Events > Video Screening

15 Apr. 2018

What Weakens the Flesh is the Flesh Itself

Steve Reinke and James Richards
Steve Reinke and James Richards
7 PM
Sunday April 15, 7PM Innis Town Hall, 2 Sussex Ave.

$12 general admission
$6 students, seniors, underemployed

Before the Information Age we had three components to worry about: the mind, the body, the soul. Now we have a fourth—the archive—that we don’t yet know how to worry about. The mind fades, the body rots, the soul is a fiction, but the archive persists and grows stronger. We are only learning how to relate to it now.

The auto-erotic photography of Albrecht Becker (1906-2002) can serve as a model for this. Becker was a production designer, actor, and photographer imprisoned by the Nazis for homosexual behaviour. He recorded his life, his travels, and the people around him fanatically.

The Schwules Museum* holds a portion of his private archive: a series of staged self-portraits that demonstrate a profound exploration of genital modification and esoteric body tattooing. Over four decades, Becker obsessively produced and then reworked these photographs through collage and darkroom manipulation, duplicating and transforming.

This extraordinary series of photographs serves as the starting point for What Weakens the Flesh is the Flesh Itself (2017), the second collaborative video by Steve Reinke and James Richards. This work is an extended meditation on the archive, masculinity, photography, and the body. The double self-portrait is redoubled, repeatedly: a mise en abyme. Self is lost as flesh proliferates, escaping death, returning as a thin image resonant with desire and possibility.

—Steve Reinke and James Richards

Preceded by

Voce di Testa
Chris McCormack
UK, 2017
Reading performed by Jean-Paul Kelly and Chris Curreri

Love and Torment—Albert Becker
Rosa Von Praunheim

Steve Reinke and James Richards will be in attendance

Buy Tickets Here

Steve Reinke is an artist and writer best known for his work in video. His work is in many collections including the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Centre Pompidou (Paris) and the National Gallery (Ottawa), and has screened at many festivals including Sundance, Rotterdam, Oberhausen and the New York Video Festival. In 2006 he received the Bell Canada Video Award. A book of his scripts, Everybody Loves Nothing, was recently published by Coach House. He has also edited several books, most recently (with Chris Gehman) The Sharpest Point: Animation at the End of Cinema. He has a blog,, as well as a site that archives his work, His research interests include digital video production, motion graphics/animation, rhetorical and narrative strategies for visual art, the voice and psychoanalysis.

James Richards is a British artist who lives in Berlin and London Richards was born in Cardiff. He studied Fine Art at Chelsea College of Art & Design, London.

  1. What Weakens the Flesh is the Flesh Itself