Michaela
Schwentner

jade_enterprises
NEWS /
ARCHIVE
Non-finito.
oct 16 - dec 11 2016: Ursula Blickle Stiftung, Kraichtal-Unteröwisheim (D).
Single-channel video installation.

IMAfiction #08 portrait Electric Indigo - premiere.
nov 22 2016: Festival IMAkusmonium. Cinema Paradiso, St. Pölten (A).
Screening and artist talk.

Die Vorspielservice.
dec 16 2016: Zentrale, Vienna (A).
Guest dj.

Dizziness - A Resource.
feb 10 2017: Kunsthaus Graz (A).
Presentation and artist talk.

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WORKS
INSTALLATIONS
PERSONNE
THE SHOOTING (in progress)
MARTHA SPIELEN / PLAYING MARTHA (test version)
FRA(G)ME(NT)S OF CAMILLE
CAMILLE 1-3
DESCENDING A STAIRCASE / IN SHIFTS
TRYING TO KEEP OURSELVES BALANCED
THE CONTENT (in progress)
PENELOPE / IN THE SCENERY / REFLECTING / RELATIONS
26 DAYS
BILLBOARD / prospects modifiés
PROSPECTS
ADAPTED RELATIONS
NOCTILUCA
CHANTER TOUJOURS

FILMS
PERSONNE
REORIENT.MANIFEST
FRA(G)ME(NT)S OF CAMILLE
MARTHA SPIELEN / PLAYING MARTHA (test version)
SPEED OF LIFE
ELECTRIC INDIGO VIDEO PORTRAIT
A CONTEST
UN DIVERTISSEMENT D'AMOUR
IN THE REMAKING (in progress)
DES SOUVENIRS VAGUES
ALPINE PASSAGE
RIDIN'
BELLEVUE
COMPOSITION SET // IMAGE TRANSFORMED // MOZART MOVED
SWINGING
LA PETITE ILLUSION
DER KOPF DES VITUS BERING
GIULIANA 64:03

PERFORMANCES
MARTHA SPIELEN / PLAYING MARTHA (test version)
DESCENDING A STAIRCASE / IN SHIFTS

FINE ART PRINT SERIES
FIGURES (Women Under Influence)
LOST IN PARADISE (Borges' Discomfort)
GROSSGLOCKNER

OBJECTS
ÜBERRASCHUNGSEI (IN THEORY AND PRACTICE)
LA ROUTE DU PARADIS
IT WILL ALL BE DIFFERENT
A STONE / A WORD / ACTIVATED / BY

VISUALISATIONS OF SOUND
ELEMENTS II
MOUVEMENTS/CADUQUES III
CANRANC
SPEECH
TESTER
JET
R4
TRANSISTOR
THE FUTURE OF HUMAN CONTAINMENT
TUCKER
TAKE THE BUS
#Z
 

PERSONNE

2016 / Multi-channel video installation / 1,85:1 + 16:9 / colour / sound / 9:40 min

PERSONNE is a miniature film on visual experiences of performers
and the audience.
This one-take film about looking, watching, and observing is staged
as an intimate play. A small number of actions are frozen in long,
tableau-like shots. The narrative structure consists of vague moments
which suspend and question the boundaries of reality and illusion.

What do we see, when we look? What do we see, when we watch?
What do we learn, what do we know then? Can we rely on our
perception, since it is just a partial aspect, one perspective of reality?
The vague and intimate staging creates a surreal, oneiric atmosphere
accompanied by a mysterious effect, which generates a confusing
feeling - we are exposed to the act of observering and thus forced to
be voyeurs.

In the installation version 2-5 takes are arranged in a synchronised
way - with slight variations and congruent moments. These versions
are bound by one single sound source. By this, a new and almost liquid,
poetic image is created.





 

REORIENT.MANIFEST

2016 / Multi-channel video installation / 16:9 / colour / sound / 4:00 min

A model for a film. The set design is an assemblage of several small scenes.
The scenery includes some rather iconic images which refer to a sophisticated Europe and its highly developed state of civilisation with its democratic, political and critical consciousness.
Since it is to be feared that Europe is going to abandon its cultural standards,
we as European citizens have to question this so-called system of values and even a lot more of our ideas.
The film is arranged as musical with 2 choruses who ask some of these relevant questions.






