curated by Vera-Maria Glahn (DE)

Aleesa Cohene, Yvonne Brandl, Markus Bertuch, and Curtis Burz.

Dealing with the term "Conscious in Coma" I started to get interested in those very personal, psychological "comatose" conditions, that are experienced very consciously. Situations of maybe short or maybe never ending duration, when there is something inside preventing myself to deal with my own situation. These can be really hard, of existential importance. Or collateral, diffused, quiet – but there.

Although they face very different situations, all protagonists in the four works I present in this program constantly feel they need to compare their own normality with other people´s normality.

In her piece “Supposed to“ Aleesa Cohene alludes to the roles and expectations society provides for us. If this is the average direction, what happens to those at the extremes?

The protagonists of Yvonne Brandl´s short fiction movie “November Sun” are stuck in the zero hour. No matter what good advice would not help them. Life will go on, no matter what they do.

Markus Bertuch grew up in the former GDR and was a teenager when the Iron Curtain fell. His work “Am Walperloh” leads back to places of his youth. When I watch it, I feel like he was looking for a feeling he forgot there. He cannot remember what it was, but all of a sudden, after years, it becomes important.

In Curtis Burz’ interview, we see a smart and clever young man telling about his relationship. He is speaking so convincingly clear and calm, so open and honest that we almost feel guilty to accuse his lover.

What is it, laming the mind to examine the condition I see myself in? Who is right; myself? – or those who claim to know what is best for me? Do I need to change to carry on?
Artist(s): Aleesa Cohene
Title: Supposed To
Found Footage Film
Country of production: Canada
Year of Production: 2006

Supposed To examines how work in a capitalist system divides people from themselves. Work often succeeds at limiting our individual agency while paradoxically promoting individual freedom. Lack of agency breeds apathy and despondency: we feel guilty for things we did not do, and shirk responsibility for things we made happen. Reediting sampled footage and dialogue from science fiction films, psychological thrillers and corporate training videos, Supposed To builds a hybrid narrative of characters exhausted by work, acting out, escaping conflict and misdirected blame, and ultimately returning to an inevitable “deep wordless knowledge” that shapes our shared reality. Supposed To questions our ontological vocation, reminding us that our destiny is still unknown.
Artist(s): Yvonne Brandl
Title: November Sun
Short Fiction
Country of production: Germany
Year of Production: 2006

Suburbia, a new residential area. Leo screws off a nameplate, Laura warms-up the milk in the kitchen. Leo mows the lawn, Laura beholds children playing on a playground. Leo meets friends. Laura roots out a young tree. A man and a woman have to deal with the sudden loss of their first child. Each of them has to find a way...
Artist(s): Markus Bertuch
Title: Am Walperloh
Experimental Film
Country of production: Germany
Year of Production: 2006

Images of a seemingly deserted pre-form concrete structure in the old communist style on the edge of a minor city somewhere in East Germany, of heavy exterior heating pipes in the frosty setting of the cold season, of three young men, friends, who meet regularly at this forsaken spot – with a sequence of perhaps two dozen stills alternating from day to night, from interior to exterior, from longer shots to extreme close-ups, from stillness and restrained gestures to agitated movements, gentle to aggressive moments of contact, Markus Bertuch has put together a video in which time seems to stand still, as if it were a single arrêt sur l’image, a single freeze. But precisely in this suspension of the continuance of motion, the drama of time occurs, the empty spaces of past and future collapse into one, make their weight felt for all participants – the three young men, the artist, the observers. The chance of this suspension of the everyday evasion of time is borne by a minimalistic soundtrack of whirring sequences of tones such as can be produced by a glass harp. With trembling excitement, swelling, ebbing, extinguishing and once again engaging, these tones support this floating moment of a videographic time image in which everything can open, everything can close – or be imperceptibly transformed. (Ursula Panhans-Bühler)
Artist(s): Curtis Burz
Title: Adolescence
Interview / Documentary
Country of production: Germany
Year of Production: 2006

“Adolescence” is an interview telling the story of the young adult Norbert S., based on an interview protocol. Accompanied by photographs of himself as a child and his family, we learn about the familial situation and the acquaintance with the sexual abuse by the father. He describes the sexual relationship with his father in details, as well as the inability of the mother to face this fact and the lack of understanding of the elder brother, who himself was a victim of the abuse. The reflection on the events Norbert S. shows in this interview is described as typical: he does not perceive the abuse as violation, as rape, but describes very vividly the loving relationship and his own wish and agreement for the father´s actions.