VIDEOART AT MIDNIGHT is an artists’ cinema project founded in 2008 by Olaf Stüber and Ivo Wessel. Monthly since, and always on a Friday at midnight, Stüber has been inviting predominantly Berlin based artists to show their work on the big screen of the legendary BABYLON Film Theater in the Berlin Mitte district.
Every night is dedicated to one artist who is present. It is their night. The artists often take the chance to celebrate premieres or to present works rarely shown before. They also stage live acts from time to time, including performances, concerts or lectures, which accompany the film and video presentations.
The goal of the screening series is to lend insight into contemporary video art production in Berlin’s unique international art scene and to provide artists working with film and video with their own bright platform.
Media artworks are ubiquitous in the art world today. However, a significant part of these works requires being seen in cinemas with their characteristic set of arrangements and conventions (Michel Foucault’s “dispositif”). Only a cinema setting offers the adequate conditions for viewing the entire work – from beginning to end. And only then does it become possible to trigger a discussion reflecting the artwork.
With its darkened room, its seating rows set in an immutable position in front of the large screen, its perfect projection and sound system, and the community it creates through the joint entering and the collective spectatorship, cinema seduces us into “enduring” artists’ moving-images and encourages us to challenge our individual film experiences.
In contrast to an exhibition installation or even the internet, cinema provides us with a distinctive and often significantly more focused form of reception – thus opening new lines of inquiry for thinking the medium.
VIDEOART AT MIDNIGHT fills a gap in Berlin’s art world. It is well embraced by artists – both big names and artists we don’t (yet) have on our radar – and warmly appreciated by the audience.
VIDEOART AT MIDNIGHT is a private, independent initiative originating in the Berlin off-scene and a time when Berlin was not as commercialized as it is today; when there were still innumerable clubs and speakeasies in Berlin-Mitte, when people still drank warm beer and vodka in dodgy basements. Hence, Videoart at Midnight remains free of charge. Its audience is usually young and international and may well stay in their seats till early in the morning.
Awarded with the Prize for Artistic Project Spaces and Initiatives by Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe, 2022
So monatlich wie möglich, immer an einem Freitag, immer um 24 Uhr.