Silke Schönfeld: You Can‘t Make This Up

12. October 2024 - 02. February 2025 Dortmunder U, Level 3
image: Silke Schönfeld, Family Business, film still, Ruhr Ding: Klima, 2021

Keywords: Making the unspoken perceptible // participant observation, alternating proximity/distance // leaving contradictions standing // persistent camera // group dynamics/communities // the appeal of the documentary is to find the general/common in the specific // continuities of National Socialism in German society // spatial staging of the films/ positioning of the visitors //

Silke Schönfeld‘s cinematographic works range between documentary and fiction to varying degrees, as personal stories are intertwined with historical and social structures. As a participatory observer she brings people into focus, be they individual protagonists or social groups. Her interest lies in unspeakable human experience. While following her protagonists, she documents memories, rituals, ideologies, and processes of identity formation. Her films do not claim to offer a detailed portrayal or a complete recording of events, focusing instead on subtle social phenomena and structures shaped by communities. Silke Schönfeld‘s camera is persistent. The shots are long, depicting interiors and landscapes as though they were still-lifes. In the process of shooting, she dives into specific contexts, confronting her own biases, utilising ambiguity, and questioning the authenticity of moving images.

Silke Schönfeld's exhibition You Can‘t Make This Up at the HMKV Hartware MedienKunstVerein comprises seven large-format video installations from the last five years - two of which are new productions created especially for this exhibition and will celebrate their premiere here. The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication (de/en).

Silke Schönfeld (*1988 in Idar-Oberstein) is a visual artist and filmmaker who lives in Dortmund and Amsterdam. She studied at the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf and the Kunstakademie Münster. Her work has been exhibited internationally in numerous art exhibitions and at film festivals, including the Goethe-Institut, Paris (FR), Folkwang Museum, Essen (DE), Garage Rotterdam (NL), Building Bridges Art Exchange, Santa Monica (US). By interweaving personal stories with historical and social structures, she immerses herself in specific contexts and confronts her own prejudices. Her works include the short film Ich darf sie immer alles fragen (2023), which deals with an intimate, transgenerational trauma and forms the prologue to a long-term autobiographical project. The three-part video installation Family Business (2021) traces the development of a place: from the household goods store to the fast food restaurant to the band rehearsal room.


You will find press material on this program item in our press area.