Thuistezien 311 — 21.01.2022
For the exhibition ‘For the Common Good’ that took place in 2015, the New Zealand-based artist collective et al. together with the composer Samuel Holloway presented works consisting of large scale installations and videos addressing systems of surveillance, and the extents of the public domain. Among these works was a series of two movies, referred to as ‘Non-existent in the everyday world?’ (2009-2015).
‘Film 2’ is the second part of the above-mentioned work. Converted to a digital format from Super 8 Film, the approximately 15-minute long film appears naturally grainy and is carried out with stop motion-like handheld filmed fragments. Besides sharing similar elements with ‘Film 2’ such as the sound compositions by Ivan Mršic and the analogue filming methods, ‘Film 2’ appears to be more poetic and playful in the directing. Whereas ‘Film 1’ is quite strictly narrated in black and white images with the shadows of a rowing pencil, ‘Film 2’, interchanging between colour images and black and white images, introduces several elements, such as the writings and drawings of a rather erratic handwriting and a playful clay element constantly changing and moving in stop motion. In combination with these ‘handmade’ inputs, the movie incorporates selections of printed diagrams and images as well as printed sentences, often describing the diagrams and images shown. While the viewer is guided through the constantly changing visuals (as if they are inside the stream of consciousness of a rather distressing mind) it becomes increasingly apparent that a specific narrative is impossible to fixate — as is the lump of clay which is thoroughly shaped, unshaped, scattered, collected in such an away that the viewer eventually gives up the hope for applying any definition to the story. In a sense, this lump brings forth a physical interpretation of the writer’s unsettlement and, simultaneously, reminds the viewer of the truth that nothing existing is ever fixed.
The movie comes off as suspenseful and slightly unsettling, primarily due to the added sound composition. The sound includes elements of scratchy metallic noises that pierce the ear. These sounds are creating an eerily atmosphere in combination with the roughly cut fragments and handwritten words that, additionally, often expresses worrying combinations of words and sentences referring to what it means to exist and to be.
If you want to watch and know more about the first part of ‘Non-existent in the everyday world?’, you can see the previously released thuistezien text about ‘Film 1’ via this link: http://westdenhaag.nl/thuistezien/239
Text: Rosa Zangenberg