PLAY/III Video- & Performance-Festival // June-July 2017


PLAY has been developed in 2013 by CAT Cologne and Galerie ampersand. As a biennial festival for video and performance it is organized every second year with altering focus. The title “Play” refers to multi meanings, such as the play button on video players on one hand or to a theater play on the other, herewith genealogically linking these two elements of video and performance. Further to this, “play” can also be read as a challenge and as a cross-genre artistic imperative.

PLAY/III – June 30th – July 2nd 2017

Extended Stages
This year’s and third part of the festival, runs under the core area of extended stages and aims to depict, research on and reflect upon the diverse contexts in which videos and performances meet its audience/participants. These contexts range from a classical presentation in an exhibition space to interactive formats, which only exist virtually. This focus especially results from the fact that video as a medium for communication during the last few years has spread enormously and more and more found ways into the public sphere.

Art / Spaces
Works which can only be perceived in this physical context are showcased in the exhibition spaces of the organizers (Galerie ampersand, CAT Cologne, W57). Amongst these are sculptural and 3D-works, which are only completed in spacial interaction with the viewer.

Public / Spaces
A major part of the festival will take place outside the protected interior sphere, in public space. It is especially directed towards a public which doesn’t frequent art spaces naturally and to interact with passengers in their daily lives and ways.

Virtual / Spaces
The third sphere of the festival is the virtual space. As the web has become a space of interaction of its own, demanding a daily performance by its users through the social media, there is almost no chance to create visibility without.

Besides CAT Cologne, contributions to the festival are selected by Galerie ampersand (Falko Bürschinger), W57 and Galerie am Meer (Zalar Kalantar). Criteria of selection are the quality of works in relation to the conceptual focus of the festival (“extended stages”).

Felix Adam | Kimo Arbas | Banz & Bowinkel | Bergernissen | Florian Bittner | Borderless TV | Raphael Brunk | Julia Bünnagel I Rosalind Breen | Roxxy Chaos | Felix Contzen | Keren Cytter | Matthias Danberg | Dan Halter | Michael Heym | Philipp Hamann | Heidi Hörsturz | Sam Hopkins &  David Lalé | M.R. Ketonge | Timofey Kratz | Kilian Kretschmer | Florian Kuhlmann | Khanyisile Mbongwa | Anna-Lena Meisenberg | Axel Pulgar | Evamaria Schaller | Roland Schappert | Pascal Sender | Pola Sieverding | Roman Szczesny & Hedda Schattanik | Reut Shemesh | Daphne Stahl | Viktoria Strecker | Joël Verwimp | Breeze Yoko


Galerie ampersand
CAT Cologne
Capri by night
Alte Feuerwache
Sankt Gertrud


Galerie am Meer
Ex-Capitol Theater, Worringer Platz


There will be a Rikscha Shuttle during the festival days in Cologne. Pick-up is at each full hour in front of CAT Cologne or, if available, at the stations of the course.

DATES // CAT Cologne // July

Screenings: Wednesdays, 5th, 12th, 19th, 26th July 4-7 pm

Dinner Party: Wednesday, 12th July, 7:30 pm, rsvp:



Facebook: playfestivalkoeln

Instagram: play_festival


PROGRAM CAT Cologne Course around Agnesviertel and Ebertplatz

Dan Halter (Zimbabwe/South Africa)

