BERLIN June 21, 1996

1996
film
11:09 min.
music: Lutz Glandien, Günther Heinz, Bert Wrede, Helmut Zapf
dance: Torsten Haase
camera: Klaus Dörries
editing: Nathalie Persillier
camera assistance: Martin von Bülow

A video about Berlin in four episodes:
1.    “Big Train Station”, Wartenberg/Falkenberg districts 1-2 a.m.
    music: Lutz Glandien
2.    “Asparagus Time”, Schöneberg district 9-10 a.m.
    music: Bert Wrede
3.    “one forward two back”, Friedrichshain district 3-4 p.m.
    music: Günther Heinz
4.    “Mon Capitaine”, Neukölln district 6-7 p.m.
    music: Helmut Zapf


The video is a mixture of staging (of the dancer) and documentation (of the reality surrounding him). All footage was shot on June 21, 1996. The places and times were chosen by an algorithm producing randomness and were not known until the day before. The musicians, too, recorded their sounds in the same situation. The work was created for the installation project “VORTEX” by Berlin video artists and musicians on the occasion of the SONAMBIENTE, Festival for International Sound Art, Berlin 1996.
Conception for Vortex: Heiko Daxl, Gerd Rische

Synopsis:

A man with a briefcase walks through Berlin on a specific day, June 21, 1996.

Big Train Station.
At 2 in the morning he climbs up and down stairs in the garishly lit, deserted suburban train station. His only encounter is with someone just like him, which will happen to him again and again in the course of the day. His purposeful gait is interrupted by dancing sidesteps.

Asparagus Time.
At 9 in the morning, he joins the people hurrying to their offices or to shop at the market. Almost all of them also enigmatically carry briefcases or other containers. The attempt is made, using the scientific method, to determine the contents of the briefcases. The natural course of movement is stopped, the briefcase electronically enlarged to reveal even the smallest pixel. But the closer we approach, the less we recognize.

one forward two back.
On a street that is blocked to cars for construction work, but would otherwise be overflowing with traffic, he moves at three in the afternoon, dancing forward and backward or in a circle or even in place, so that not only can he encounter himself in the electronic montage, but the linear continuity of space and time also seems revoked.

Mon Capitaine.
The low-standing sun at 6 p.m. leads him to a calm, idyllic place in the middle of the big city. The flowing movements of the sequences and objects observed by the camera make him take pause. But soon he takes up his restless and purposeful-seeming gait again.