Flatness

 

Animated Human, Oberhausen 04.05.2013

Benjamin Fallon

 

Tilted Arc a 120 foot long curved piece of cor-ten steel. A blank limit point bisecting the Foley Federal plaza in Manhattan obstructing the free movement of people in space. The limit becomes a moment for reflection. 1989, a significant year for walls, the work is removed and as such destroyed. The dumb matter of the work sits in storage until one day it might be reinstated.

 

BOOMERANG ING ING ING ING… a woman is staring at the camera her voice is repeated with a slight delay. As she speaks the echo unsettles her. She laughs. AUDIO TROUBLE. Television, Gallery, Internet and now the cinema the work is moved but not destroyed.

 

"The BBC uses the terms barrier, separation barrier or West Bank barrier as acceptable generic descriptions to avoid the political connotations of "security fence" (preferred by the Israeli government) or "apartheid wall" (preferred by the Palestinians)."- BBC Style guide

 

An architectural glitch draws the eye, becoming a reason for a banal portrayal of the 'separation (hafrada) fence - security fence - anti-terrorist fence - seam zone - jidar al-fasl al-'unsuri (racial segregation wall) - Apartheid Wall'. The depressed flattened domesticity of the hotel room portrayed twice. The wall has been permeable for one but defines a limit point for movement and dignity for another.

 

Another wall this time the peace wall keeping represents a challenge for a young man as he seeks to cross the sectarian divide we witness his falling flat.

 

Later a 3rd blank hotel room in Oberhausen thinking about Alan Partridge dressing as a zombie. The mind wanders back to the office without walls the collapse of any other register of time than that of work, affective alienation. Not spending enough time with the family? Easy bring them to the office make your work and home life more efficient.

 

TURN ON, TUNE IN, DROP OUT!

 

X Factor in German

 

… NEXT … NEXT … NEXT … NEXT …

 

English and legibility - CNN - Rana Plaza - 560 garment workers dead - a failure of the security of walls. (A week later the death toll has climbed to over 1,000) Too much interface with the material condition of our 'immaterial' world

 

… NEXT …

 

BBC World - Lonmin, Marikana - 16th August 2012 - Striking workers - A hail of gunfire from the security forces, the result a pile of South African mine workers. Peter Hain narrates relating this workers uprising and the bloody response - 44 dead - to his time of growing up under apartheid.

 

…The events portrayed occurred whilst I was in another hotel, backgrounded by the constant discussion of self exploitation synonymous with the curatorial class. Hiddink Continental named for the Dutch football coach the hotel acting as a shrine to him in provincial Korea…

 

Enough distance and time for detachment for this to act as the backdrop to stop my thoughts and let me sleep.

 

Animated Human was one of the eight screenings from the ‘Flatness: Cinema after the Internet’ thematic programme at Oberhausen Short Film Festival 2013.