Critics’ Picks

Markus Schinwald, still from Diarios (to you), 2003.

Berlin

Matthew Buckingham, Markus Schinwald, Clemens von Wedemeyer

Galerie Klosterfelde
Potsdamer Strasse 93
February 4–March 19, 2005

The works in this three-person show examine the language and narrative structures of film. Clemens von Wedemeyer’s Big Business, 2002, is a remake of the Laurel and Hardy classic of the same title, in which an unfortunate attempt to sell a Christmas tree in the summer leads to mayhem. Von Wedemeyer has set his version inside a prison, using inmates as actors. A mockumentary that traces the making of the film exposes the conditions that framed its production—disclosing, for example, that the inmates spend most of their time building model houses and tearing them apart again, like characters in a grim screwball comedy. Markus Schinwald’s Diarios (to you), 2003, is an atmospherically dense composition of black-and-white slides and a soundtrack of a male voice whispering a love poem and a female voice providing half-accurate descriptions of the slides. With its blending of suggestive images, it is an homage to La Jetée. Matthew Buckingham offers Amos Fortune Road, 1996, a labyrinthine exploration of historical representation and historical “fact.” On her daily car trips during a summer stay in New Hampshire, Buckingham’s semi-fictional character Sharon becomes intrigued by the story of the freed slave Amos Fortune as she regularly passes a roadside marker memorializing him. She gathers snippets of information from two biographies, only to find out that they’re fabricated. Apparently the most reliable source materials are the old country roads themselves.