Geschwister Odradek

Wald 0–4

Synopsis:

”Wald 0–4” is a little collection of mysterious non-narrative film-poems, shot on 16 mm film by the Viennese performance group Geschwister Odradek. The german word ”Wald” (forest) evokes associations ranging from fairytales and romanticism to the uncanny. According to this the five film tableaux meander between dreamlike and sinister atmosphere. Five places in nameless woodland are observed through a fixed-position stop motion camera. The places are visited by cloned red dwarf-like creatures. Slowly moving through a nature in seasonal transition, this dubious messengers are searching for supply, trying to stay awake and visible. Eating fish from garbage cans, licking psychedelic blueberries, kidnapping kids. Disappearing in the dark. The odd yet seductive visual happenings are underlined by a subtle sound texture. The sequences stay hermetic – only in ”wood 3” a little making-of material allows a few glimpses of ”reality” within the trance-like movements of this filmic suite.

The filming process of ”Wald” was a crucial point for Geschwister Odradek as eccentric live performers normally appearing in kafkaesque urban settings: Leaving the public space, they entered the zone of 2-D, a flat yet ”immortal” world of framed filmpics. During this process, they were haunted by an obsession with metamorphosis: creating a disguise beyond individuality and modernity. Filming the ”Wald” pieces meant fixing something invisible and fictitious on old school documentary film material – and to ”infect” nature with the virus of camp-like artificiality. These ”movements towards the unknown”, these ”somnambulistic rites of passage” remained fragments, antique-looking ruins: In some way, Geschwister Odradek never returned from the woods ... It is up to the viewer to interpret this enigmatic material as ”allegorettes” – the artists as a surviving or a vanishing species.