Media Arts Program

Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 8:00 p.m.

$9 general, $7 students/seniors, $6 members

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Shu Lea Cheang presents, in person, the U.S. premiere of her new film


(2017, 80 min.)

"FluidØ is sci-fi punk—a sci-fi movie…about sex, drugs, violence, and conspiracy."

~ Shu Lea Cheang

Hallwalls is thrilled and honored to welcome back now Paris-based filmmaker and media artist Shu Lea Cheang, whose last appearance at Hallwalls was 22 years ago, December 1, 1995, when she presented her then newest film Fresh Kill: An Eco-Cybernoia Film (1995, 80 min.), in partnership with Squeaky Wheel and the Central New York Programmers Group. Fresh Kill's screenplay was by novelist Jessica Hagedorn, and the cast included Karen Finley, Robbie McCauley, Ron Vawter, Laurie Carlos, and Sarita Choudhury. Shu Lea's first visit to Hallwalls had been in February 1990, on the occasion of her audio/visual installation Making News/Making History: Live from Tiananmen Square, a centerpiece of that year's Video Witnesses: Festival of New Journalism. In between those visits, her 3-channel video work Color Schemes (1989, 28 min.) was shown at Squeaky Wheel as part of Hallwalls' Visible Women series (March 1992), and Sex Fish (produced by E.T. Baby Maniac: Ela Troyano, Jane Castle, & Shu Lea Cheang, 1993, 6 min.) was shown in Hallwalls' Mosaics of Desire series, part of our fourth biannual Ways In Being Gay festival (1994). (Even earlier, FluidØ's producer, Jürgen Brüning, moved from Berlin to Buffalo for two years—1988-1990—to serve as Hallwalls' staff film curator.)

FluidØ (pronounced "fluid-zero") is a 2017 German science fiction film [in English] directed by Shu Lea Cheang. It was screened in the Panorama section at the 67th Berlin International Film Festival. Set in the 2060s, the film depicts a world in which HIV/AIDS has been fully eradicated. In some people, however, the virus has mutated into a gene that can be extracted to create a new psychoactive drug, leading to the creation of an extensive underground network of human trafficking to capture the carriers of this mutation in order to manufacture the drug.

"I was living in New York City throughout the '80s and '90s, being part of the downtown performance and independent filmmaking community. These were times of protest and street actions, of clubbing, sex, drugs and the AIDS epidemic. We lost many friends. ACT-UP was leading direct action and civil disobedience to demand the release of curing drugs. FLUIDØ ultimately claims the virus as my own salvation, my attempt at reconciliation with the pain of lost intimacy. Projecting to a future, our bodies are colonialized, engineered, reconstituted. We own an empty shell of a body whose data we no longer have access to. FLUIDØ’s excessive ejaculation celebrates the free flow of body fluid.

"I want the movie to be watched in the cinema where the audience can experience collectively the raw, uncensored body power."

~ Shu Lea Cheang, 2017

This WNY premiere of FluidØ in Hallwalls Cinema on Saturday, March 10th is the centerpiece of a special Shu Lea Cheang weekend in Buffalo, with Squeaky Wheel screening her sci-fi porn classic I.K.U. (2000) on Friday, March 9th, and Shu Lea speaking in the UB Dept. of Media Study's PLASMA lecture series on Monday, March 12th.