Mi, 22/03/2017 – 18:30
Austrian Cultural Forum, New York
Screening by Christiana Perschon at the Austrian American Shortfilm Festival hosted by the Austrian Cultural Forum New York.
Comment on Ghost Copy by Joachim Schätz
A flock of birds; an airplane; a soldier turns his head; a child sprints towards the camera. These four settings, and the many that follow in the next two-and-a-haöf minutes, each last a split second, a handful frames – just long enough fo rmoving forms to become perceptible as shapes, gestures, artefacts. in-between is darkness.
The form of ghost Copy is owed to a double work with the archive: The moving images are taken from Austrian amateur films from 1935 to 1965. The staccato of clips and black frames is sythesised with the compositional principle of the 8 mm film documenting Günter Brus’ 1965 action “Vienna Walk”. In the Vienna city centre Brus exhibited a life permeated by violent border regimes on his own white-painted body, split in half as if with barbed wire. The found footage of Christiana Perschon does not intend to supplement this action with an over-explained background of the authoritative character in the time between the Austrofascist state and the economic miracle in Austria, rather it shows sparks of an infamous, macrohistorical, “insignificant” life. It reveals too little to be categorized as historical narrative and too much to be dismissed as abstract or anecdotal. Costume or uniform, camaraderie or mob, bared wire or tightrope dance?
Perceiving means making precarious distinctions; all the more so as the filmic cut primarily balances movement intensities instead of making rhetorically clear rhymes. As a ghost of a film copy, history does not become clear, it wanders around. And it doesn’t go away either: Smartphone recordings from the current exodus of a current war generation – the blast of wind in the face, crackling earth under the foot, catching breath – permeate the audio track.