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Victor Alimpiev [Videonale.11] x

Summer Lightnings, 2004, 4:22 min., sound, colour [Videonale.11]

That the mouth can be not only a speaking, but also a silent organ, is shown by Victor Alimpiev in his work Wetterleuchten [Summer Lightnings]. Thanks to their non-speaking mouths, the eyes and hands of a group of schoolchildren take on a special vitality. Girls are shown in a classroom rapping on the tables, their lively beauty evident in frequent close-ups. The noise this makes is transformed in the video´s quick scene changes into the wild lightning of a summer night´s storm. But a secret hand signal given by the girls quickly guides the viewer back to the quiet world. The repetition of this process, during which the summer lightning becomes more and more pronounced, seems like a summer night´s dream.
The peace and serenity that often goes unnoticed comes to our attention only after the brief - but violent - storm. The stark contrast between storm and silence forms the rhythm as well as the tension in this work, which makes do without a single instrument or voice and is nonetheless peculiarly musical.
The idea of connecting the rapping of knuckles on tables with the pounding rain is based not only on their similar sounds, but also on their related essence. The moving hand and its rapping is closer to nature than human language can ever be.

Sung Un Gang

 

Stephanie N'Duhirahe [Videonale.11] x

Sans Titre, 2006, 8:18 min, sound, colour [Videonale.11]

A jumble of everyday objects is strewn across the grey concrete floor of a vast hall: a music player, a teapot and spices, a telescope, dishes and cups, a fax, accompanied by various kitchen appliances such as a mixer or toaster, a toilet brush and so on. In her video performance Sans Titre, Stéphanie N'Duhirahe balances barefoot across this hazardous obstacle course without once letting her feet touch the ground. It is a fragile dance atop objects of everyday use that the artist has staged for the camera. The floor of the hall becomes a symbolic abyss, with the performer moving along the edge and constantly threatening to fall in. She finds brief, precarious footholds on the islands formed by the objects. The camera follows her from station to station, at first showing close-ups only of her feet and then increasingly pulling back in the course of the performance until her entire body is seen in the frame and her instability is revealed in full. In her work Sans Titre, Stéphanie N'Duhirahe depicts life as a tightrope act on the stony field of the earth, which we humans traverse with unsure footing. The artistic act symbolizes the fragility of existence on this planet.

Tina Rehn

 

Siri Harr Steinvik & Ignas Krunglevičius [Videonale.11] x

Is that all there is?, 2004, 8:00 min, colour, sound [Videonale.11]

A text scrolls through the opening credits, providing the viewer with background information on what he is abut to see. Is that all there is? documents 25th anniversary of a turbine at the nuclear power plant in Visaginas, Lithuania, whose first reactor is to be decommissioned a few days after the festivities, as a requirement of EU membership. Wobbly amateur shots show a couple up on stage announcing the next part of the program: a film is to be shown about the power plant and its workers. Siri Harr Steinvik's camera slowly moves to a frontal position before the stage, letting the video-watcher share the viewpoint of the guests. But the microphones on the stage partially obstruct the view of the film within a film. They develop a shadow play on the screen, creating a meta-level and becoming an element in their own right. People keep walking past the screen, further heightening our distance to the filmed reality. In the background, a medley of rousing well-known classics plays, underscoring the 'ceremonial' nature of the occasion. And thus the company celebration vacillates just like the projected film between nostalgia and Communist propaganda. The viewer of Is that all there is? finds himself in the bizarre staging of an illusory world, critically illuminated here by Siri Harr Steinvik and Ignas Krunglevicius. 

