Dad, 2009, b/w movie, 1 min, reanimation of a movie from the artist’s archives; author – the artist’s grandfather who had shot the artist’s father when he was the age of the artist’s son. Accumulation of defects caused on the film strip over eighty years
The Installation in the Špála Gallery
The installation presents a reinterpretation of old amateur films based on the fixation of authentic defects and the dust that had accumulated on the film spool thoughout the years. These are so-called double documents – recordings of actual happenings and also of time – represented by the age of the films. Rather than wiping out the faults or retouching the films themselves, as is the usual process, the defects are instead conserved and gradually accumulate.
Two types of defect animation are used in these films.
“Enigma” is a fragment of an unknown Russian filmmaker’s movie, which had been used in a document about one of the most genial piano players of all times, Svjatoslav Richter. The authentic sound of Schubert’s piano sonata B dur (D.906) has therefore not been removed from the film.
The defects in this film are animated in such a way that their authentic scratch of gray is left exactly as it is seen in the moment when the defect blinks through. The identical defects are not, however, periodically accumulated and layered, a result that would be caused, for instance, by the continuous turning of a projector. If that were the case, the defects would darken or turn black.
It is, however, exactly what happens with the film “Dad”, whose creation is closely linked to the recent passing away of my father. This eight-mm film comes from the family archive and the man behind the camera is my grandfather. He is filming my father, then in the age of my own son today, running into his arms and goofing around. Although the film may look rather unreal, even horrifying, the animation resembles the truth closely. It does not reach into the defects and leaves them to layer one on another until parts of the film turn black.
The third film is an “abstraction” of the movie “Dad”, its side product. The picture has been removed and the mistakes have been left as authentic without any continuous layering. It is nothing but a film made of faults.