A covert agent is following a line of investigation that seems to lead him back to the life of Friedrich Engels. The trail leads him to through locations particular to Engels: Manchester, Salford, London and to Wuppertal, his hometown. The agent is led to the Oktoberfest and his ultimate fate. The film, shot on 16mm, unites Clarke’s relationship with the loss of history and the haunt of grand narratives with the impending doom and critique of playwright Odon von Horváth – the inspiration for our opening exhibition, The heart is deceitful above all things. Clarke’s signature style of a lingering camera, long takes and sole narrator is expanded upon by use of sound and exploiting a fictional narrative. The film reimagines Kasimir and Karoline’s story as a contemporary allegory for the failure of the promises of previous centuries.
The Most Cruel of All Goddesses was co-commissioned by HOME and the University of Salford as part of The heart is deceitful above all things, HOME’s major inaugural exhibition curated by Omar Kholeif and Sarah Perks. The film and exhibition were inspired by Ödön von Horváth’s classic play Kasimir and Karoline (adapted by dramatist Simon Stephens into The Funfair), which premiered at HOME on Thu 14 May 2015. An edition of The Most Cruel of All Goddesses is held in the University of Salford’s art collection. This feature length film is currently being submitted to film festivals internationally.
The screening on Sat 28 Nov will be followed by a Q&A with the artist and Dr Andy Willis, University of Salford. This event is part of Engels Day with Chetham’s Library. More information can be found here.