Tuesday, December 3, 2013

12/4/13 Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy


From eye to mouth, from mouth to eye

In the lost city of Inilosap film spectatorship was not considered a passive activity, much less entertainment.  Film was considered a disease, a particularly contagious virus. One could not avoid it, and therefore had to be prepared for it. Rather than succumb to it the goal was to harness its power.

Children were not allowed to attend the films that were projected every night in the main city square. Attendance, however, was mandatory for all adults. To be allowed to watch a film, every child went through years of training. Completion meant entry into adulthood. At this stage children were lead into the main square and made to sit through their first screening with their backs to the screen.

The effect of watching the films was not very different to that of certain types of hypnosis and the occurrence of convulsions was not uncommon. It was said that proper exposure could produce a cure to all human ailments. Nevertheless, on occasion, audience members were known to have perished while viewing the films. One story told of a man and a woman who burst into flames in the middle of a screening. They were hugging each other as they spontaneously combusted in the first row.

Rolls of film were shown one after another for hours and hours at a time. Most films had no discernible creator. Although every citizen was trained in the use of film and cameras, no one could recollect having created any particular set of images. Films were credited to people that nobody seemed to know or remember.

Because of their power the screenings acquired sacred qualities. At first the rolls were screened in absolute silence and then discussed for days. New edits were argued and then decided upon. Eventually the power of the film virus was such that the spoken word was eliminated. Communication took place with and through the screen. According to the last piece of written evidence, the film virus mutated in such as way as to enable a distinct type of telepathy and telekinesis. Through mind power alone, the films were automatically and continuously reedited throughout each screening. The Eyemouth, they started calling the virus. The films grew increasingly longer and the reediting process more elaborate. Approaching the end, it seems people could not recall at what point one film ended and another began. Not that it mattered, since, before its demise, the city had embarked on a massive project: to create one single, eternal film meant to supersede their own reality.

There is not much we know however about what this last Eyemouth film looked like. We do know that the screenings stopped not long after they embarked on this project. A fire broke out erasing almost all traces of the city. All the citizens of Inilosap appear to have been consumed by the fire. Some speculate that upon realizing that The Eyemouth film was bound to fail they decided to destroy all evidence of its existence. They say that the citizens of Inilosap collected every roll of film and used it to cover the entire city in images of itself. They wrapped every place and every object in strips of film depicting those places and things and used them to start the fire. Others go so far as to suggest that after covering the entire city in film all the people proceeded to wrap themselves and each other in their own images before setting themselves, along with everything else, on fire. 

Still others suggest that it was actually the reckless use of photographic chemicals that caused the fire. The remains of what appears to be a rather large chemical factory have been found at a site thought to have been the original location of the city. Constant exposure to these chemicals would have also led to certain types of delusions and hallucinations that could explain the claims of spontaneous combustion, telepathy and telekinesis found in the historical record.

As a tribute to the folly of that once great city, what you will see here is an attempt to reconstruct one of the Eyemouth rolls.  Because of the limited information that we have been able to obtain about their content or the specific manner in which they were assembled we can most certainly say that our attempt will be a failure.  However, we will try our best to conjure up the spirit of the virus. If any case of telepathy or telekinesis might arise please do not panic. You are free to manipulate the films with your mind as you please.  But beware of the dangers involved. Reality has a tendency to resist control.


Come and dance with me

16mm, 4 min, color, sound.

An abridged history of motion pictures:

In 1888 George Eastman registered the made up word “Kodak” as a trademark.

In 1894 Jean Aimé  “Acme” Le Roy presented the first film screening in New York City.

In 1895  Auguste and Louis Lumière filmed workers leaving their factory in Lyon.

In 1903 Thomas Alva Edison orchestrated and captured on film the electrocution of an elephant in Coney Island.

In 2011 Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy filmed dwarfs dancing on a stage at an amusement park in China.

In 2012 Eastman Kodak filed for bankruptcy.

Awe Shocks

16mm, 3 min, color, sound.

An instructional film detailing the manufacture process of a whole new consumer product, as well as its many uses, applications, and social benefits.

Oro Parece

16mm, 6 min, black & white, silent.

A joke so poorly told and unfunny, that the characters within the joke are forced to reveal their spirit through the process of their own destruction.

The HandEye (Bone Ghosts)

16mm, 7 min, black & white, sound.

In early 20th century Vienna Robert Musil invited Sigmund Freud to partake in, what he called,  “a very special séance”.  Seated at the table Musil revealed that they were going to summon the ghost of Frans Anton Mesmer, discoverer of animal magnetism and forefather of hypnosis.  Musil told Freud about a series of dreams he had which involved a talking flea.  Musil, who had secretly become a follower of the imaginationist school of animal magnetism wanted to question Mesmer as to the meaning of these dreams, in which said flea foretold of impending catastrophes all over Europe.  It is said that Mesmer obligingly appeared and spoke in a repetitive and oblique manner.  Mesmer’s words were transcribed by Freud in several scraps of paper and hidden separately in a series of objects that, owing to the vicissitudes of history, would end up in the collections of three Viennese museums. Legend has it that he who could piece together the text would find instructions for the assembly of a film. We visited these museums and, unable to break away the objects from their glass prisons, have made an attempt to reconstruct the film, hoping that the magnetic force inside the objects would transfer to the film’s silver halide crystals, allowing us to make sense of the single written testimony left over from the séance. In her diary as the lone entry for that date, Eugenie Schwarzwald, the only other known participant wrote: “A distinguished flea hypnotizes the ghost of a distinguished man.”

ComeCome andand dancedance withwith meme

16mm, 12 min, color, sound.

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A Home Inside

16mm, 20 min, color, sound.

A live audiovisual presentation with three 16mm projectors. Now you can protect precious lives with this blast resistant home installed permanently inside your body.  Here is a home with all the advantages of any concrete home plus protection from the outer agents of disorder, imbalance and instability. You know no disorder can be cured without being brought to a crisis. Together with the action of the dream fluid, we will create a representation of the crisis that will dissolve the obstructions that prevent proper circulation and re-establish harmony and equilibrium in every part of your inner home.

Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy 

are filmmakers living and working in Berlin. Since 2010 they have been working together under the moniker OJOBOCA. Together they are the founding members of Horrorism, a simulated method for inner and outer transformation. Their work encompasses films, performances, installations and workshops. They have presented their work internationally in a variety of venues to a variety of audiences. They’re currently members of the artist-run film lab LaborBerlin.