Cécile Zachlod

 

Freya Hattenberger [Videonale.11] x

Sirene, 2007, 3:30 min., colour, sound [Videonale.11]

A still frontal shot shows the artist herself sitting behind a microphone. She is not using it in the usual way to amplify her voice, however. Not one sound leaves her lips and yet she manages to make herself heard. She encircles the microphone with her lips, moves them back and forth and almost puts her mouth completely over it. Through the exact positioning of the speakers, feedback sounds emerge, and thus what are actually inaudible frequencies can be heard as a howling through the room. Freya Hattenberger plays with the oscillations, makes them sound out and modulates them by moving her mouth, which forms a resonance space. She calls this workSirene, referring to the warning signal but also to the mythological Sirens, who with their entrancing voices lured seafarers to their death in the watery deep. The artist is also a Siren, for she enchants through the use of her body, but at the same time by means of her intelligence and technical knowledge. This work captivates us with the dichotomies it represents: body ? spirit, technology ? sensuality, mythology ? physics, taking up the tradition of feminist video performances. In figurative terms, we watch how the woman makes herself heard within the patriarchal [language] system in a way that is both sensual and intelligent ? by applying her knowledge of physical properties and by using her body.

Marion Scharmann

 

Lia Anna Hennig [Videonale.11] x

Eat Me, 2006, 28:00 min., sound, colour [Videonale.11]

The erotic red mouth of the artist Lia Anna Hennig with its perfect white teeth fills the frame, resembling a painting. As her video performance Eat Me progresses, however, the lips that were so tantalizingly beautiful are gradually transformed by the camera zooming in on the mucous membranes into an amorphous, fleshy mass. The animalistic feel culminates in a close-up of a bubble-gum bubble bursting across the garishly coloured lips. Like a fish eye, the red, meat-like piece of gum rests in the midst of the explosion, until it is greedily sucked back in by the lipstick-smeared mouth. The metamorphosis of the sensory organ into a cell-like substance receives humorous support from the soundtrack. Moaning, lust-filled outcries at the beginning underscore the erotic component, segueing into gnashing teeth and wild smacking sounds to evoke the image of a cannibal. Finally, the bursting of the bubble is acoustically highlighted in comic-like exaggeration by ?ping? and ?pop? sounds. The cognitive process of association is echoed visually by the explosion of colour on the monitor, covering all nuances in the red spectrum. Here, Hennig shows us, tongue-in-cheek as it were, how the mouth can be an ambivalent tool capable of running the gamut from kissing to biting, cannibalism to glamour, eroticism to revulsion.

Nadia Ismail

 

Nick Jordan [Videonale.11] x

let the user speak next, 2006, 10:00 min., sound, colour [Videonale.11]

In Let the user speak next, Nick Jordan takes the viewer with him on his exploration of a very special place: the Dominican monastery of La Tourette near Lyon. The title refers to a book by the architect Le Corbusier, who designed the modernist building according to his "Modulor" system. In Modulor 2 [La parole est aux usagers, 1955], Le Corbusier explains how to apply his doctrine of proportion, based on anthropometry and the Golden Section, with which he tried to create an architecture with both human dimensions and an objective order. In Jordan?s images, the cubic building evokes a cool, hermetic and deserted impression, with only the narrow window slits and small holes in the bare concrete walls connecting us to what´s inside. From the interior comes a magnetic white noise, which increasingly mixes with the sounds of birds gathering on a tree outside the monastery walls. The outside world is all the more colourful when seen from within the building, the bright blue sky and the glowing red blossoms of the trees forming a stark contrast with the sallow grey of the concrete whose few touches of warmth come from small windows in primary colours. Nick Jordan documents here a compelling encounter with an icon of modern architecture, which both stands out like a solitary accent from its surroundings and yet attains a harmony with nature.

Tina Rehn

 

Halina Kliem [Videonale.11] x

Real World [still toddling], 2006, 3:04 min., no sound, colour [Videonale.11]

Real World [still toddling] is an attempt to chronicle a trip through the hurdles, problems and obstacles of everyday life ‒ as Halina Kliem experiences them in her ‘real world’. The work takes a formalist approach to this theme. A running text in a white sans serif font scrolls across a neon green background, written by the imaginary hand of the artist. She gives her thoughts free rein, composing a spontaneous, impulsive and honest diary. Halina Kliem reveals her emotions and describes her experiences, letting us in on what it feels like to still be tottering and toddling through the ‘real world’ like a small child. Her everyday routine as artist is shaped by deadlines and applications ‒ along with disappointment when, for example, her projects are rejected. Her constant self-doubt makes her reflect on psychoanalysis as an alternative to art. The obstacles that preoccupy her are usually small: when she visits a shop to buy new ink and finds out that it has closed, she almost falls into a depression. She also complains of how lonely it is sitting in front of a computer and vows to be more sociable and outgoing. When her Internet connection works, she takes it as a sign that things will improve in her life. But along the way, she realizes that life is passing her by.
Corina Charlambous