 

FIGURES
(Women Under Influence)

2016 / Photographic series / Fine Art Prints / 80 cm x 120 cm, 40 cm x 60 cm

The cinematic (action) image as a spatial object, providing a new perception
and interpretation. Cinematic images of iconic films featuring modern women
under a certain kind of influence, though, are transferred into sculptures
created of working and household tools.
By this transference and the shifting of frames reflections on aspects of work
and conditions of artistic working processes may be initiated.
These sculptures are named after the main female characters of the particular
films: Camille (Le mépris, J.-L. Godard, 1963), Myrtle (Opening Night,
John Cassavetes, 1977), Martha (Martha, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, 1974),
Catherine (Jules et Jim, François Truffaut, 1962) and Giuliana (Il deserto rosso,
Michelangelo Antonioni, 1964).

   from top left to bottom right: Camille, Myrtle, Martha, Giuliana, Catherine

 



GRUPPENBILD I + II. 2016 / Fine Art Prints / 120 cm x 80 cm, 60 cm x 40 cm





 

FRA(G)ME(NT)S OF CAMILLE

2016 / Single channel video / 16:9 / colour / 30 sec.

The fragmentation of one of the digital reproductions of the FIGURES series resulted in the video FRA(G)MENTS OF CAMILLE.

  FRA(G)ME(NT)S OF CAMILLE





 

SPEED OF LIFE

2016 / Single channel video / 16:9 / colour / sound / 4 min

Contribution to the competition and survey DIZZINESS - A RESOURCE,
a cooperation of the Institute for Differential Psychology of
Karl-Franzens-University Graz, the artistic research project "Dizziness -
a resource, FWF PEEK, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna and Kunsthaus
Graz.

The work won the 3rd place of the competition








 

THE SHOOTING (in progress)

2015-2016 / Multi-channel video installation

Two sprinklers are "shooting" each other with black-coloured liquid.
The installation refers to a film dialogue.





 

MARTHA SPIELEN / PLAYING MARTHA (test version)

Performance + multichannel video installation / colour / appr. 10 min

Fragmentary reenactment of the 720º scene from Martha by Rainer Werner Fassbinder.
The renowned camera shot is transformed into an installative performance with 4-6 performers
and their particular interpretation and enactment of Martha, actually their individual mode
of slipping into a role by putting on the figure's costume.

The stills are taken from the test version.





 

Electric Indigo video portrait.

2015 / Single channel video / 16:9 / colour / sound / 22:00 min

Video portrait of electronic music dj and composer Electric Indigo.
Main camera: Andreas Gockel, additional camera: Michaela Schwentner
Commissioned by IMA - Institute of Media Archeology.





 

CAMILLE 1-3.

2015 / Multi-channel video installation / 16:9 / colour / sound / 4:00 min

An iconic affect picture is transformed into a performative reenactment which is filmed and edited again.
The result is a fragmented, synthetic image of 3 female performers who share the role of the protagonist.
The image is taken from Le mépris (J.-L. Godard, 1963), the protagonist is Camille.





 

DESCENDING A STAIRCASE / IN SHIFTS.

2015 / Performance + video installation / 16:9 / colour / sound / 33:36 minutes

A woman in a yellow bathrobe is descending a staircase - over and over again.
This image of action refers to the film scene from Le mépris (Jean-Luc Godard, 1963).
The main "character" is in fact the significant prop of the scene, the yellow bathrobe.
The scene is performed by 3 different performers over the course of a day.
The piece is at the same time the reenactment of a film shooting, and hence the
reenactment of Camille's role, a reenactment of an actress' work, a reenactment of
Brigitte Bardot's performance and furthermore a demonstration of variations of acting.
It consists of several elements at the same time: it is the reenactment of the work
of an actress, a spatial intervention, a performance, the actual work of the performers
and the video installation in public space.

DESCENDING A STAIRCASE / IN SHIFTS was commissioned for Festival der
Regionen
2015, Ebensee (A).

Installation: Festival der Regionen 2015





 

PENELOPE /
IN THE SCENERY /
REFLECTING /
RELATIONS

2013-2015 / Single or multi-channel video installation / 16:9 / colour / sound / 18:45 min

This short film examines possible forms of storytelling in an essayistic context. To create her story this contemporary model of Penelope on one hand is knotting and interweaving text fragments (her thread consists of words instead of fabric), on the other hand she and the second protagonist communicate by reenacting several iconic film scenes.
The figure was inspired by Penelope, wife of Ulysses, who now, unlike the ancient figure, has become a voice and as well a story to tell. The modern Penelope has thrown out her husband, and that's why Ulysses is travelling and therefore absent.

