The Sacred Space
(Deutscher Text siehe unten) ‘Erase those self-imposed concerns and the resentments, angers, lies…’ are the introductory words to the video reflecting on an increasingly egocentric society.
The video combines two kinds of landscapes, one seems to come from the past –ocean and beach- and the other from the present -brook in a forest-, they are linked by water. We all hold memories deeply inside us, memories of certain periods in our life but also of landscapes. Most of us carry the one landscape inside which is constantly present in our minds, a landscape that stands for home. The images on the beach show a big wheel and a woman strolling along; they seem to be moments from the past. Nowadays the understanding of time follows the rules of productivity rather than life as such. There are only a few places left that have not been destroyed or transformed by man, few places without artificial noise, electrical light spills, few places for a person to listen, to let the mind wander. June Singer sees the ‘sacred space’ as the source to human being.
Sacred Space speaks in a poetic way of reminiscence and the transience of life; life a fleeting moment of memories left behind.
‘Erase those self-imposed concerns and the resentments, angers, lies...’, dies sind die
einleitende Worte des Videos, Gedanken zu einer zunehmend egozentrisch geprägten Gesellschaft.
Das Video verbindet zwei Landschaften während die eine aus der Vergangenheit –Meer und Strand- und die andere aus der Gegenwart -Bach im Wald- zu kommen scheint, beide verbindet das Wasser. Erinnerungen an vergangene Erlebnisse aber auch an Landschaften sind tief in uns. Viele tragen die eine Landschaft in sich, eine Heimat-Landschaft, die eine innere Konstante bildet. Die Bilder am Meer zeigen ein Riesenrad und eine Frau, die am Strand entlang spaziert. Sie scheinen aus einer vergangenen Zeit zu stammen. Zeitverständnis heute ist meist geprägt von den Gesetzen der Produktivität, es folgt weniger dem Lauf des Lebens. Nur wenige Plätze sind unberührt, wenige Orte ohne Lärm, ohne elektrisches Licht, wenige Orte, an denen man ungestört den Gedanken freien Lauf lassen kann. Für June Singer ist ‚the sacred space’ die Quelle, die es zu schützen gilt, zu einem menschlichen Sein. Sacred Space ist eine poetische Anlehnung an Erinnerung und die Vergänglichkeit alles Lebens. Leben, gesehen als flüchtigen Augenblick zurückbleibenden Erinnerungen.
Piano by Francois De Larrard
Sound Simone Stoll
Travel is a moment of uncertainty having left one place and not quite arrived at the destination, one is often filled with deep thoughts and melancholy. 'Abschied' shows a train ride through the eyes of the spectator glancing through two windows into a wide rainy landscape, fields, car parks and electric poles passing by. The raindrops on the glass may stand for tears, their traces seem to travel in a slower speed opposed to the rapidity of the train, at one point, those drops unify the two fields of vision. The text scrolling over the windows may be read as messages from a person left behind. Tender words that try to give hope for this travel, this change, this moment of uncertainty, or, they may be words spoken long ago that resonate in the mind. A third layer of thought enters the movie with a dream-like performance of a woman immersed in nature; first she sits in grassy waters, then, her image blends into white sand, into the element of eternal nature. Yet, the voyage, the direction of time does not halt for dreams and so the journey continues.
A field rose, vivified by her own fragrance, ready to open herself to the sun, and the ground loosens from its roots, then, all is over. - Bettina von Arnim
Rose, this silent video consists solely of layered photos of a rose.
Everything seems to float from one state to the next, like a wave, a moment of respiration that ends in final exhalation. The eye, focus of the camera revolves around the increasingly fleshy petals; it shows pearls of moisture like dew, like beads of body fluids. The camera slowly gets closer as if to penetrate the blossom, to reveal its inside like a microscope. This intense moment is brief and the steady transformation continues until the flower closes back onto itself, fades and finally turns pallid until swallowed by a white light.
Fluss, a gentle drift towards the unknown, filmed with a fixed camera on a boat that floats down a peaceful river. The surrounding nature is wild and impenetrable. First, the soothing sound of water takes the viewer inside the stretch of the stream, but soon, this sound slows down towards total quietness. At this point, interaction seems impossible; the boat is taken on its journey. Time directs the flow of all things that end in some kind of finality.
I created a particular world in colour to take the landscape out of its real setting and transpose it into the mental, possibly. spiritual world.
Meer, a video on life’s longings.
The introductory lines call for a focused mind, internalisation and, for silence. The camera is fixed and shows a woman from the back gazing through a window, a picture that may recall the romantic Sehnsucht motif in painting (e.g. C. D. Friedrich or later, Dali’s version of ‘Woman at the window’). Inner and outer space are clearly distinguished by colour and light. In the video, there are two adjacent rooms opposing the vast, turbulent nature. Windows and glass door are closed; the woman slides the first window open, crawls into the next room. The inner self is revealed in a double. Next, she stands by the other window looking outside, then pushes the door to walk into the open air. She aligns her body with the wide horizon of the sea; the camera follows her view through the bars of the railing that still separates her from the immense ocean.As the sound reaches a crescendo, the powerful roaring of the sea, the woman embraces the uncontrollable force of nature.