 

Mischa Kuball [Videonale.11] x

Heimkino [Amateurfilm], 1968/2006, 8:05 min, colour, sound [Videonale.11]

An amateur film from the late 1960s that shows holiday scenes. Whether the local dogs, the Mediterranean landscape or cheerful people enjoying leisure pastimes: the filmmaker captured everything that passed by his lens with his Super 8 camera. The images appear not to have been subjected to any directorial strategy; their seemingly random selection obeys no narrative structure in the classic sense. Mischa Kuball ruminates here on the popular attempt to preserve irreclaimable experiences in order to relive them later in home movies/amateur films [Heimkino [Amateurfilm]]. But the effort to make memories come to life at will using technical means is doomed to fail: the past cannot be brought back to life again, even with the help of home movies. The ad absurdum repetition of the images in a loop manifests the impossibility of this undertaking. Like a veil of forgetting, a black shadow looms over the private footage in Kuball?s video. It belongs to the projector, whose presence physically demonstrates the temporal and personal distance of the viewer from the images shown. Heimkino [Amateurfilm] is about the technical processes of recording and playback. Filming the film as an artistic act creates a meta-level and offers a complex reflection on the cinematic medium.

Cécile Zachlod

 

Guangyun Liu [Videonale.11] x

Losing my face, 2005, 5:02 min., sound, colour [Videonale.11]

The camera is witness to the process by which Losing My Face is created, and yet it is unable to penetrate the space and to break it up into frames. From a frog?s eye view, the camera focuses on the artist?s head as his hair is tied back and attached to a rope hanging from the ceiling. All of a sudden, the head seems to be swept into motion, swinging back and forth from the rope like an imaginary pendulum. With the constant blurring of the focus on the filmed image, the face becomes distorted, taking on a steady series of new and flowing forms and transitions. The somnambulant pictorial aesthetic allows us to optically experience movement in space and time. The rhythmic soundtrack underscores the association with a pendulum.

This temporal and spatial movement is not actually being performed by the person shown, however, but is produced solely by the camera. The transition from stasis to motion is accomplished by a machine. With the help of technology, the human puts his intentions into practice and sets the world flowing. The face of the artist, standing here for the individual, is however lost in the current of technologically shaped time. In the process of machine-assisted creation, the world is divested of its original tangibility. For a brief moment, even the grimace of death seems to shine out from the amorphous images.

Johannes Schmidt

 

Nadja Verena Marcin [Videonale.11] x

Die Jogginggehenmusemassnahme, 2006, 15:15 min, sound, color [Videonale.11]

Die Jogginggehenmusemassnahme opens with panning shots over Geneva's harbour. The view passes through scenes of busy everyday activities, which are however deprived of their linearity by means of short rewound sequences, causing the first irritations and hence departures from familiar perceptual patterns. Such departures also shape the narrative structure of the work, which subsequently concentrates on following a young female jogger. We pursue the woman - Marcin herself - on her way from the harbour to a park: "the labyrinth of memory and cultural structures". It is here, as it were in conflict with discursive labelling, that an erotic fantasy world primarily involving the body splits off, stimulated by the beauty of the day and the - explicitly formulated - attempt to set nature itself against the rational domestication of nature. This carries the woman, as she continues her route through the city and into the night, deeper and deeper into an associative flow of thoughts and fantasies. Marcin's work articulates how basic human needs can break out from their confines and run free. They are then able, prompted by the rhythm of life itself, which is in turn evoked by running and the pulsation of blood - at the same time the impulses behind eros - to release themselves from the hyper-civilization of the world and to elicit in the self at least a temporary feeling of bliss.

