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Gerhard Treml & Leo Calice [Videonale.15]

 

Gerhard Treml & Leo Calice [Videonale.15] x

Eden's Edge, 2014, 27:07 min., sound, colour [Videonale.15]

Without horizon and perspective, the characters of EDEN’S EDGE are moving across static shots of the Californian desert. Remarkable, idiosyncratic concepts of life present themselves on the base of just as unconventional landscapes. Unconventional, anti conventional – ›counterculture‹. The characters are protagonists of these countercultures of the 1960’s. They represent activism, pacifism, spiritual self-discovery and closeness to nature. Today failed concepts and outdated models? Maybe. But only measured by an ideal, whose standards never applied to a ›real‹ avant garde anyway. All are connected by the locality of the desert, ›terra incognita‹ and a space free for dreams and the wish for an ›alternative‹ life. And these paths of life and their histories are not linear narratives. They are rather shaped by curves and detours, but also by freedom. The desert is paradoxical, it is freedom and constraint, hostile to life and a possibility for individual fulfillment – contradictory, like EDEN’S EDGE itself. The artist duo Treml & Calice shows everything and nothing: the strict top views remain in the far distance, however near the voices may appear, most personal stories are told in stylized landscapes, without horizon or perspective.

Jan Harms

 

Amina Handke [Videonale.15] x

Hysteria 2.0.0 v01, 2014, 2:34 min., sound, colour [Videonale.15]

Demonstrations, police – »Was the expectant mother not pregnant or certainly or not? And if she wasn’t, how can anyone be so stupid?« – Fasching – Baby falls off the changing table – »When will these men there stop being afraid of women? When?« – »We oppose Conchita Wurst and all bearded men in dresses, say bearded men in dresses.« – A cat video. Like it. Comment. The video HYSTERIA 2.0.0.V01, by the Vienna based artist Amina Handke, reminds one of the daily look at a timeline on the social network platform Facebook. The contributions selected for the video are real Facebook postings. The posted videos about genuine, serious news items which, however, because of the hysterical and strong emotions expressed, quickly seem exaggerated. The videos, which have a strong hang to sensation, only seldom have a clear relationship to the read out Facebook postings. The material used has one common factor, it deals with events in Vienna. With people’s contributions to Facebook, Amina Handke comments on themes which appeared as up-to-the-minute events in the press. As a contrast to the intended earnestness, Handke interrupts the political themes with videos of cats and babies, which also underline the small amount of information in all the messages selected. Her personal opinion is mostly hidden behind this surface of Facebook opinions and can be interpreted in various ways. Like it. Comment. Offline.

Lisa Warring

 

Thomas Kneubühler [Videonale.15] x

Days in Night, 2013, 3:48 min., sound, colour [Videonale.15]

The film DAYS IN NIGHT begins with a shot of total darkness, nothing can be recognised. As the eyes become accustomed to the missing light, contours and shadows gradually emerge out of the darkness and a desolate landscape can be recognised. A voice from the off tells us about the daily life on the military and research basis CFS Alert at the north pole, where the days are without light from October to early March and life carries on in a dark night. With the emergence of the contours and the static shot, the film radiates a peaceful languor into the all-embracing night; one’s various senses are activated and challenged. There is a greater awareness of one’s own body and its surroundings, which contributes to the viewer’s peace of mind. The film reawakens childhood memories, of moments at night when one was looking for stars and discovered more and more as time passed. One could also recognise other contours and structures and take delight in discovering something familiar in the unknown. But can the viewer rely on a single sense, his sight? The level sequence of the most northerly settlement at the north pole, and the calm of the reduced visual impression of the poorly lit sky result in a positive, relaxed attitude – in contrast to the inhospitable and hard conditions of living which is reported by the voiceover.

Siri Effelsberg

 

Marianna Milhorat [Videonale.15] x

Une Terre familière, 2013, 18:10 min., sound, colour [Videonale.15]

A small waterfall, right in the middle of impenetrable green.
The scene could be in the Amazon jungle, if the banks did not seem to be so strangely linear, somehow arranged. If the water were not so unnaturally still. And now a group of well-dressed strollers come into the picture, on the other side of the pond. What are they talking about? About the nature surrounding them? Or about appointments to have their hair done?

