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. 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.
Published on the occasion of the exhibition YOU KILLED ME FIRST: Cinema of Transgression at KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Berlin, 19 February – 9 April 2012.
English and German text.