2007 / 35mm / b&w / sound / 1S / 9' 30

For the artist Fernand Leger (1881-1955), the promise of film as a new art form lay in its potential to exhibit the visual, to present an image rather than tell a story. This attribute characteristic of early cinema, a ’cinema of attractions’ (Tom Gunning), has been directly associated with avant-garde film in terms of visual exhibitionism as well as the construction of an audience that is both directly addressed and actively engaged.
Norbert Pfaffenbichler takes this formal and historical connection as a point of departure for MOSAIK MÉCANIQUE - his title deriving from Leger’s sole experimental film, BALLET MECANIQUE (F 1924), and Peter Kubelka’s first film, MOSAIK IN VERTRAUEN (A 1955). An incomprehensible mass of teeming objects, movements, and performers is unfolded in CinemaScope. The screen is structured by a grid of 7 x 14 image apertures or windows which singlehandedly seem to keep the chaos in check and aspire to the possibility of a unity. A title vignette indicates that the source material is from the slapstick comedy, A FILM JOHNY (USA 1914), in which Charlie Chaplin continuously confuses the movie set with ’reality’. It is presented by 98 shots running in parallel loops. MOSAIK MÉCANIQUE thus dissolves the linearity of its analog source material. The film in its entirety, including head and tail leader, is digitally translated and thereby unspooled from the reel and broken open. Spatial structure replaces the temporal, synchronicity replaces chronology.
The audience is not only confronted with an unmediated visuality, it is torn back and forth between an analytic way of seeing rhythmic patterns or refracting motifs, and the impulse to (re)construct a plot. Picture and sound - Bernhard Lang composed an analog soundtrack in conjunction with the film loops – demand undivided attention.
The mosaic presented is a kaleidoscope or a crystal that short-circuits temporal and spatial dimensions as well as different media and their historicity. (Claudia Slanar)


distribution format 35mm
screen 2,35 - Scope (single screen)
speed 25 fps
sound optical sound
rental fee 38,00 €