A newly ploughed field in thick mist.
The view hidden, as if by a veil. An autumn morning. Tiny water droplets waft in the air. It smells of fresh, dark earth. Profound solitude. But then a woman with a pram crosses the field. Is it really a field? At a second glance the ground is too even, as if it has been rolled flat. Will this earth soon be covered by gravel and tarmac?

A narrow chamber.
The camera from above. Neon light. Cabinets of natural history specimens, in every drawer three, four, five times the same. No window. No way out. A man is bending over one of the drawers. Nothing stirs. No movement. No life.

A museum.
A dry sapling in the glass case. A blue, globelike ball rotates soundlessly about itself. How distant the world is! How far away we are from everything. And yet much too close. Our fingerprints on every surface. Our odour in every corner. Everything catalogued and well-ordered, fenced in, known. And yet this earth remains so intangible. Completely foreign, sealed, silent.

Kollektiv

 

Florian Pugnaire & David Raffini [Videonale.15] x

Energie sombre, 2012, 15:00 min., sound, colour [Videonale.15]

Destruction. Speed. A wreck. A bus. Autodestruction.

Flying at ground level the camera races over main roads and motorways. Escape along a field track. Obsession knows no goal. Rage and repose are mutually incompatible. Activated by a dark energy, in thick clouds of smoke, a wrecked bus awakens to life. It fights its way through a nature which hinders it and slows it down. Rust and mud as enemies of speed.

It gets stuck, the mud dries. When it fights its way through thorn bushes the twigs scratch patterns in the crumbling, hardened layer of dry earth covering the bus. A tour de force, a never-ending suffering. And yet: Beauty. Deliverance in the rush of speed. An infernal droning supplies the background to the hunt. A hunt through landscape, but also through conventions of cinema. Over and over, the apparently driverless car hurtles along sandy paths. At sharp curves it raises clouds of dust. But other shots leave the dusty world of road movies behind them and confront the viewer with uncannily futuristic actors. Buckled, chrome-plated steel plates rock mysteriously in the wind. Dramatic formations of dark clouds cover the sky. A crane does not only take part in the destruction of the car but also looms out of the fog like a monolith. Are extraterrestrial forces at work here?

Another cut, another jump. Brute force, the car reveals its innermost parts, wounds, twitching, bleeding body parts. Machine parts. The boundaries of time and space no longer exist. The car wreck: here the beginning, but also the end of a transformational cycle.

Markus Pinell

 

Cristina Picchi [Videonale.15] x

Zima, 2013, 11:27 (1:11) min., sound, colour [Videonale.15]

The story of two people who set off into the Russian winter, a Nigerian and a Russian whose identities remain unrevealed, frame the narrative of the video ZIMA by the Italian artist Christina Picchi. Touching pictures of a snow-covered village church and of cows grazing in the snow are a contrast to pictures of ships stranded on the ice, and the ice desert around Lake Baikal. The tempo of the narration varies from the documentation of a lively village community who, to celebrate Epiphany on January 6, once again undergo a baptism in hot water, the daily measurement readings at a weather station, or the operations of a military harbour and the apparently everlasting, lifeless expanse of the icy Russian landscape, where the unchanging darkness of the polar night is broken only by the headlights of an occasional motor car. This portrait of a season, the Russian winter, presents the viewer with life in one of the harshest climates on earth, in remote locations in northern Russia and Siberia, where even machines give up. The video may make use of standard documentarisms of film and television, such as poignant landscape views, but, with the intentionally vague location of the scenes and the changes in the pace of narration, does not fulfil their promise. Its emphasis is on survival in the inhospitable Russian winter landscape, which forces its inhabitants to set other priorities.

