Three Slow Movements (after Sebald)
Three videos, to be played simultaneously
This three-part videowork came into existence at the International Summer Academy of Fine Arts in Salzburg, Austria, during a class entitled Photography / Visual Culture, led by Katharina Sieverding in the summer of 2012.
It started with an idea and a handful of photographs in warm, subdued greens and yellows, blacks, greys and reds. A year before, I had shown these very same images as a huge, slowly moving collage interspersed with excerpts from W.G. Sebald's hybrid texts in ZigsHomeGallery in Düsseldorf. Now I wanted something even bigger. I wanted a video infused with the melancholic beauty of an old movie, from the very beginnings of movie history.
When I arrived in Salzburg I didn't have a clue on how to go about this. Katharina, however, encouraged me to follow my idea, and her son, the artist and DJ Orson Sieverding, helped me realise it, stringing my images together to create a very personal movie in the form of a triptych. We dubbed it with a recording of my own voice reading from Sebald, a writer I had been reading a lot from the late 1990s onwards. It was also provided with the sound of scratchy old LPs, the sound that may resemble rain or old film, depending on which mood you're in. When it was finished, the tri-part work was shown on a canvas as huge as in an old cinema. I loved it.
I still think this work is beautiful. I still think it's terrible. I still think it is wonderful that I have been able to realise it with the help of some very gifted people. It is a tribute to a favourite writer of mine and it is dedicated to M., who first inspired me to read him.