Ghost Dance


1-channel videoinstallation and music film
Excerpt: 1 min. from 6min22
Music: „Song II“ from the album „Venexia“ by Lucio Capece, Axel Dörner, Kevin Drumm and Mika Vainio, recorded at Teatro Fondamenta Nuove Venedig, Label Pan
Enabled through: EMARE-Mexico/European Media Art Network (EMAN)/Werkleitz Halle/European Commission

Special price of the jury of the art price HAUS am KLEISTPARK Berlin 2014

Three older men dance without a partner, but seem to hold them in their arms as if by magic. The Ghost Dance of their ancestors was a religious crisis cult, in order to connect with the dead in the trance-like state.

The experimental musicians Lucio Capece from Argentina, Axel Dörner from Berlin, Kevin Drumm from Chicago und Mika Vainio from Helsinki came together 2012 to work on the electro-jazz-album „Venexia“. Sounds from acoustic instruments like the Indian reed organ shruti-box, trumpet and saxophone were worked on digitally and edited with field-recordings, noises and electro-sounds. Long notes from wind instruments and electronic tones pile up slowly into a wall of noise ending in a cacophony of screeching. Or Venetian seagulls?

“To this sound three older men are dancing. They seem absorbed in their doing, their movements follow the same rhythm and choreography. The movement cycles appear strangely formalized, and with longer viewing, you recognize that the scene, by means of video montage, is permanently repeated.

Through the artistic intervention, the freedom of the dance collides with the strength of a ritual. In the juxtaposition of play and form, freedom and rule, the video refers to the essence of cultural rites. Freedom evolves from rules just as ecstasy is, strictly understood, a result of asceticism. Raster and revolt – both belong together. This duality is fundamental to every religion, its roots lie in old cultic ceremonies like the ghost dance which the native Americans used to put themselves into a trance in order to get in contact with the dead.”

Anja Osswald