News about the 4th edition of the Festival that will take place in Berlin all through the year 2008. The information about the former editions that were held on 22-26 november 2006, 13-22 february 2007 and 1-29 august, 2007 are still to be found somewhere in the jungle of this blop.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

12 April - Between Natura Morta and Lanterna Magica

Nicolas Wiese lives in Berlin Neuk├Âlln. His house is close to Tempelhof. In Billy Wilder's movie one, two, three there are scenes that show this airport in its black and white cinemascopic glory. Probably a lot of the nostalgic feelings for this remarkable place in Berlin were inspired by the reports of glamourish arrivals of the stars of those days. Now the airport is almost closed. In its last months it is used by small business planes. You have to be lucky to catch the arrival or take off of one of those planes.

The future of Tempelhof is still uncertain. One wishes for a big park; money people long for a massive commercial project. I would like to see it as a zeppelin port, or a place where worldchampionships kite flying can be held, or hot air balloons can have their home, even leaving the place like it is, as a monument to airports could be an idea. And then have Eno come over for an annual festival.

Nicolas went to record sounds, shoot pictures, make short movies. He did it in the immediate vicinity of Tempelhof, where borders become unpredictable and generate their own esthetics of refusal and terra incognito. The result was shown in a small room with the audience sitting close to each other as if they were posing as illegal African immigrants caught by the sicilian water police.

But so much hardship he had to go through to arrange his room. Walking to and fro between gallery and his home he slowly changed it into a kind of white cube. I heard the sounds coming from outside, while in the main space the audience was waiting. And got a bit puzzled when they heard applause. Nicolas had been doing a private concert for his friends.

I couldn't get a clear impression of his sounds. It made me think of the cloud covered days of last winter. In fact I hear those field recording conceerts more and more as a biographical audio portrait . Music is on Nicolas' last Cd, so rich and overwhelming in its guirlandes of sounds. At one point I was thinking of a very richly decorated synagogue, and every object in it was singing with his own voice.


nicolas wiese


In the opening of the door, next to the video image, you might recognize newspapers. Albert Plank
helped me all day to put them up. Lanterna Magica means magic lantern. This device has found its way to the museum. The bewonderment aroused in those days should still linger among us. I tried to capture a bit of this, recreating a poor cinema, with unrecognizable images, and the expectations glowing in candle lights. I don't know if I succeeded. but the space looked strange and intimate. The newspapers were shining dark and golden. The portraits looked familiar in a way, but the persons on it seemed to have been immortalised many years ago.

Albert Plank is not on a picture. His audio portrait was a long slowly moving one, as morning fog creeping over the fields, o yes. The audience was listening intensely. Surely they imagined stories to it, or were mesmerized into some memorial activities. I had to think of Alberts homeland, a region of Bavaria that had been a niche, a kind of dead end area in the days Europe was still divided into two parts. A region full of natural beauty, so close to the romantic wanderworld of Heinrich Heine. Field recordings travel by foot. And that is a beautifull awareness.

Seiji morimoto and francesco cavaliere (pic by udo noll)

The Natura Morta in the title referred to the collaboration Seiji Morimoto and Francesco Cavaliere have started. Seiji is from Tokio. Imitation as a learning process is an important cultural feature in his country. He uses electronics to imitate nature sounds. Francesco is from Siena in Tuscany, a poetic relation with nature is an important part of Tuscan culture. Francesco uses nature to built his instruments. The duo will be a regular feature all through the festival, because theirs is an ongoing process of how to use and imitate the elements whose sounds other collegues capture with their microphones.
Their humoristic, playfull and yes indeed poetic performance provoked a bravo and a long applause by the audience. Listen to an
excerpt.

To be continued in August.

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