Dafne Narvaez Berlfein talks about patterns and passers-by, archives and digging, centres and peripheries, and being a cultural worker.
“That’s the classic sentence: centre and periphery. I try to not just think that there is only one centre, but multiple centres. Not giving the label of periphery to something just because it’s outside of this big centre. And I think this is a bit what I try to think – believing in multiple centres instead of peripheries in regard of specific centre.”
Dafne Narvaez Berlfein is a Berlin-based film and video artist; she also teaches and researches historical and contemporary media aesthetics. Prioritising a collaborative approach and an intersectional perspective, her work encompasses multiple genre and media. Film, videotape field recordings, live video captures and modulated interventions are Narvaez Berlfein’s tools to create visual interpretations, in dialogue with the works of composers, sound artists, and performers, always with a DIY and DIWO (do it with others) approach. Her works have been shown at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, the Philharmonie Luxembourg, Documenta 14 and many other institutions and independent venues.
Narvaez Berlfein’s research focuses on female-identified artists who produce in underground contexts and deal with experiences of uprootedness. She has lectured at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig, Universidad de Buenos Aires, and Universität der Künste in Berlin.
In 2015, she initiated the series Sentimental Punk in the project space Kotti-Shop, which incorporates her academic research in a decidedly non-academic context, and which she still curates today, where sound artists and musicians create live soundscapes to accompany rarely-seen feminist avant-garde films.
All of her projects share the concern of decentralizing social-cultural structures through artistic discourse.
Repatterning is a series of talks about being turned inside out. It is about the experience of being radically upended, the work of dreaming, and the ghosts that travel along the way. Concentric circles rippling outwards from art, crisis, music, sickness, reinvention, mourning, renewal, collapse, and enchantment. Picking through the remnants and imagining what might emerge, as the grains of sand pile upwards, the hope drone swells, the gamelan chimes, and the distant bells peal.