Verstörte Orte / Disturbed Places, 2007
1 video projector, 2 speakers; 34:00 min
© (Marcel Odenbach) VG Bild-Kunst Bonn, 2010
The film’s re-enacted scenes take us to various places in India that would seem to conform to the image we have of that country. A young man in a fabric store announces that he will tell a story in five episodes from his own recollections, noting, however, that these are ‘episodes that may not make sense and that one need not believe’. The scenes that follow reflect idealised visions from the 1960s as much as overdrawn media imagery of the present: a rickshaw ride through big-city traffic, a coffee shop, a journey by train, a visit to a religious site, a river trip. In slow and fluid sequences, some of which are distantly inspired by Werner Herzog’s feature film Fitzcarraldo, a conception of the present emerges that synthesises momentary perception and recollections of Western-influenced ideals. Subtly overlaid shots illustrating hippie culture mingle with past encounters and places that would seem timeless, although in the protagonists’ perspective, they are described as old-fashioned. In the end, a young man, sitting in the bow of a boat, writes on a typewriter the sentences the man from the beginning spoke.