After a short hiatus, let’s go on with our series ‘a film a day’. Today, let me present “Bastet”… This video is NSFW!
“Bastet” 2:46 min, DV, 2002
In Egyptian mythology the feminine takes many forms and disguises. One of the countless god-form and mythic figures that habit the Egyptian pantheon is Bastet. She is pretty close to what the Roman culture identifies as Venus and the Greek culture once called Aphrodite, a goddess of love and fertility. Yet it is not that simple. She is the nagging, youthful and (almost) virgin version of the woman, ‘ready for pregnancy’, in contrast to for example Sechmet, portrayed as a Lion which is more descriptive of a motherly yet fierce kind of a woman that already has given birth and now protects her own. You could say that, without uttering any personal preference, that she is the immature version of the female principle whilst other female goddesses like Sechmet (with whom she was later merged) or the fully accomplished (later) Isis represent more ‘grown up’ versions of that idea. There are many more interesting female characters in Egyptian mythology, take Maat (goddess of truth and justice) just to cite one example. But the here shown film focuses on the dichotomy between Bastet and Sechmet.
The film “Bastet” asks if there is such a thing a female (or gender) specifics, how these could be utilised and stereotyped and what our modern culture does with that. I once saw a movie, I guess it was a Tarantino one: an arms catalogue was shown where naked women presented automatic rifles. By the time I thought it was a perfect metaphor and a wonderful joke until I realized that this was actually real. Such catalogues indeed do exist… The video essay also hints at the close relationship between male dominated technology and the male sex (organ). This video is NSFW!
Today, some thoughts on the anthropocene, our relation to nature and the illusion of “the garden”.
„Inv_nat“ 3:30 min, DV, 2002
„Inv_nat“ explores the sensual relationship between 2 obvious antagonists pairings that are „nature vs. culture“ and “biology vs. technology”. In its aphoristic fashion, “inv_nat” establishes an erotic encounter between things we might find contradictory yet I believe these are not opposites but closely related and intertwined. When we speak of nature for example we think of the modern day garden that our planet has become. We have never lived in the wilderness or so it seems because the nature of the anthropocene is dominance over the wild i.e. barbaric through culture and technology resulting in culture. In other words culture is what we make of our biologic nature through usage of technology. The idea of untainted, untouched nature is a bucolic illusion, a dream of virginity, a fantasy that has found its in the fascist ideologies of the 20th century for they where rooted within those “back to nature” movements from the end of the 19th century. Take the “Volkskörper” (body of [a] people) metaphor used by the Nazis throughout their reign of terror and you’ll get what I mean.
“inv_nat” was produced for and displayed first during the exhibition “tiefergelegt” which took place in Berlin in 2002 and involved many artists that still form a collaboration network called Einheit_7 e.V..
“Sometimes even the best plan won’t work…”
“a_photon” 2:30 min, HD, 2002 / remastered 2014
“a_photon” is a short quasi-philosophical essay that deals with the limits of teleology with regard to coincidence or chance. As our lifespan is limited, we are driven by intention and purpose but, with ever shifting trajectories, can never afford to doubt our final goals. That life often evolves in a very different direction than we initially intended it to is a tautology. That we can and must be happy with what we have yet strive for more is being iterated again and again, it does not change the fact that it is no satisfying answer to the real philosophical problem that is ‘being’ itself. To my mind, it is the biggest mystery of them all.
“a_photon” was realized in early 2002, the text was read by Nick Russel (thanks again for that) and the music was composed and performed by Mr. & Mrs.T. It was realized using only win-/webdings with Flash.
In this series of posts I want to present to you one film a day from my video art / short film collection. I will here present remastered and annotated version of my former work starting with “city” from 2001.
„city“ 2:36 min, DV, 2001
The short „city“ was clearly influenced by the events of September 11, 2001. But it also draws its imagery and energy from the vibrant city that was Berlin in the late 90’s and early 2K’s. Nowadays (in 2014) it can be difficult imagining what open and undetermined ecosystem this city provided for its inhabitants. All the old structures had dissolved and newer ones had not yet formed. Berlin was then an open space with the promise of a free and imaginative lifestyle well hidden from the lurking eyes of neo-liberal investment bankers. It did not last very long.
Furthermore “city” deals with the permanent deconstruction / reconstruction of that organism that is a modern day metropolis but also to the permanent disorientation that goes with it. It finally is an homage to that great masterpiece that is “Berlin – Die Sinfonie der Großstadt” by Walter Ruttmann and furthermore to Dsiga Wertow and his “Man with the movie camera”.
“inside/outside (DOGS VIII)” deals with the effects modern means of transport have alternated our perception of the idea of inside and outside both literally and metaphorically. The moving cabin of the Berlin street car becomes a cosy home in the storm though is rapidly navigates and cruses though the anonymity of the city. It is the eighth film of a series called DOGS (part I-VII can be found here) dealing with issues of relational miscommunication and the effect of technology on the human condition in general.
“Brache – DOGS VII” is the sixth part of the series called DOGS. It was shot on a piece of waste land in Berlin. It deals with the barrenness and emptiness of a relationship based only on sensual recreation and enjoyment of lust/sex alone. A relationship that consist only in the search for pleasure and enjoyment fast becomes a fruitless terrain with deep hidden secrets and many psychological graveyards and sink holes. Part 1-6 of the series are available on this site.
“mirror, mirror – DOGS VI” was shot in a shopping mall in Berlin using analogue distortion techniques. It is the sixth film of a series specially dealing in relational miscommunication and the human condition in general called DOGS. Part 1-5 of the series are available on this site.
In der Ausstellung “Hommage an Klaus Hähner-Springmühl” in den Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz (11. Mai 2014 bis zum 29. Juni 2014) gibt es noch einmal die Gelegenheit den Film “Abs.: Klaus Hähner-Springmühl – Richterstraße 9″ auf großer Leinwand zu sehen…
Hier der Link zur Ausstellung: Hommage an Klaus Hähner-Springmühl
Wir freuen uns auf Ihren Besuch.
“border-traffic part ii – DOGS V” was shot on the border of Germany and Poland near Szczecin on a (pretty cold) road lined by prostitutes. It is the fifth film of a series specially dealing in relational miscommunication called DOGS. Part 1-4 of the series are available on this site.
Foto: Sulamith Sallmann
Im Gespräch mit Eckhart Gillen bei der Finissage der Ausstellung “Richterstraße 9 – Hommage an Klaus Hähner-Springmühl” & Filmvorstellung des Film “Abs.: KHS”