Pia Bornus

 

Mateusz Sadowski [Videonale.15] x

Volume, 2013, 4:40 min., sound, b/w [Videonale.15]

The single-channel video VOLUME by Polish artist Mateusz Sadowski illustrates the connection between two rooms, the real one and a three-dimensional computer-animated room. To begin with, the viewer is immersed visually in a black and white everyday scene full of resignation and melancholy. Turning on the electric kettle activates the protagonist’s imagination and animated waves materialise on the walls in predefined rectangular areas. As soon as the protagonist starts to drink, the animation spreads itself over a larger area and gives the impression that it could engulf everything – it spreads itself over nature and technology and absorbs them. At the animated level, water, essential for life, becomes a threat for its creator. The whole composition, constantly permeated by noise and digital interference, is underlaid by a threatening, distorted acoustical background, composed by Sadowski himself, which follows the peaks and troughs of the waves. During the fully animated scenes, the viewer sees in slow motion how the objects are encased by the water and parts of the picture break up sporadically. The act of capturing the circle with a teacup upended by the hand is here indicating a paradox: Mankind may be the creator and master of technics but is also dependent on it. Only through a great act of will, almost transformed into a performance, can the protagonist free himself from this field of conflict, subdue the symbolic circle of this discourse and literally step out of his accustomed habitat into a new (better?) life.

Soma Elena Kozan

Videonale.15 (Februar 27 – April 19, 2015 at Kunstmuseum Bonn)

1216 submissions (from 76 countries)

38 selected works

Competition Jury:
Carla Donauer, Julia Draganovic, Jennifer Gassmann, Sabine Himmelsbach, Dennis Hochköppeler, Tasja Langenbach, Erik Martinson, Jan Schuijren

For the first time, with VIDEONALE.15, the Open Call for the Videonale competition featured a theme. THE CALL OF THE WILD, as thematic framework of VIDEONALE.15, addresses the topic of ›the Wild‹ as art and society have used it, since the colonial 19th century at the latest, to attribute to the untamed, not-civilised, primitive or anarchic a negative distinction, which demarcates them from the officially legitimated canon of norms values. Yet the concept of ›the Wild‹ holds much greater potential when one uses it outside conventional categories which permit only black or white. Namely, as precisely that explosive in-between place where those categories find themselves in a state of dissolution, while new categories have not yet been ...  [ weiterlesen ]

1216 submissions (from 76 countries)

38 selected works

Competition Jury:
Carla Donauer, Julia Draganovic, Jennifer Gassmann, Sabine Himmelsbach, Dennis Hochköppeler, Tasja Langenbach, Erik Martinson, Jan Schuijren

For the first time, with VIDEONALE.15, the Open Call for the Videonale competition featured a theme. THE CALL OF THE WILD, as thematic framework of VIDEONALE.15, addresses the topic of ›the Wild‹ as art and society have used it, since the colonial 19th century at the latest, to attribute to the untamed, not-civilised, primitive or anarchic a negative distinction, which demarcates them from the officially legitimated canon of norms values. Yet the concept of ›the Wild‹ holds much greater potential when one uses it outside conventional categories which permit only black or white. Namely, as precisely that explosive in-between place where those categories find themselves in a state of dissolution, while new categories have not yet been found, and perhaps shall never be found.

This ›queer‹ approach to the concept of the wild, one which combines anarchistic and utopian in equal parts, to me seems an interesting model for approaching the quite different courses of action which are currently taking effect in society and art, questioning old ideas and throwing certainties overboard: The fragility of existing order is revealed, among others, by a monitoring scandal, which demonstrates how far the digital penetration of our environment has progressed, and confronts us with how closely the apparently endless freedom of the internet on the one hand is coupled with controls and monitoring on the other. It can be seen in the obvious and nevertheless incomprehensible reality of worldwide religious and/or territorial conflicts, which result in massive shifts of psychic and physical borders and lead to disturbances both in the geopolitical agenda and in individual biographies. It can equally be seen in the recurrent debates about gender politics among ›hetero‹, ›trans‹, ›inter‹, and ›queer‹, about role assignments and models of family and companionship which regularly make clear the instability of the system in and with which we daily move. The wilderness is the intangible and the, with our available vocabulary, indescribable. It repeatedly withdraws from us and challenges us to renegotiate order(s): »Wildness is not the lack of inscription, it is inscription that seeks not to read or be read but to leave a mark as evidence of absence, loss and death« (Jack Halberstam).  

The Videonale Award was received by Shelly Nadashi („A Hidden Quiet Pocket“).

Artistic director: Tasja Langenbach

More information: v15.videonale.org