Tonight I came across a film by a relatively unknown, relatively unprolific, but incredibly talented video artist: Oliver Pietsch. Working with pre-existing source material he uses a cut and paste technique that initially suggests a cynical criticism of the standardisation of style and technique that most film production applies yet ultimately uses the source material as a building block for individual expression and creation. A visual collage of films from all ages, all nations and all styles, his montage of imagery relating to symbolic and fetishised representation of the body initiates a new discourse on horror, psychoanalysis and the cinematic effects used to create and suggest these ideas. Utterly versed in the postmodernist mode, yet never falling foul of its vices, it becomes a paean to fantasy, to the surreal, magical landscapes that film can create and the illustrated psychological reveries this entails. And instead of daming its sources it canonises them, beautifully so.
Unfortunately the film doesn’t seem to be available on the internet, but his 2005 Cat Power music video is, and whilst it may give you a taste of the manner of his work it really doesn’t do justice to the breadth and expertise apparent in his most recent piece. It’s showing at the Nettie Horn gallery off Vyner Street in East London for the next month or so. If you get the chance to see it, please do so.