by Antoinette ZWIRCHMAYR
2012 / 16mm / color / silent / 1S / 1' 50

Lit like the central figure on a stage the body, seen here as a quiet monument, fills out the frame. There’s a mud– and fleshcolored silhouette, rounded, dreamlike and eventually resembling a softly shaped mountainrange in a 1970ies illustration. Small puffy clouds of steam hover across it. Through the fine mist of humidity exuding from beyond one corner of the frame, a porous landscape of skin draped in ample rings of flesh, can be made out. Before the shot changes to show a new perspective of the body-massif, it becomes clear that it belongs to a female figure, revealed in large fragments shot by shot, creating the impression of a living and breathing Venus of Willendorf, a kind of dormant volcano. With a solemn vehemence, the image links fragility and monstrosity, associating the feminine with the uncanny. What we see is lyrically bound to the presence of the organic film material. Yellow and red streaks of light flickering across some of the images indicate the partial exposure to light during and typically towards the end of a roll of film, created by manipulating the film during shooting by exposing it to light or hand-processing a roll of film. In these instants, a reference to the life and death of analog film seems suggested. Together with the voluminous yet fragile feminine body, that in the beginning remains unidentified (we don’t see the figure’s head in the first part of the film), the film material speaks of its physical presence.
The last shot shows a sitting female with her eyes closed and her head leaning against a glass wall. And while the steam is puffing and the sun gildens with mounting intensity the protagonist’s back with its light, the film body flickers one last time before it expires. Soundless and without commentary, the filmmaker presents us with this still-life like scenery, a contemplation of two bodies determining each other, like an homage to hand made film.


distribution format 16mm
screen 1,37 - Standard (single screen)
speed 24 fps
sound silent
rental fee 29,00 €