Martin Arnold | Rakousko | 60 min. | videoinstalace
Terror of Silent Waiting
The Hollywood film is one of banishment, reduction and denying; a film of repression.
For this reason we should pay attention, not only to what is shown, but also to what is hidden," says the artist, who cuts out parts of dialogues, characters or whole shots from a classic black-and-white horror film with Bela Lugosi (The Invisible Ghost, 1942, d. J. H. Lewis) to create a new film – Deanimated (The Invisible Ghost), 2002 – where he completely omits the main motives and movers of the original script – i.e. murders, their causes as well as victims. The main setting for both films, the Kessler family house, is interwoven with the motif of invisible, but omnipresent death.
Digital post-production becomes a tool of terror imposed upon the figures and the structure of the manipulated film in the hands of Martin Arnold, the significant personage of the Viennese avantgarde and experimental film scene. Characters have their mouths shut and their speech removed. There remain only fragments of dialogue; mimes and body gestures become dominant. On other occasions the characters are stuck in static phases of motion not able to fulfil their actions, or they are removed from the scene without any trace. Arnold also finds the source of the form in his previous short films in which he reached ecstatic exposition of subordinate levels of the original film through deconstructive manipulation with mere editing and "replaying" of shots. Deanimated (The Invisible Ghost) is his first complete film, though, in which he interferes directly with the content.
Characters, now without their dialogue partner, remain silent and aimlessly fill in the time until they are liberated by the cut to another scene. The human presence begins to decrease and so the camera, accompanied by dramatic music, wanders through the quiet house along trajectories that were subject to events which are no longer present in the film, and the camera motion itself is their only proof. Candles remain the only living element counting down the accession of darkness.
- Martin Kohout