The Way Things Go is a two-part film program for children aged five and up. Comprised of documentary and artists’ films, the series discusses the origins, condition, and transience of what exists in the world: how does something come into being? What is existence moving toward? And where do we locate the transition from being to non-being, from life to death?
In a program that will appeal to both adults and children, the series of screenings and talks tackles these philosophical questions through playful approaches. The first segment, How Things Emerge, shows how quotidian items are manufactured: in Karl Heil’s The Combmakers (1993), the horn of an ox is turned into a comb; in Ray and Charles Eames’ Fiberglass Chairs (1970), glass fibers are transformed into a chair. In the second segment, The Passage of Time, everything is in full swing. The Way Things Go (1987) by artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss shows us countless objects propelled into motion in a chain reaction, suggesting that discrete things are in fact interconnected. In Ben Russell’s River Rites (2011), a group of people in a river in Suriname suddenly begin bathing in reverse. Forward, backward; either way, time inevitably passes. Asking Joshua (2014) addresses the finite nature of life, adopting Seneca’s formula that one should live every day as if it were the last. The new film by Alexa Karolinski and Ingo Niermann asks us to ponder a question through the eyes of a child: what would I do if I only had one more day to live?
How Things Emerge:
Cheveux et Chichis (Hair and Curls) Decoux (F 1911), 6 min
Die Kammacher Karl Heil (GER 1993), 12 min
Glass Bert Haanstra (NL 1958), 10 min
Fiberglass Chairs Ray & Charles Eames (USA 1970), 9 min