The otherwise proud and headstrong Katherine Hepburn gazes, close to tears and awaiting salvation, at her existence carved in stone. Bewitched into filling up in a coffee maker in a repetitive ritual, the lit fuse only seconds away from explosion. Franz von Assisi, who speaks to the animals, is a coarse guy here, who drivels while feeding a little golden bird, his fidgety lower regions meanwhile attempting to keep a globe rotating in a bonbonnière. The viewer is not really convinced by the butcher boy’s tenderness towards this delicate creature and is left with a sense of foreboding. Or Felix Mendelssohn, the exceptional composer who converted to Christianity, who is here portrayed as a provocative ruffian with the head of a sun-god and the feet of a crab. Back home at the dinner table he provokes a middle-class farce by affronting his mother with his exposed genitals. He does so, as is suggested by the voice-over, in order to finally begin his own life and to impress his sweetheart’s or sister.
Every body’s life is a private research-center of happiness, sorrow and pain.‚¨Our film presents Teuri’s one. Plantheon is an intimate and experimental portrait of the Finnish artist Teuri Haarla, and focuses on his wholistic methods dealing with infancy trauma and social pressures. The film accompanies him while building a tower, making his ego-melting rituals, reflecting religion and philosopy, keeping balance with family. ‚¨“Lets just say that after childhood I needed some rest‚. ‚¨The film arose from the friendship between Ulu Braun and Haarla, which allowed a spontaneous and artistic co-operation of documentation.
Rather than reinventing the wheel, Ulu Braun re-envisions the structural potentiality of the brick, in this revisionist fable of mankind’s urbanization of our planet. Employing playful and visually dense digital collages, Braun’s associative tableaux collate an ‘alternate’ vision of our world, where nature invades the urban (and vice-versa). We’re transported by a comforting narrator through post-apocalyptic, post-capitalist habitats, where the material co-exists with the metaphysical, the literal alongside the figurative (soap-bubble buildings stand alongside ruined churches turned car dealerships). Architektura echoes our civilization’s childlike ingenuity in creation and destruction, as we question the inheritance we pass on to our future generations. (Andrei Tănăsescu, Bucharest)
A mesmerizing Hitchcockian visual study in ornithology, BIRDS, by visual artist Ulu Braun. breaks down societal construction, hinting at a dormant danger: he observes Earth’s winged inhabitants from up close, looking at their ominous and omniscient presence that watches over us in quiet surveillance. Associative editing brings out the sinuous elegance of the creatures, placing them against the glamour and refuse of cities shaped by human civilization. A cohabitation of prehistoric lineage estranged by an abstract soundtrack, this unlikely pairing of fowl and man becomes a premonitory reminder of the fallacy of modern civilization’s progress.
Andrei Tanasescu, Bucarest
VERTIKALE takes us up and away into a hyper-real world of appropriated TV and documentary imagery. This video-collage physically engages the viewer as vertical film shots are merged and mounted to mediate a symbolic journey from the depths of the sea to the peaks of human civilization. Life and the ambition to survive are reflected along a geographical and media-referential line.
The narrative video collage FORST spans an arc from a primeval forest saturated in mysticism to the mediatized nature theme park. Athletes pave their way through the thicket of the forest. Hikers and nature lovers indulge in their bodies, while children are under the magic spell of mythical creatures. An ecstatic passion-play about nature, power, and your own decomposition.
Tower of Invincibility is a film installation created in a neo-melodramatic style about the advancement of an esoteric health and sports camp in the early 20th century. The camera follows the protagonists during their daily routines: weight lifting, acrobatics, telepathy, leisure time and witnesses how they are progressing from day to day. The filming took place at the Teufelsberg, a former listening station during the Cold War in Berlin. In 2008 the Maharishi Foundation, along with Director David Lynch, bought the terrain for building a 50-meter tall “Tower of Invincibility‚ and a “Vedic University of Peace‚.
The Park is a video panorama depicting a space between the domesticated and the wild, a transmission stage between urban and natural environments. It is an autonomous zone with its own rules; in parks, the limitations of daily habits can be breached.The piece is realized through intricate video compositing techniques combining concrete places and characters that are familiar to our daily life experience; architecture, people and symbols. The work plays with themes of urbanity/periphery, rationality/irrationality, tourism, sports and ecstasy.
Atlantic Garden is a video panorama showing people from different ideological backgrounds grouped around a mansion. Fusing idyllic environments reminiscent of 19th century romanticism and the contemporary ecological movement, the view pans along a cultivated garden with the backdrop opening up to a seaport and, finally, to an ancient amphitheater. The embedded scenes involve amongst others a party-DJ, a childrens church choir, symbolic animals and a political activist.
History is made every day, in reality as well as with every attempt to narrate it. The same is true for the artist team BitteBitteJaJa, where fact and fiction are mutually dependent. Digitally modified film material ‚“ ads, historical images, madness ‚“ are intertwined in a vortex of historical associations and compiled to create a new coherent flow of history. The content is shaped by 16 portraits of Maria Theresia’s children and a utopian view of a distant Austrian future.
The film installation Rhabarber Boy (rhubarb boy) is setting a fantasy-world in relation to the archaic nature of a child, and raises the question about the moral responsibility of virtual creatures and content. The film describes the life of a wild boy, living in a forest without the influences of civilization. He is keeping an old comic-collage in his cottage and is trying to understand the colorful and figurative images of this icon.
Südwest is a detailed and utopic construction of a landscape which unites aspects of tradition and globalization. The video combines idyllic scenes from the European tradition with the catalog-promises of the modern tourist industry to form a panorama which thus recreates the poetic mystique of things so common to our eyes.
Mankind history shows that even abstruse ideas like the building of pyramids and moon expeditions are realizable and afterward admired and mystified. The extent, the overcoming of normal physical borders, and the inexplicability of the procedure are playing a large role in that. Fish Soup describes similar to a recipe in the video the preparation of the Mediterranean Sea into a dish.
Fish Soup is Ulu Brauns very first video collage /hybrid video, that he realized together with Alexej Tchernyi. It was based on a “recipe”-idea of Tchernyi and initiated by Braun and his vision of hybrid cinema in 2002. As those methods were rather new, and computers and skills still slow, it took a while that “Fish Soup” could be finished in 2005.
The Flooding of the Viktoria Plains is an expressiv fictional scenario withing miniature settings. It tells about a bus journey back to our origins. The young Ed Henkel is guiding tourists through the Victoria Plains before they are flooded forever. During the bus trip one of the travellers discovers his primeval longing for water.