The films of Julia Fuhr Mann are cinematic hybrids moving freely between fiction and documentary. With their blurring boundaries they are dissolving traditional classifications.
The experiences humans go through in life shape their corporeality and their unique aura.
The pictures of Julia Fuhr Mann open themselves up to this energy. They provide space for it to unfold and transform it into dense, often surrealistic images.
Her cinematic approach is less about telling stories or following classical structures of conflict than about creating intense atmospheres beyond rational understanding. The audience is invited to dive into atmospheric landscapes – not as passive consumers of entertaining tranquilizers, but as active human beings who courageously explore unknown places inside themselves.
Film history is full of heroes and victims starring in trivial stories of cause and effect – the default form of narration since Aristoteles:
After a lot of suffering and hard trials the male* hero develops a force from his inner potential. With his newly fixed identity he victoriously rides off into a better future. The female* character is usually stuck with supporting the hero’s journey. Alternatively, she might dare to fight the structures of supremacy herself – but in the end she’s going to be the victim of an all-powerful system. What a shame, but no way out.
Based on the classical idea of self-optimization these narrative structures exploit the experiences of their characters for a few miserable plot points. They reproduce current social conditions and promote our willingness to work hard for the right life within the wrong one.
Moving beyond patriarchal fantasies of order the polyamorph dramaturgy of Julia Fuhr Mann captures the entanglements of life in its flowing circular motions.
Her films are queer-feminist appropriations of glossy advertising aesthetics combined with subcultural low-res pictures and the organic imperfection of film footage. This mixture of different materialities creates space for new, fragmentary and at the same time holistic characters – defying the neo-liberal propaganda of success and male* heroism usually celebrated in needle-sharp, digital images.
The male gaze is threefold – entailing the camera’s gaze on the actress, the hero’s gaze on his female love interest and the gaze of the spectator adopting these gazes.
The films of Julia Fuhr Mann turn away from this classical structure of gaze and locate themselves in the tradition of New Queer Cinema. They deal with dissolving traditional gender identities and notions of desire – not only by constructing film characters who oppose the heteronormative, binary discourse of power, but also in terms of the filmmaking process itself: Julia Fuhr Mann works with a team of queer-feminist allies, who refuse to perpetuate the classical hierarchy prevalent on most film sets. Instead, the energy of every individual participant is taken into account in order to create the unique atmosphere for each film.
PS: The Color Purple, first mentioned by the ancient poet Sappho as an expression of women’s love and independence, stands for mysticism and spirituality. Since the 1920s, the color purple as a love child of blue and red – two colors pregnant with meaning – also represents the overcoming of binary gender structures.