The level of narrative is organised partly following the principle of the mise en abîme. The formal level also follows this principle and consists of fragmented images and reflexions.

Screenings: Diagonale Graz 2014, Crossing Europe Film Festival Linz 2014, Cairo Video Festival 2014;
part of vidéothèque of Les Rencontres Internationales Paris



The german version can be found here.
Access to the english version on request.






 

THE CONTENT (in progress)

2015 / Single channel sound installation / 10 min.

In this work the technical content of a film is described
by voiceover. There are no images, only black frames.





 

TRYING TO KEEP OURSELVES BALANCED

2016 / Single or multi-channel video installation / 16:9 / colour / sound / 8:30 min

The miniature film TRYING TO KEEP OURSELVES BALANCED is an abbreviated, condensed version of the short film A CONTEST.
It focusses on the body itself, on the physical effort of sports, of competition in general.
For TRYING TO KEEP OURSELVES BALANCED material from preceding essayist short
film A CONTEST was taken for reflections on competition by transforming the idea
of competitiveness into poetic imagery.





 

A CONTEST

2013-2016 / Single channel video / 16:9 / colour / sound / 4:45 min

The essayistic short film THE CONTEST is cinematic reconstruction and staging
and refers to a pop-cultural moment of 20th century history.
I was interested in the intersection of historic moments and aesthetical practices and
in the examination of our relationship to collective historic and visual experience.
In a sequence of about five minutes THE CONTEST shows two young female
performers in a gymnastic performance situation.
The minimalistic setting of the scene filmed in a real but still staged studio unfolds
in static shots and shows the performers primarily in long shots by considering
the symmetry of the image.
The performers movements equal real practising movements of figures skaters,
still the reduced image composition lets the choreography appear somehow artificial.
The formal aesthetic approach to the historic event which is grounded in the
collective memory and visual archive on one hand and to the presentation of subjective
experience on the other hand result in a stylised image which is supposed to merge
into a timeless form. It was not my intention though, to dissolve the historic event
in the aesthetic, but to objectify it by reducing all narrative moments.
The negotiated historic event was a spectacular case in the history of US-American
figure skating: during a decider preparation for a championship one of two rivals
was attacked and incapacitated; the other athlete got linked with the attack and was
subsequently suspended from all further championships.

Screening: Crossing Europe Film Festival Linz 2015





 

A STONE,
A WORD
ACTIVATED
BY


ABDUL SHARIF BARUWA // EVA BODNAR // HERBERT DE COLLE // PLAMEN DEJANOFF // HEINRICH DUNST // MARINA FAUST // VERONIKA HAUER // GERHARD HIMMER // SIGGI HOFER // NICOLAS JASMIN // DANIEL KNORR // ELKE SILVIA KRYSTUFEK // SONIA LEIMER // JOHANN LURF // CHRISTIAN MAYER // ALBERT MAYR //JOSH MÜLLER // MICHAEL PART // ELISABETH PENKER // ROMAN PFEFFER // JOSEF RAMASEDER // BERNHARD RAPPOLD // FRANZ SCHUBERT // CONSTANZE SCHWEIGER // MICHAELA SCHWENTNER // CHRISTIAN STOCK // AXEL STOCKBURGER

2014 / Frottage.

3x live frottage Blickle Raum Vienna 2014





 

LOST IN PARADISE
(BORGES' DISCOMFORT)

2014 / Photographic images, photographic photo copies
Fine Art Prints / Series 5 Images / different sizes.





 

IN THE REMAKING [unfinished]

An experimental film project reflecting the process of film-making.
After Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles from 1975.
Reenacting the making of the film, this work demonstrates my ongoing examination of personal and historic (collective) memory and the transformation of the mechanics of film into a work with poetic potential.






 

UN DIVERTISSEMENT D'AMOUR

2012 / Multi-channel video installation / 16:9 / colour / sound / 11 min

This film is a kind of rearrangement of Plato's Symposion based on philosophic essays on love and it is also inspired by the Surrealists' Recherches sur la sexualité.
The film structure refers specifically to Sergej M. Eisenstein's definition of the mise en cadre and concentrates precisely on the possibilities of showing / hiding basic film-immanent information.

