out of her way with a long whip in her hand. In the first part of the film, the artist’s face is still hidden behind a red leather mask. It can only be seen when she succeeds in liberating herself to become a self-assured woman. ELA EIS considered her Super 8 film lost for a long time until it was rediscovered in the IMAI archives in Düsseldorf in 2021. The feminist performance originally titled Befreit (liberated) was recorded without sound in a loft in Düsseldorf in 1979. At the time, ELA EIS was part of the young Düsseldorf underground scene around the Ratinger Hof artists’ bar. The artist worked across media in the fields of film, music, fashion, and art, and also presented the performance live at the Villa Engelhardt in Düsseldorf in October 1980 with musical accompaniment. This time, Gunda Gottschalk (violin) and Mariá Portugal (drums) will provide musical accompaniment for the film screening as part of the feature film night The Devil Inside coordinated by the International Women’s Film Festival Dortmund+Cologne. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the artist.

ELA EIS (b. 1958, DE) lives in Erkrath and works in Düsseldorf. In the 1980s, ELA EIS was a bassist and singer in several new wave bands; she painted, designed fashion, and shot Super 8 films. In addition to her own artistic work, ELA EIS was also involved in film productions by artist friends, including the underground cult film Decoder (1984).

Thanks to
Betty Schiel and Jessica Manstetten

The film screening and the discussion with ELA EIS are part of the Circulating Copies program.

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