Rainbow’s Gravity video still Rainbow’s Gravity video still

Mareike Bernien and Kerstin Schroedinger: Rainbow’s Gravity

2014, video, 33

Rainbow’s Gravity is a cinematic exploration of the history of colour film, especially the history written by Agfa Wolfen, the producer of colour film stock Agfacolor-Neu in the era of Nazi Germany. Rainbow’s Gravity not only unveils the genealogy of the Agfacolor-Neu colour film as an exploitative industrial and propagandist Nazi tool, but also problematizes the role of black-and-white (moving) images in the construction of history, especially the history of Nazism and fascism. While the black-and-white medium has been through its political appropriation constructed to connote historical remoteness, colour has been used to suggest proximity. Rainbow’s Gravity turns to the social phenomena that were blurred and disguised from the present by the black-and-white construction of historical distance.

Cast: Berit Ehmke, Hanna Bergfors, Mayan Printz, Michał Głazik, Tanja Kämper; screenplay, direction, production and editing: Mareike Bernien, Kerstin Schroedinger; director of photography: Smina Bluth; light design: Wassan Ali; costume design, make-up: Wibke Tiarks; sound recording: Birte Gerstenkorn; sound recording assistant: Olivia Oyama; soundtrack: Wibke Tiarks; sound mastering: Miles Whittaker; colour correction: Sebastian Bodirsky; catering: Mitch Andrade.


In her collage Toxic Polish (2019-2020), presented in the Corneous Stories publication, Mareike Bernien points to the material common to celluloid film, car paint and nail polish: the synthetic nitrocellulose. Historically, the three products based on nitrocellulose also shared the circuit of their popularisation: while in the East, the train brought moving images of the (October) revolution to the people, film in the West promoted car mobility and cosmetics.