Screenings: Diagonale Graz 2013, Crossing Europe Film Festival Linz 2013, school, Vienna 2013, Cairo Video Festival 2014

Watch excerpt on vimeo.
Access to full version on request.






 

26 DAYS

2012 / Multi-channel video installation / 16:9 / colour / 1 min

This work was created during a stay at a remote space near Rome and emerged from the situation I was in at this place for almost 4 weeks.
26 DAYS is a general examination of time and transience.
The question expresses the surprise at the uncertain perception of a certain lapse of time. The individual sense of time 'out of civilisation' becomes
vague, inaccurate, it becomes unreliable.

Installation: imPORT, Studio PORT, Vienna 2012







 

ÜBERRASCHUNGS EI
(IN THEORY AND PRACTICE)

2012 / Tank tops, zips, fabrics, belts, cords
Installation + performance.

A bag which can also be used as a dress.
A dress which is at the same time a bag.
A bag which could be a raincoat ...
Content as surprise!
A product that can be consumed in the act of using it.
Wearing or carrying!
A brand carrier, a status symbol, an instrument of social positioning.
A multifunctional object, a transporter of social messages.
A kind of "Blödmaschine" (© Markus Metz and Georg Seeßlen)

Presentation performance at Reheat Festival, Nickelsdorf 2012






 

BILLBOARD / prospects modifiés

2012 / Multi-channel video installation / 16:9 / colour / sound / 8 min

Modified version of the experimental documentary PROSPECTS (2011).
The term prospects is used in a more condensed way, in the way of a promise,
in the way travel agencies use it for their holiday offers.
For this work the interviews from the documentary have been reduced
to simple but catchy slogans.

Installation: RHIZ SCREENS, rhiz, Vienna 2012







 

PROSPECTS

2011 / Multi-channel video installation / 16:9 / colour / sound / 32 min

An essayistic documentary featuring women in the Mediterranean
who talk about their ideas of paradise / utopia.
PROSPECTS is an essayistic documentary about women living in the Mediterranean and their ideas of paradise / utopia.
It consists of 17 interviews with women from this area and images of "paradisiac" places like public parks, private gardens, botanic gardens, etc.
The video is an assemblage of these images and the interviews and it is accompanied by field recordings and subtle sound pieces which have been composed particularly for this work.

Installation: GRENZWELTEN / LEERE LINIEN, Kulturbrücke Fratres 2013





Installation view Kulturbrücke Fratres [A/CZ]



 

LA ROUTE DU PARADIS

2011 / Fixing pins on cardboard, framed. 34 cm x 22 cm

Side project of PROSPECTS.
The map of fixing pins show the cities
in the Mediterranean area I visited for my research and interview work.

SAUNA, brut Konzerthaus, Vienna 2010






 

IT WILL ALL BE DIFFERENT

2011 / Text on memo-cube
Memo-cube 11 cm x 11 cm, shrinking in height

Error correction by repetition?
Or realisation by repetition?
Can a wish become true if you repeatedly
write it down some hundred times?

AFFENARBEIT, Area53, Vienna 2011






 

DES SOUVENIRS VAGUES

2009 / Multi-channel video installation / 16:9 / colour / sound / 8 min
Sound: Michaela Schwentner
3 C-Prints, 120 x 80cm

DES SOUVENIRS VAGUES is a short film about visual memories and their repetition, about shifts and refractions. The film's main elements are vaguely remembered, isolated scenes en miniature. They could be from a film, they could
also be personal moments of someone. The soundtrack comprises samples
of female characters from various film works.

Screenings (selection): BLUE HOUR, Triennale 1.0 Linz 2010, Diagonale Graz 2009,
Crossing Europe Film Festival Linz 2009




Watch excerpt on vimeo







 

ALPINE PASSAGE

2008 / Multi-channel video installation / 4:3 / colour / sound / 6 min
Sound: Michaela Schwentner

ALPINE PASSAGE is a film comprising individual images about
a journey across the Swiss and Austrian Alps.
The mountains, impressive as a painting, and in front of them a sort of architecture that enables either a panoramic or a close view.

