Singing Altogether Now: Unsettling Images of Disability and Experimental Filmic Practices

  • Robert StockEmail author


Conventional representations of disability on television and in documentary films often emphasise ‘pity’ or stage their characters as ‘supercrips’. Only a few productions provide alternative framings of disability. Such films can be conceived as a kind of experimental system through which established knowledge about disability can be unsettled. To demonstrate this, this chapter analyses the Singing Lesson by Artur Żmijewski, a video installation interlacing experimentally deaf singing and religious choirs, and Freakstars 3000 by Christoph Schlingensief, a TV docusoap that modifies conceptions of intellectual disability by mocking television casting and reality formats. Both productions open up a space for media participation that creates ambiguity while refusing to give a simple answer to the question of how to model a concept of ‘inclusive art’ or media.



Warm thanks to Pier Stuker Alvarez and Elena Rosauro at the Galerie Peter Kilchman, Zurich for supporting the research for this chapter and providing access to Singing Lessson 2 by A. Żmijewski. I am also grateful to Julia Schäfer at the Galerie für Zeitgenössische Kunst Leipzig for providing material about the project A. Żmijewski realised in Leipzig.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Media StudiesUniversity of KonstanzKonstanzGermany

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