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Camera, editing, sound: Maria Vedder
Drone camera: Francis Gomila
Finishing editor: May Rigler
Funded by Plan B. Artist Studios, Greece
The title says it all: Maria Vedder’s current work is a layered film. Different image and sound levels are assembled and interwoven.
On the one hand, there are the recordings of a drone flight over the Corinth Canal. Views of a Mediterranean landscape. Ocher-colored earth, olive trees, in between the deep furrow of the canal, lined with bunkers and platforms of anti-aircraft guns.
In addition, there are historical archive recordings with trains that drive over bridges, ships in the canal, flying bombers and railroad cars falling into the depths. These short sequences refer to the history of the canal and its important strategic military importance in World War II, when the German army occupied Greece and controlled the canal. In 1944 parts of the canal and all bridges were blown up. In addition, railway wagons and locomotives were thrown into the canal to make reconstruction more difficult.
Just as the sandstone is removed when digging the canal, the video mills its way into the historical layers of its location. Cut by cut, layer by layer. The cuts tear open the scars of the furrowed landscape. That this is more than a metaphor is shown by a shot at the end of the video in which a plaster bust is sawed up. The cut runs right through the face.
A third layer slides very quietly between the two image levels of the present and the past. As is so often the case with Maria Vedder, it is a laconic intermediate layer with a slightly surreal touch. Suddenly the bunkers seem like strange primeval animals from another time. Their black arrow slits become eyes that seem to watch the scenery. This is accompanied by a sound that cannot be said exactly whether it is from a long time ago or comes from aliens from a science fiction film.
In the end, the drone hovers gently to the ground and also brings the viewer back to the ground of reality. As if nothing had happened.