Screenings [selection]: Diagonale Graz 2009,
Crossing Europe Film Festival Linz 2009


Watch excerpt on vimeo






 

GROSSGLOCKNER

2008 / C-print 40 x 50 cm





 

RIDIN'

2008 / video / 4:3 / colour / sound / 5 min
Sound: Irradiation

Tribute to female:pressure DVD.
Presentation at MAK Vienna 2008






 

BELLEVUE

2007 / Single channel video installation / 4:3 / colour / sound / 9 min
Sound: Michaela Schwentner

Snow, fog, clouds and in the midst of it all, a barely perceptible massif. Or, better yet, a white noise from which contours gradually emerge and just as steadily dissolve back into: As though ghost lights in the digital image-fog that dominates the expanse of this composition. A mountain peak, only vaguely discernible for the longest time, that halfway disappears again the moment it appears. The starting material for Michaela Schwentner's BELLEVUE
are webcam recordings from Grossglockner that she collected for months and condensed into a nine-minute time image. Schwentner's method benefits from the rigid takes, mainly because within them, the interplay of appearing and eluding, of revealing and concealing, can develop the greatest possible effect. Thus, the figure of the mountain uncovers and covers itself in a constant, modulating movement: ridges and slopes peel from the whiteness of the surroundings, to then immediately vanish again within it. Accompanied by a subtle ambient-like rustle, which Schwentner gathered from the direct transformation of the image into sound data, the vision continually clears up and becomes disarranged. As though the mountain, seen and photographed millions of times, does not want to disclose its identity so simply; yes, as though the apparently banal weather panorama recordings harbor a key of sorts to the disappearance of the supposedly most unchangeable natural things. The beautiful view is fundamentally blurred as a result of BELLEVUE. Not by things incidentally blocking it, such as snow, fog, or clouds, but by a basic instability in the process of (electronic) seeing itself. The more persistently it pursues the phenomena, the more they keep themselves covered from time to time. (Christian Höller)

ALPINE DESIRE, ACF New York 2011, LANDS END, Shedhalle Zurich 2010, LANDSCAPE 2.0, Edith-Russ-Haus für Medienkunst Oldenburg 2009, DEEP NORTH, Transmediale Berlin 2009



Watch excerpt on vimeo





 

ADAPTED RELATIONS

2013 / Installation / prepared table, projector, variable size / video 4:3 / loop

A projection equipment which has been turned into a space defining sculpture,
an adjustment with a new prefix. A miniature, adapted for the small size of the K48 space and to the site-specific conditions.
The projected film itself is a demonstration of adapted relations: Images which were produced by webcams and saved, collected, sorted, assembled and animated, are available in the internet via mouse-click. We can easily watch a mountain peak from any place, from our studio without any effort.
The poetic moment is generated from the apparatus, the installation, the illusionist machine, is detected. The apparatus is moved in its true light and therefore into the centre of perception.

Installation: K48, Vienna 2013







Installation view K48 2013
 

WORKS WITH SOUND / SOUND ARTISTS:


NOCTILUCA

Commissioned audiovisual work for RML
CineChamber [w/ Peter Rehberg].
10-channel video installation.

Live presentation premiered at musikprotokoll / steirischer herbst Graz 2011.
Adapted version at KLANGMANIFESTE 2014, k/haus passage Vienna.

Watch excerpt on vimeo








 

CHANTER TOUJOURS

2011 / Sound installation / Loop

The sound installation CHANTER TOUJOURS is an allegory:
a special sound is extracted from its original context and is transformed into an new one - the always singing cricket prolongs the summer and should be - as sound intervention - hopefully a nice surprise in the cold season. At the same time CHANTER TOUJOURS is an infinitive invitation to sing or make sound - more and almost any time!

Installation: KRPYTOPHON, Hörstadt Linz 2011.




 

COMPOSITION SET //
IMAGE TRANSFORMED //
MOZART MOVED

2006 / Single channel video / 4:3 / colour / sound / 1 min
Sound: Michaela Schwentner

Commissioned work for Mozartjahr 2006.
The idea was to transform a picture of Mozart on the basis of a new composition arranged with the so-called musical dice game, sound-controlled manipulation and also a dismantling of the common clean and kitschy Mozart image. A postcard with a bright frontal view of Mozart turns into a rough, decadent picture. This turnaround within an extremely short period of time also represents life's progress and decay. The alteration is equivalent to a life cycle: The lush color at the beginning fades, the leaves shrivel, the tree disappears, the postcard with Mozart`s picture yellows and becomes a Mozart of stone.
A figure for the ages. The manipulation on the musical level was inspired by the musical dice game as played during Mozart`s day. The composer himself wrote short pieces and re-arranged the individual measures according to a roll of the dice. The sound level of the film comprises short samples of the violin concerto #3 and symphony #38.