Wolfgang A. Döllerer

 

Julia Oschatz [Videonale.11] x

Hello Hollow, 2005, 4:23 min, sound, color

A black screen, illuminated by points of light moving across it like snow flurries, sets the stage for the appearance of a creature that cannot be clearly identified as humas or animal, which immediately begins a wild ance. Thus begins Julia Oschatz' video Hello Hollow, the formal design of which is, like almost all of the artist's works, characterized by a world of colour, mood and action drawn in tones of black-white-grey. The animation catapults the viewer into a prodigious spectrum of associations, each of which becomes concrete only for a few moments - such as when the points of light form themselves into the work's title - or at least seems to become concrete - when the viewer believes he has discerned human traits in the 'creature'. Nevertheless, it is a structural principle of this video-clip-like work that what is concrete about a situation in life or the environment is neutralized and transformed into a more generalized texture. The 'creature', in its abstraction oscillating between man and donkey, wolf or rabbit, can be understood as a symbol of all of these. Hello Hollow tells the archaic condition, of this 'creature' being thrown into the world and left at its mercy, as a clownesque, externally controlled actor on a stage that obeys barely rationally comprehensible laws and in the background of which the projections of this world rapidly pass by. 

Wolfgang A. Döllerer

 

Alexej Tchernyi [Videonale.11] x

Fish Soup, 2006, 10:00 min, sound, colour [Videonale 11, together with Ulu Braun]

Fish Soup spirits the viewer away to an Italian seaside village, inviting him to witness what the inhabitants are up to in a variety of settings: banal everyday situations are joined by bizarre constellations that gradually reveal a common theme: people´s careless encroachment on the environment. The story culminates in a series of violent explosions beneath the surface of the sea: the contaminated water boils, steam rises, dead fish float up onto the surface. And yet the far-reaching implications of what they are doing - the destruction of the environment - does not seem to worry the residents in the least. Instead, they seize on the catastrophe as an occasion for wild celebrations and begin to spoon up the fish soup they have prepared. The people´s guileless behaviour is conveyed by means of colourful, naive-looking imagery. Various animation techniques both embellish the events and pass over them. Braun and Tchernyi not only deliver here socially critical food for thought, they also encourage the viewer to reflect on his own treatment of the environment.

Julia Kürten

 

Corine Stübi [Videonale.11] x

Black Lead, 2006, 7:00 min, colour, sound [Videonale.11]

Corine Stübi´s striking video work Black Lead is accompanied by the music piece of the same name by the British band Death in Vegas. Underscored by the psychedelic electro sound, the gloomy and cryptic images generate an ominous and mysterious atmosphere. In static takes and smooth tracking shots, viewers are offered mysterious scenes that are difficult to piece together into a coherent whole. By connecting motifs from crime stories, fairytales and myths, Stübi creates a surreal world in which familiar images lose their accustomed context. A golden football that rolls into the middle of the lane in an underground car park recalls the golden ball from the popular fairytale The Frog King. But instead of a frog, a girl dressed in a pink party dress appears in the asphalt underworld. In another sequence, a young woman comes onto the scene wearing an identical pink dress - possibly the same girl at a different age - and chases the ball. All of the action plays out in the same setting, the chronology broken up by jumps back and forth in time.

Thomas Jantschik

 

Jan Verbeek [Videonale.11] x

OSMOTIC, 2006, 3:00 min, sound, colour [Videonale.11]

Jan Verbeek's video Osmotic was made in the South Korean capital of Seoul. In the first take, the camera slowly closes in on a young parking garage attendant wearing a grey trench coat who is directing passing cars alternately toward two exits. The green floor of the garage seems like a wet meadow - an association that is further heightened by the sound of falling raindrops. In this painting-like composition, the sky is formed by a large blue sign in the background. The grey figure of the parking attendant stands out with his clear, almost choreographed-seeming movements against these intense contrasting hues. The central motif of the work is Verbeek's exploration of movement and stasis, of sound and silence. The noise of the rain mixes with other acoustic elements and is at times drowned out by deep, synthetic tones as well as the sound of squealing tyres. In a series of cross-fades, the camera perspective changes several times, until the protagonist is finally duplicated in two overlapping, half-transparent shots and thus ends up facing himself. What was once a functional stance becomes pure performance, the parking attendant an elegant dancer.

