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Nightmarish scenarios of violence, dramatic states of mind, and perverse sexual abysses – the films of the Cinema of Transgression that were consciously aimed at shock, provocation, and confrontation, bear witness to an extraordinary radicality. In the 1980s a group of filmmakers from the Lower East Side in New York went on a collision course with the conventions of American society. Transcending all moral or aesthetic boundaries, the low budget films reveal social hardship met with sociopolitical indifference. Sometimes shot with stolen camera equipment, the films contain strident analyses of life in the Lower East Side defined by criminality, brutality, drugs, AIDS, sex, and excess.

Even though the movement has remained largely unknown, the Cinema of Transgression has been a significant influence for later generations of artists.

YOU KILLED ME FIRST at KW Institute of Contemporary Art in Berlin is the first exhibition on the Cinema of Transgression.

There will be blood, shame, pain and ecstasy, the likes of which no one has yet imagined.
Nick Zedd

The Cinema of Transgression
Opening: February 18, 2012, 5 – 10 pm
Dates: February 19, 2012 – April 9, 2012

KW Institute for Contemporary Art
Auguststrasse 69
10117 Berlin

Program accompanying the exhibition:

Tuesday, February 21, 2012, 7.30 pm: Talk with Nick Zedd

Wednesday, February 22, 2012, 7.30 pm: Talk with Richard Kern

Saturday, March 10, 2012, 7.30 pm: Llik your idols, documentary about the Cinema of Transgression by Angélique Bosio (France 2007, 70 min., OV, Film screening in the presence of the director)

Thursday, March 15, 2012, 7.30 pm: Lydia Lunch reads from her novel Paradoxia, A Predator’s Diary

Tuesday, March 27, 2012, 7.30 pm: Talk with Tessa Hughes-Freeland