Screenings [selection]: Diagonale Graz 2007,
Crossing Europe Film Festival Linz 2007











 

SWINGING

2006 / 2-channel video installation / 4:3 / colour / sound / 9 min
Sound: Michaela Schwentner

A bridge with an arched metal structure stretching over it is visible on a white field. The colours are subdued - grey and black, various shades of brown, blue and green - though they seem quite intense on the light background. The places connected by the bridge aren't visible; portrayed as an isolated structure, it becomes the focus of an analysis in the medium of film. In contrast to some of the other videos made by Michaela Schwentner, the subject is easily recognisable in this case. At the same time the artist discovers an individual life in the architecture, which lets the concrete form slip into abstract patterns. The perspective shifts repeatedly, and different views of the structure appear. One shot fades into the next, and the movement of the pixels can literally be observed. This creates graphic and painterly moments, the play of light and shadow, lines and planes turns into a hypnotic game of deception. The camera's gaze is directed at the structure's details and unusual views so that individual portions of the bridge no longer seem to be bound to a certain function, and other fields of association open up in its formal structures. The geometric shapes resemble sketches, the cables between the bridge and its superstructure are like drawn lines, which lends the originally monumental structure of concrete and steel something fragile, translucent and with that a buoyant lightness. In contrast to a sketch, however, swinging also makes the three-dimensional character of its subject tangible, not least through the use of the soundtrack which was also created by Michaela Schwentner. The shimmering of the dimensions and the materiality of the representation are underlined by the audio level. Each kind of material seems to have its own characteristic sound, and after electronic alteration it creates an acoustic landscape surrounding the bridge, which seems to «swing» from time to time. (Andrea Pollach)

Screenings [selection]: Diagonale Graz 2007, Crossing Europe Film Festival Linz 2007






 

LA PETITE ILLUSION

2006 / Single channel video / 4:3 / colour / sound / 4 min
Sound: Michaela Schwentner

A little story of passions is told in LA PETITE ILLUSION: heavy breathing garnished by a jazzy bass line, a kiss, a woman falls into water at night.
While the work's title is an ironic reference to Jean Renoir's 1937 «La grande illusion», the association is a dead end: Neither the images nor the soundtrack contains a direct quotation of Renoir's pacifist fable, nor is a similar motif touched upon. The patina of early sound film which is celebrated in LA PETITE ILLUSION stands as the sole vague connection to the «grande illusion» - the sound and the look, the aesthetic stereotypes of Francophone cinema made between the wars. Michaela Schwentner`s chromatically ascetic electronic manipulation of found sounds and images is a study of emotional images from the history of cinema which is carefully kept in the air. The story told in LA PETITE ILLUSION is itself a kind of little illusion: It has the mere suggestion of a plot, a kind of mini-melodrama with built-in interference. While the narrative lines remain unresolved, irrationally linked as if in a dream, the film's images themselves become unstable: They seem to melt, run into one another; just after coming together they fall apart, speed up, slow down, hammered with the artist's omnipresent influence. «Animated Cubism» is the term she gave to her work method: The flat film images are committed to a virtual digital space, a different kind of illusion, and the material is released into a state of partial abstraction. In the referential space, filled with romantic ruins of images, fragments of emotional declamation and salon conversation in French, with canned music and the bright singing of anonymous film divas, emotions are transformed into signals, and the individual parts of trivial film tragedies are translated back into neutral cinematic symbols. (Stefan Grissemann)

Screenings [selection]: VIENNALE 2006, Diagonale Graz 2006,
Crossing Europe Film Festival Linz
2006









 

DER KOPF DES VITUS BERING

2004 / Single channel video / 4:3 / b/w / sound / 5 min
Sound: Wallner.Stotz.Remsing