Walking Prairie; first there is a prospect of a large prairie, a piece of earth untouched by humankind. A woman walks into this space, continuously following her path until not seen anymore as if swallowed by the land, by another sense of time. A time exceeding human existence; the individual within its limit of time appears to be just a fleeting moment within a greater space and possibly understanding.
This video follows my video trilogy Walking (2008), each video has been filmed with a fixed camera creating an uncomfortable distance between the woman and the spectator; as viewer, we cannot follow her into the deep landscape. Walking Prairie has been filmed in Central Florida, USA while the trilogy was shot along the Gulf Coast and in Nevada, USA.
The image merges emerald green water with traveling clouds and with a person moving within a confined space. The fixed camera shows first the women’s back; she reaches upward and seems to pull herself up. Breathing is here a conscious act as if to refill her self with energy lost. At moments her image is being doubled, one seems to step out of the other and merge back in; they move side by side, in parallel or complete each other revealing some other.
Then, the woman seems to seek physical comfort, protection; she tries to hold herself, but this attempt in self-comfort is not successful. Her tension decreases through water cleansing, soothing.
Most stressful experiences shut off the suffering mind consumed by over excitement of uncontrollable and conflicting emotions and thoughts. Post-traumatic stress due to the loss of life may cause the feeling of loss of the self and may lead to states of feeling disconnected to the outer world as much as to oneself. The words spoken in the video, inspired by J. Didion’s personal experience of loss, stand for any kind of loss in life; it also reflects back inner and outer silence. Loss is a solitary experience.
A poetic divergence of body and mind.
The camera is fixed on the body of a woman in a red, silky dress; the image is multi-layered, doubling her tentative moves. Her face is out of frame; it is the body, its nervous expression and search that the camera is fixed on.
At first, her movement appears to be out of synch; it splits into two only to melt into each other again; like too many minds in one. The dress is skin, her story, her self she cannot escape from.
The sound creation enhances the tension expressed by the winding, the pulling and twitching of her body. Water is a refreshing but foremost a cleansing element; washing off memories, experiences; freeing the subconscious mind. The sudden moment of silence is like holding one’s breath and becoming aware of the moment and the self.
‘Inside’ evinces the attempt to heal after a distressing life experience and to become One again.
Grief is an intimate, solemn and isolating experience, a devouring inner solitude, a feeling of not belonging.
The camera is fixed onto a woman, first a close-up onto the torso wrapped in pink silks and later onto her face. What seems to be a turning blade overlays the image of her bare chest; turning endlessly as if cutting into the body, grinding the mind. The atmosphere is airy white, as if behind a veil or maybe this is all silently happening in the mind. When the woman faces the camera, she finds words to speak of a loss of life and the solitude encountered within that moment of distress.
The sound creation bounces from side to side enhancing the mental turbulences; this repetitive and physical experience of sound relates to movements applied in trauma therapy.
03:08, silent, 2011
Within three minutes we watch silently an elderly couple walk slowly through a forest dipped in reds and pink. Their walk is slow and almost synchronized. As they come closer, their image begins to dissolve until we are left with the memory of their presence and the long path ahead of us.
The closeness and fragility of the elderly couple makes us aware of their time passed, and that this can only be a stretch of time within the greater flux.
Swim is a multi-layered video in shades of pink and red showing the seemingly endless effort of a woman swimming and, repeatedly, being pulled back to her starting point only to continue her swim once again in the same direction, her personal journey. Then, we see her in a close-up, she kneels, breathes deeply, self-consciously, buryies her face in her hands. This moment of introspection, of recalling, reliving past experiences builds up until she almost hyperventilates. The image of breathing reveals the undivided relation of physical and psychological state, of the influence of the mind on the body and of the constant flux. The use of the elements air and water speak of life; time limits its presence. Repetition acts as the attempt to overcome an unresolved burden.
Swim is a poetic view on the mental and the physical struggle within life.
Crow, a poetic observation. This animation consists of a series of digital photographs of a somehow cruel scene of a crow’s feast, picking and pulling at the insides of a frog. This short scene witnesses an essential moment of life, of nature’s hierarchy and of survival; life and death make a pair.
The Image as well as the audio is multi-layered. The sound uses recorded squawks paired with electronic sounds that subtly enhance the alarming, frightening side to the raw but poetic images.
Unlearn is a steady close-up on hands washing themselves in water with a bar of flesh-colored soap. What first appears to be a sensual play with hands turns into a destructive, tense moment. The hands rub against each other, press and wring and seem almost to drown the other. A woman inertly speaks of learning and unlearning; she recites mantra-like, words on learning and unlearning in love and the impact this may have on the reconstruction of a self after a major disruption. The text is inspired by the Canadian researcher Norman Doidge’s recent writings on neuroplasticity (The Brain That Changes Itself).
Rain is an imaginary walk on a tightrope, a two-layered poetic video in shades of grey with rhythmic sound of drops colliding. A woman in a white blouse walks slowly barefoot under continuous rain on a white demarcation line. At moments, she loses her balance but continues her pace and arrives at the wall nonetheless; with each step she has reached out and tested her equilibrium, mental as well as universal.