Poetry or threat? An act of surrender or perhaps art? These were the theories that New York puzzled over last summer. How can one incident be interpreted in so many ways? By means of press reports, SYMBOLIC THREATS allows the public at large to express their extreme disparity of interpretation. Inspired by the heated debate over the two “White American Flags” that suddenly appeared on the towers of New York City’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge, the film asks what kind of societal scope art has in the present day. What happens when threatened freedom reinstates art with the element of danger? Who or what makes it into a threat? Are we safe in the city? What’s next?
MISCHA LEINKAUF, LUTZ HENKE and MATTHIAS WERMKE grew up in Berlin in the 1990s when they learned to value and utilize the city’s possibilities. A shared enthusiasm for repurposing urban spaces brought the three together early on. Today, they still focus on the same questions and locations in their work, whether it be as ‘filmmaker‘, ‘curator‘, ‘cultural scientist’ or ‘fine artist‘. They create images and mindscapes, tell stories and dissect events – always in the hope of making the unseen visible and of exploring a place’s fixed meaning and potential use.photos © Wermke/Leinkauf, VG Bild/Kunst