Spirits Leave Their Images Behind

Spirits from LEVIATHAN are frozen in time on the walls of a crematorium.


What happens when film images don't move or gain another dimension, that of space for example? The answer to this question can be found in the surreal location of the former crematorium in Wedding which hosts the Berlinale Forum Expanded exhibition. The finest pieces in the exhibition are two multi–channel video installations by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel, the filmmakers who made LEVIATHAN (USA, 2012).

CANST THOU DRAW OUT LEVIATHAN WITH A HOOK? uses images from their renowned documentary on the fishing industry to experiment with the dimensions of time and space. By doing so, they manage to introduce new ways of perceiving film images; giving them dimensions they don’t have on screen.

SPIRITS STILL uses frames from LEVIATHAN and projects them as frozen slides which are beautifully nestled in niches of the columbarium. Liberating the images from time, Castaing-Taylor and Paravel render them into individual units. The result is that we get to enjoy their rich texture, now completely abstracted, giving them a spirit of their own.

The accompanying piece, THE LAST JUDGEMENT, transforms the moving images by introducing the dimension of space. The installation consists of images of birds flying over the sea projected on the ceiling of an oval shaped room, where the visitor is invited to lay down on the floor. This combination of moving images, space and sound results in being able to step inside the sublime world at the intersection of sea and sky.

In a third installment of their work, the directors are also presenting HE MAKETH A PATH TO SHINE AFTER HIM; ONE WOULD THINK THE DEEP TO BE HOARY at Kino Arsenal 2. In the 360-minute-long silent video, images from LEVIATHAN are slowed down to 1/50 of their original speed. Here, the film’s temporality is further manipulated, allowing us to perceive what usually stays outside our field of vision. It is as if these new dimensions of moving images are letting us see the spirits of fish and birds that are captured within them.