When Vitus Bering completed his circumnavigation of northeast Asia on 13 August 1728 to prove that Asia and America are two separate continents, the coast of America was covered in fog and remained largely invisible to the discoverer. On the tracks of discovery. and at the same time groping through the dark; a confusing state, the various levels of which are made evident in Michaela Schwentner's video the head of Vitus Bering. The picture shows the black silhouette of a landscape emerging from a brilliant white. The landscape is grouped on a horizontal and in some places also on a vertical axis. It changes, seems to oscillate between various aggregate states. Forms become visible or invisible; colors fluctuate between white-gray-black. A type of fata morgana in a desert of ice. Also the sound and the text make reference to a state of madness - or at least heightened sensibility; the violin bows are tense, the voices entangle and distort. Konrad Bayer's text «Der Kopf des Vitus Bering» [1958 ff], which provides all of the quotations, is Schwentner's immediate reference point. Bayer is interested in the figure of Bering as a location from which relations can be created and quotes André Breton, according to whom reality is not the sum of the facts, but rather, the sum of possibilities. Bayer`s text is a mosaic of facts, thus on the one hand history - and on the other, thoughts and speculations, mounted according to strict rules. He creates a dense atmosphere whose quality lies in the gaps that hold the knowledge of wealth, of reality. Also Schwentner's video breathes this intensity; text, sound, and image combine to something greater than the sum of what happens and what is heard. It presents the abundance in its emptiness. (Sylvia Szely)





 

GIULIANA 64:03

2003 / Single channel video / 4:3 / b/w / sound / 3 min
Sound: Michaela Schwentner

On a white background, black rectangles fall from the left upper edge of the picture. They amass to form larger surfaces, to then immediately thereafter shrink or shift on top of one another, and from time to time be lifted off each other by thin white lines. Similar to the cinema screen, the rectangular surfaces carry the schematic, digitally processed image of a woman, which is difficult to recognize as such. Instead, its large-pixel outline merges with the abstract forms, which constantly form anew. Like in a puzzle, individual facial details show up in different places; the various parts are continually put together, yet without ever revealing a completed picture. The stark, reduced soundtrack, which stems from Antonioni's Il deserto rosso, as does the initial visual material, emphasises the clarity of the images and opens the gaze to the constantly changing forms. The face - reduced to flickering black and white areas - takes its place in this strict composition. At one point, the picture becomes almost completely black from the steady overlapping of different layers. Shortly thereafter, the schematic contours of the face push into the field of vision. In the end it seems to have almost won out over the abstract forms. This impression is supported by the replacement of the noise on the soundtrack with human voices. However, before the music (which begins suddenly), can spread out, and the black and white contours become completely recognizable as the reproduction of a human form, they turn quickly to the side and the picture disappears into the blackness. (Corinna Reicher)

Screenings [selection]: Avanto Festival Helsinki 2003, Diagonale Graz 2004,
Crossing Europe Film Festival Linz 2004


GIULIANA 64:03 on vimeo.











 

VISUALISATIONS OF SOUND COMPOSITIONS


w/ Paul Clouvel (Elektra Music):

ELEMENTS II
2013 / Single channel video / 4:3 / b+w / sound / 8 min

MOUVEMENTS/CADUQUES III
2010 / Single channel video / 4:3 / colour / sound / 10 min

CANRANC
2010 / Single channel video / 4:3 / colour / sound / 12 min

SPEECH
2009 / Single channel video / 4:3 / colour / sound / 8 min



 




w/ Radian:

TESTER
2004 / Single channel video / 4:3 / colour / sound / 6 min

JET
2003 / Single channel video / 4:3 / colour / sound / 6 min

R4
2000 / Single channel video / 4:3 / b/w / sound / 5 min

TRANSISTOR
2000 / Single channel video / 4:3 / b/w / sound / 5 min


TRANSISTOR (excerpt) on vimeo.

 




w/ various:


THE FUTURE OF
HUMAN CONTAINMENT

2001 / Single channel video / 4:3 + 35mm / b/w / sound / 4 min
Sound: Pure
Screening at Sundance Independent Film Festival 2003 /
Section New Frontiers

TUCKER
2004 / Single channel video / 4:3 / colour / sound / 6 min
Sound: Charmant Rouge

HOW DO YOU WANT M.?
Part 3 of MAZY
2003 / Single channel video / 4:3 / colour / sound / 4 min
Sound: Heinz Dietsch

TAKE THE BUS
2002 / Single channel video / 4:3 / b/w / sound / 4 min
Sound: General Magic

#Z
2001 / Single channel video / 4:3 / colour / sound / 6 min
Sound: Fennesz



HOW DO YOU WANT M.? on vimeo.
TAKE THE BUS on vimeo.







© michaela schwentner 2016