Thomas Jantschik

 

Richard Turner Walker [Videonale.11] x

succesive inconceivable events, 2005, 5:59 min, sound, colour [Videonale.11]

In Successive Inconceivable Events, Richard Turner Walker attempts to record a direct dialogue with nature. At first, we see a panorama of landscapes, forests and mountains that radiate seclusion and serenity, but are not without a certain coolness, giving the video the impression of a painting. Then the artist himself appears amidst the scenery. He places a CD player on a tree stump from which issue the gentle sounds of an acoustic guitar. The performer sits down in the landscape - his back turned to the viewer - and begins, as soon as the music stops, to carry out an intimate conversation with nature. He articulates his feelings when faced with the unapproachable distance of the nature around him and its lack of acknowledgement for his own presence. While nature encounters him with overwhelming beauty, this is coupled with a raw frigidity. He senses not only a dearth of warmth and comfort, but ultimately also the absence of any kind of connection at all. He admires nature as if she were a far-away loved one, but at the same time feels isolated, even alienated. Richard Turner Walker's work takes up the long tradition of nature dialogue, reflecting on the impossibility of man truly knowing nature as she always eludes his grasp.

Corina Charalambous

Courtesy of the artist, Christopher Grimes Gallery and Angels Barcelona

 

Kathrin Maria Wolkowicz [Videonale.11] x

zwischen rosen, 2006, 3:04 min., sound, colour [Videonale.11]

Two young men practice the modern Japanese martial art of Aikido in a gym. In the background we hear a melancholy female voice singing a Polish children?s song about a king and queen and their page, which ends in a horrible fate.

At first, viewers of zwischen rosen have difficulty making a direct connection between the imagery and soundtrack. And yet, by editing her material in a certain way, Kathrin Maria Wolkowicz manages to tie together the visual and acoustic levels. The soft but powerful music reinforces the effect of the flowing, sweeping movements of the focused combatants, while the dramaturgy of the sequence of connected scenes, which are sometimes played in reverse and interrupted by black screens, corresponds with the song?s narrative. Through this interplay, the common content of both levels is revealed: the dramatization of violence. In the end, however, the exaggerated, dance-like movements of Aikido and the punch line at the end of the children?s song ultimately have the effect of trivializing and defusing this theme. The viewer is enticed into taking on the role of entertained consumer.

Julia Kürten

 

Stefanie Wuschitz [Videonale.11] x

Tetescha us, 2006, 5:00 min, sound, black and white [Videonale.11]

Using animated drawings, Stefanie Wuschitz abstracts the life of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon - without allowing her quotidian images of the Middle East to devolve into sensationalism. The end of Lebanon's prolonged civil war, in 1990, and the subsequent economic upswing laid the foundations for the utopia of a modern country. And yet, although people of various religions and immigrants from diverse areas co-exist peacefully these days, Lebanese society still harbours many disadvantaged groups. This video focuses on a group of girls from the Beddawi Palestinian refugee camp whom the artist invited to participate in a cartoon workshop. The girls' stories, which have been interwoven in colour with the otherwise black-and-white imagery of the video, tell of love, family and loss. The Palestinians in the refugee camps possess no rights of any sort - and are thus denied integration. Often, the girls have no choice but to marry young. Tetescha us - Arabic for "she transcends boundaries" - reflects on the role of women, who here draw hopeful pictures, but whose lives actually take place within narrow bounds due to their gender and precarious existence in the camps. At the same time, they cross the line to adulthood, making them ready for marriage.

Philipp Lines Lange

Videonale.11 (March 15 – April 15, 2007 at Kunstmuseum Bonn)

More than 650 submissions (from 51 countries)

48 selected works

Curator: Georg Elben

The Videonale Preis was received by Beate Geissler & Oliver Sann („fuck the war“).