Keep It All Inside

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In the City at Night

Brought about by a projection, building facades run in monads and are made to overlap by a space machine. A black cube in the exhibition space hides a construction made of rotating windscreen wiper engines and belts that put into motion triangular building models on two small revolving stages while a camera captures the movements. In real-time, the film forges ahead through the glass screens of the exhibition space. And yet, the static building facades of the Goethestrasse play their part in the staged interaction between surfaces and transitions. Accidental passersby, such as art viewers, are the only performers in Oppl's film. But, what stories do these architectures tell and what sensitivities emerge when finding oneself in a labyrinth of facades similar to Terry Gilliam's maze of channels? When do the silent witnesses - the facades - create a sense of otherness, and when does the uncanny moment arise? The second coordinate to the space is the time. Oppl expresses it through the tempo of rotation. The slow pace with which the facades transition into one another is a first sign of the uncanniness. In keeping with the motto of KunstRaum Goethestrasse, the work is somewhat at the doorstep of fear as it sounds out the yet hidden and unsaid in a (urban night-time) situation. For the artist the medium film at least also serves as an exit scenario from the claustrophobia of modern cities. Film becomes a necessity in the confined urban world, a fictional extension, as Walter Benjamin called it.

Pamela Neuwirth

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