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

Daniel Lichtman danielp73 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 25 14:01:09 AEST 2018

I should add that this work was suggested for inclusion by guest moderator
Robert Rapoport!

On Sun, Jul 22, 2018 at 11:11 PM Daniel Lichtman <danielp73 at gmail.com>

> -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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