Silke Schönfeld

In her films, which range between documentation and fiction to varying degrees, Silke Schönfeld brings different people into focus, be it individual protagonists or social groups. In Ein Prozent (One Percent) – imagined communities, for example, the artist approaches a right-wing citizens’ initiative and its rhetoric, while in her series invented traditions she concentrates on lived cultural traditions in different parts of Germany, such as the Maibrauch (May rites) in the Rhineland or the Mönchszüge (monk processions) in Saxony. In the process, she intently observes social structures, codes, and personal stories, yet without passing judgement.

With her film installation Family Business for Ruhr Ding: Klima, Silke Schönfeld delves into a former McDonalds restaurant in downtown Herne and the owners, the Vossen family. The film installation traces the history of the site and its protagonists, from being a household goods store, to one of the first branches of the fast-food chain in the Ruhr region, to its current use as a band rehearsal room. This trajectory is closely intertwined with shifting social perceptions of consumption, food culture, and leisure activities.

Silke Schönfeld (b. 1988) lives in Amsterdam and Dortmund.

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Family Business

In the stories of Silke Schönfeld’s multi-part video installation Family Business personal recollections merge with collective remembrance.