Hanna Wroblewska /Zacheta/, "Never seen in..." (Poland)
Never seen in ... is a screening of works by artists who in their work use the video medium and a widely understood concept of film. What is extremely interesting is not so much skilled usage of this not that new medium as an incredible clarity of various strategies or conventions - also those typically film ones that are used by visual artists. The film appears as a subject, as a plot, as a metaphor or eventually as a set of certain rules (screenplay + direction + photography + editing).
Constanze Ruhm gives the leading role in her video installation: X Characters: RE(hers)AL - to women, characters form Tarkowski's, Bergman's, Godard's and Antonioni's films.
Abstracting these "figures" from films, she makes them meet in some neutral territory (airport departure lounge or in the Internet space) and lead long discussions with each other. She endows them with a second, and even a third life, making other actresses play their role or telling yet other people to speak on their behalf in Internet chatrooms. Her last project X: Nana is devoted to only one of these female characters - Nana from Godard's film "Vivre sa vie" who escaped the cards of the screenplay and lives her own life, although still wanted by a private detective and the director himself.
Also Richard Hoeck plays with the tradition of low-budget feature film production (with a slight link to a soft-porn genre), and together with John Miller in the film "Something for everyone" they show one day from the life of an UPS courier. Elements of documentary are used by Marko Lulic who in his films often pictures/documents a utopian vision of modernism from behind the iron curtain: the architecture of hotels, cinemas or monuments created among others in the 60's, 70's and 80's, making use of fragments of old films and photographs as well, including them into his personal settlements with history and tradition.
With the present and the history: a history of a city, art history and essential for today's art criticism: notion of a stranger, immigration or feministic ideas, tackles also Carola Derting. Yet, her films, which are short, few minutes long stories (parables), almost always characterize with a comic element, a creative usage of paradox or slapstick.
Motifs and stylistics of video clips are used in films by artists for whom music is not only an accompanying (or not) soundtrack but an integral part of the work that often is created parallel to the visual layer. Vienna (and maybe even whole Austria), appears for people form outside the territory where many visual artists are related to the music stage and use in their work both electronic, progressive, classical music and pop.
Mixes and remixes of the n.i.c.j.o.ba work that use on similar bases ready sound and sometimes ready-made pictures, and Suzi Jirkoff's animations where characters form the world of politics or film fiction world (inspector Derrick) rap about their emotions, are simultaneously a mock criticism of media, pop culture and the hype or a trial to deconstruct them.
Markus Schinwald's Chilren Cruisade is build on a principle of a short film etude, duration of which is marked by a song form Benjamin Britten's oratory sung by boys' voices. The story itself is rather simple to read, however its meanings multiply into manifold interpretation possibilities. From different streets children run out, almost invisibly stylized in their clothes to 30's or 40's. They follow a human-sized dummy - marionette moved by an invisible one, and while walking its face changes from time to time (terrifying all the time) from friendly to hostile. Who is the dummy followed by children: the ratcatcher from Hammelin? A metaphor for an unidentified ideology or an internet connection?
Halfawomen 2 is a newest film by Jacek Malinowski (an artist form Kowalski's workshop, from Kozyra's and Żmijewski's "class") who in his films seems to argue with their characteristic artistic and verisitic strategies. At the same time, he is one of few artists using in his creative work an element of feature filming. Projektowanie i organizacja przestrzeni [Design and space organization] by Aleksandra Went and Alicja Karska are rather a poetic record of a to-camera action or a performance during which girls disguised into chambermaids' costumes perform regular chambermaids' duties in an unfinished (at the beginning) or non-existent anymore (later on) hotel building.
1. n.i. c.j.o.b; Never seen in... (Vienna), 2004 (1'08; Male trouble (Fear of Fear), 2002 (1"34"); Night must fall, 1999 (1'09"); "*0...+!"(Patrick), 1999 (50"); 5 MIN