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Michaela Grill

cityscapes, 2007

Summer Cinema under the Stars:

July 8 - July 18 2010

daily 9.00 - 11.30 p.m.

exhibition space:

OK Offenes Kulturhaus

born in 1971 in Feldbach, lives in Vienna
 


Michaela Grill, »cityscapes«, 2007

Komposition / Music: Martin Siewert

35 mm, 16’

 
The perception of the city in modern times is distinguished by transience and randomness. It is made up of fragments of social and architectural constructions that flit by. »cityscapes« is an attempt to make photographs from the archives of the Austrian Film Museum readable in this sense.

Specific pictures are isolated from the cinematographic flow and analysed for the perception potential encoded in them. For Walter Benjamin history breaks down into pictures, not into stories – cityscapes is an attempt to find traces of such pictures.

(Michaela Grill, Martin Siewert)

In a certain sense cityscapes is a test-bed for an exploration of what the »third life« of the moving images of the 20th century might look like in the 21st century. The photos of Vienna that Michaela Grill has digitised and made use of are all taken from archive material – fragments of topical stories and newsreels of a long bygone past, ownerless and authorless artefacts, the relics of film and life practices from the first two decades of the cinema. If film, according to Walter Benjamin, blew the pre-modern conception of history to smithereens with the »dynamite of the tenths of a second« and revealed the world as fragmented, it is up to cityscapes to alert us in image and sound to the radical contingency of the process of digital encoding and decoding processes: binary knowledge is machine knowledge from which we attempt to (re)construct pictures, sounds, melodies and stories.

(Michael Loebenstein)

 

 

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