where: Ungefähr 5

when: 30. June – 22. July

The opening refrains of ‘Everybody’s Free (to feel good)’, that anthem of early 90s dance music, are unmistakable. The driving beat and club diva Rozalla’s assurance that ‘brother and sister, together we’ll make it through’ are insistently buoyant, yet somewhat at odds with the accompanying visuals. White kids, the protagonists of 90s rave culture, dance on atbed trucks and in open spaces, worshipping the gods of deep bass emanating from giant speaker stacks. Cut to images of mass protest and uprising, multitudes of people toyi-toying in the streets. The juxtaposition immediately unsettles. It feels dangerous. You ask yourself, ‘Is this okay?’ Can you play this sort of sampling game when what the particular scenarios represent seem so fundamentally out of synch with each other? But such is the strategy behind montage’s production of a ‘third’ sense engendered by radical combination.The heaving bodies pound the ground and raise their arms with similar resolve. Stripped of their ideological disparities, both scenarios speak of a desire for an alternative reality. Both harness the psychology of crowds to shift individual sensibilities to mass consciousness. The song’s chorus seems to suggest a political imperative camou aged in an otherwise bubblegummy dance track.*

*from Kathryn Smith’s catalogue essay Culture Games

Borderless TV

where: Alte Feuerwache

when: 30. June, 18-21 Uhr / 2. July, 14-20 Uhr

BorderlessTV is a new film collective which was developed by Felipe Castelblanco during his residency with CAT Cologne and a group of nine refugees from Syria. For this project, Castelblanco became a film instructor, collaborator, teammate and instigator. The group developed new skills on filmmaking, created short documentaries and experimental videos, contributing new perspectives. As an ongoing initiative, BorderlessTV is continuously supported by CAT Cologne, in order to consolidate existing structures, professionalize their work and to reach out to a larger audience.

Sam Hopkins & David Lalé (Kenia)

where: Alte Feuerwache / exhibition hall

when: 2. July, 14-20 Uhr

‘GZ Calling’, 2017, approaches the tangled China-Africa relationship from the embedded perspective of a private investigator surveilling the export markets of Guangzhou. The 3-channel video installation envisages a world in which the supply and demand of counterfeit goods has grown to rival Western brand-name capitalism. Through the narrator’s eyes these vast wholesale malls are a bewildering space of cultural collision and exchange, of copies and fakes, dreams and paranoia. Based on interviews with investigators and lawyers working on the front line of anti-counterfeiting in China today, GZ Calling is the first iteration of the film and research project, The Qilin

Khanyisile Mbongwa and Lindokuhle Nkosi (South Africa)

where: Sankt Gertrud / Krypta

when: 30. June, 18-21 Uhr / 2. July, 15-20 Uhr

So if southern trees bore strange fruit, what do we call what comes out our ground? What of our own rotting treasures? What of the bleeding soil? The rotting gold? The diamonds of decay?
Rotting Treasures is a visual lament dedicated to the 44 men who were gunned down on a koppie in Marikana.This for their blood that seeped into the ground. For the families now dessimated. This is for all the workers who kill themselves slowly, digging into the ground. Digging their own graves.

Rotting Treasures uses video, dance, and music in an attempt to speak anew about the Marikana tragedy.

What then can we say of our own ground?

Breeze Yoko (South Africa)

where: Sankt Gertrud

when: 30. June, 18-21 Uhr / 2. July, 15-20 Uhr

‘The Most Expensive Sunset‘, 2014, is a short portrait of a boy who decided to live on the streets at Camps Bay. This are of Cape Town has grown to be a glamorous area at which exercised white bodies and luxurious yachts are part of the daily landscape. The film however celebrates a natural luxury, the sun and the beach. Breeze Yoko mainly works in graffiti and film, creating a sense of humanity and beauty  which facilitate a new perspective towards their physical surrounding and context.

Joël Verwimp (Belgium) and Lindsey Drury (Canada)

where: CAT Cologne

when: 30. June, 18-21 /1. July, 14-22 /2. July, 15-20 Uhr

The performance ’Video from the inside of an action‘, 2017, will be realized together with visitors to CAT Cologne during the festival. At the same time it is the final presentation of the project ‘Rückwärts Filmen’ by the current artist-in-residence, Joël Verwimp. The performance is about depicting action by means of film, whereas not the physically visible but whatever can be perceived beyond, is in the focus.

..from the inside you feel the outside (why else have a body?)

movement experiences the former to produce the latter.


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