re:cut | on photography in film

2017, Video 15 min

2017 Haus am Kleistpark, Berlin, Germany
2018 Kunstverein Pforzheim, Germany
2019 Kunstverein Tiergarten Berlin, Germany

The short film re:cut – on photography in film is a video mashup in which meticulously new media content is created through the seamless (re-) combination of already existing, appropriated content. The 15-minute film is a cinematic collage of a large number of short sequences from 25 international feature films from 1974 to 2011. All selected sequences, excerpts or O-tones refer to the process of photographing, developing or dealing with photographic images. re:cut resembles a puzzle of snippets of film history on the subject of photography and traces the timeless essence of photography, the complex processes of photography and the manifold intentions in dealing with photography.

By using of already existing film sequences about photography and their restaging and reinterpreting through a “re:cut”, the video enters a grey area of quotation, (pirated) copy, and piracy. The editing of particular significant film sequences according to a choreography, that has been worked out and adapted to the film excerpts, creates a new artistic context. Thus, the video tells a new and own story, which enables a deeper understandig of the function of photography and the individual, personal, and daily use of it. In a meticulous, chronological sequence, the video is based on the sequence and processes, that occur as soon as a person gets hold of a camera: from the moment of inserting the film, followed by looking through the viewfinder, to the second of releasing the shutter, and the subsequent film processing, viewing and using photographs, to the deliberate manipulation of images.

The video opens up the entire spectrum of photographing and dealing with photographic pictures. All these processes flow together through multi-layered possibilities of interpretation, sublevels and subtexts. In the selected film sequences the span ranges thematically from the search for truth or veracity, to the intention of capturing a certain moment, to preserve memories, to create a distance to the real event with the view through the viewfinder, etc. Due to the almost constant availability of cameras in mobile phones, we are constantly producing, sharing and consuming new photographic pictures. Through these processes, the consumer simultaneously becomes a producer, a prosumer. The identity-creating process of this socially cultural handling of photography and photographic pictures is comprehensibly illustrated in the form of self-representations and self-reassurances. On the one hand “selfies” are a contribution of finding identity, on the other hand they harbour the danger of a loss of identity.

This rather negative connotation of photography, caused by its mass production and thus unmanageability, raises above all the question of how we want to and can classify, evaluate and use todayʼs picture consumption and the reality of unmanageable mountains of pictures for ourselves. The video re:cut formulates a cinematic, poetic homage to photography and reminds us of the underlying philosophical aspects of the “essence of photography”.(Roland Barthes: Camera Lucida: Reflections on Photography).

Manuela Lintl

Exhibition views

Kunstverein Pforzheim
Kunstverein Tiergarten, Berlin
Haus am Kleistpark, Berlin

Excerpt from the video re:cut | on photography in film