[-empyre-] Artwork #11: Beny Wagner - We're All Here

Daniel Lichtman danielp73 at gmail.com
Mon Jul 23 13:11:27 AEST 2018

-edit, music, sound effects tell me to read this as a film, and tell me to
try to understand the narrative of this work, whatever that may be and
however it works.
-unfocused image of older woman in beginning strongly reminds me of the
extremely amazing work of Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel,
Commensal, which I saw at Documenta 14. It documents a  very slow, often
silent, conversation between a man and his brother who murdered a fellow
student and then ate that person. It is shot fixed focus—only in focus
whens subjects happen to be the right distance from the camera lens.
-after the opening sequence of ‘mum’s last words’: is the rest of the video
her dying dream? “complete immersion in its [the landscape’s]
materiality”—is that what’s happening to her?. The sound of the soda can
opening cues the next scene—“I turned every leaf into an eye”
-of course the question: who is “I”? And where’s this forest? Who’s the man
narrating “come into the world my child”? How does his accent prompt the
viewer to interpret his message?
-flash of green—then green screen editing, multiplying the body moving
through the forest, which has become ‘camouflage’, for forest, perhaps,
rather than ‘just’ forest.
-relieved by the closeup shot of camo being applied to the face and ear—a
body feel available for immediate relation (even though it isn’t; as if HD
video were not a mediating medium) vs. filmic cutting of scenes in the rest
-gorilla (ape?) on the wire—interesting to put found video into this work
(unless artist had big budget and access to animals/trainers). first time I
watched this scene choked me up. felt bad for the ape. this scene has it
all—nature vs. human. human infrastructure and power on view; the will of
nature on view.
-decent into the ear, and subsequent footage feels like entering a dream of
media-consciousness (maybe drug induced). is this where human and nature
meet? self and other? human and animal? material and immaterial?
-soldier in grass seems to be the protagonist, if the protagonist is not
the video editor.
-i was wondering if credits would say music or sound—they say sound.

On Sat, Jul 21, 2018 at 7:13 AM Daniel Lichtman <danielp73 at gmail.com> wrote:

> Beny Wagner
> We're All Here
> Video Link:
> http://impakt.nl/channel/videos/beny-wagner-were-all-here-united-statesthe-netherlands-2016-1202-mins/
> Beny Wagner is an artist and writer based in Berlin. Working in moving
> image, text, installation and lectures, he constructs non-linear narratives
> which investigate ecological, linguistic, and technological modes of
> mediation and how these give shape to the parameters of consciousness and
> perception.
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