videos, panoramic photography and CineChamber modul


Mittelstadt chooses symbolic locations and situations to develop his discourse on the gaze, on time and space: places which imply not only the concept of physical transit (streets, crossroads,...) but a mental passage, too. In Elsewhere (1999) the notion of linear time is unhinged by the spatial construction of a dialogue. A static panoramic view of the interior of a Tokyo subway car is intersected with glimpses of real life, gestures both tiny and large, authentic physical shifts that belong, depart and die from the instantaneous photographic representation of what is before our eyes: people reading, resting or justlooking back at us.


The subway is a place of encounter, confrontation, transit: the passenger is ready to be transported, but also to change status on entering the train, ready to alight and live an other part of the self, but also to sit still and wait as everything outside moves. Mittelstädt captures the essence of that time of waiting: he analyses motionless time, a fixed frame awash with bluish tones that recall the lustre of ice (as befits a still, „frozen“ image), while everything that takes life and moves is given its real colours and proper dimension. Photograph and moving image are placed together in a mutually enriching dialectic, enhancing each other with their respective meanings and expectations.


Elsewhere arouses conflicting responses of nostalgia and amazement in the viewer. In the immobility lurks a desire for life and peace, the looks at the camera are often quizzical. The rest seems wrapped with an aura of solemnity and detachment, but becomes real life again as and when we see the landscape slide by out-side the window, or a woman smile, or a man with a red pullover slumping down on the floor out of exhaustion. Despite the reassuring effect of the fixed dimension, the amazement returns because everything that is set in motion - and thus brought into play -unleashes a whole range of possibilities: will something change? Who or what will remain? What future? What development?


(from “The breath of a Century and the blowing of the Future...” Video work by Egbert Mittelstadt  - by Elena Marcheschi)



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