Film premiere, talk


The Petroleum Age Mirrored in Art

Wed, May 4, 2022
7.30 pm
Free admission

In German

FFP2 masks must be worn to this event. More information

Broadcast on ARTE: Wed, Jun 22, 2022 10.05 pm

ZDF / © Albert Schöpflin

D: Mathias Frick, ARTE/ZDF, Germany 2021, 52 min, German version

Over the past 100 years, petroleum has not only fueled machines; it has also been the fuel for fantasies, desires and dreams. The documentary Petro-Melancholie tells how artists in different parts of the world examine the petroleum age.

The move away from petroleum as a fossil fuel and as the basis for an entire product range is gradually taking shape. Only now are modern societies becoming aware of how dependent they are on this substance. Petroleum has become a dark mirror of the last 150 years of human history. Together with cultural scientists Benjamin Steininger and Alexander Klose, whose Atlas der Petromoderne is a cultural history of the “black gold,” the documentary journeys back to the age of oil to explore how deeply and unquestioningly human life has been permeated by the cycles of petroleum. Through encounters with contemporary artists such as Ana Alenso, Rena Effendi, William Eggleston, Edward Hopper, Monika Grzymala, Gerhard Richter, Romuald Hazoumè, Sebastião Salgado and others, the film shows how petroleum inspires works revealing our ambivalent relationship with the substance. Following the film premiere, director Matthias Frick, producer Eva Rink and Alexander Klose and Benjamin Steininger will be available for follow-up questions from the audience.

With Matthias Frick, Alexander Klose, Eva Rink, Bernd Scherer and Benjamin Steininger

An event by ARTE hosted by HKW